Rick Perry's Wall Street reform plan positions the former Texas governor as more populist than Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

As part of his financial reform speech delivered Wednesday in New York, Perry suggested that Congress might reinstate Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law separating insured commercial banks from investment banks that was repealed in 1999.

His tentative endorsement comes as Clinton has resisted pressure from liberal activists and her primary opponents to back the same policy.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, for instance, has made enthusiastic support of re-imposing Glass-Steagall or breaking up the big banks a major part of his underdog primary campaign against Clinton. She faces the problem in the primary that liberals view her as too close to Wall Street and big business.

Perry did leave himself an out, suggesting that, rather than Glass-Steagall, Congress could require megabanks with significant trading activities to maintain higher capital levels as a defense against the need for a bailout in case of steep losses.

But he also went further in calling for limits on Wall Street.

In addition to bluntly guaranteeing that no banks would be bailed out on his watch, he also called for regulators to strengthen a rule they passed just last week meant to prevent big banks from failing or force them to shrink in size.

That rule, known as the "capital surcharge," requires the eight biggest U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, to maintain higher capital levels than those mandated for other banks under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The Federal Reserve also pushed the requirements for big banks above the levels specified in an international agreements on capital levels.

Perry called Wednesday for the Fed to go beyond that.

Some Republicans have embraced steeply higher capital requirements in the wake of the crisis. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana has backed legislation with liberal Wall Street critic Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, that would double the amount of capital required beyond the new requirement.

Since the crisis, big banks have more than doubled their capital levels, meaning that they are less reliant on borrowing and can suffer greater losses before becoming insolvent.

Several high-profile Republicans have indicated support for a new version of Glass-Steagall, including former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and current House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Perry, in the past, has employed rhetoric that drew critical notice among bankers, especially during the 2012 presidential race when, in talking about then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, he suggested that "we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas."

Other parts of Perry's speech hinted at more conventional conservative financial policies, such as eliminating bailed-out mortgage businesses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and deregulation for small banks.

He also suggested avoiding burdensome regulations on digital currencies such as Bitcoin.