'Idiot' jab lobbed at Perry
August 19th, 2011
08:56 AM ET
3 years ago

'Idiot' jab lobbed at Perry

(CNN) - Former Treasury official Bruce Bartlett labeled newly-minted Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry "an idiot" Friday.

Bartlett, who served at Treasury under former President George H.W. Bush and as a domestic policy adviser to the late President Ronald Reagan, delivered the choice words to the Texas Gov. in reference to his recent comments about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.


"Rick Perry's an idiot, and I don't think anyone would disagree with that," Bartlett said Friday on CNN's "American Morning."

Perry sparked controversy when he said Bernanke would be "treasonous" if he printed more money to stimulate the economy before the 2012 election.

"I mean, printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous, or treasonous, in my opinion," Perry said Monday in Iowa. He stood by his comments Tuesday.

Bartlett said the politics at the Federal Reserve are a serious problem and in part blamed U.S. presidents, who he said have historically not focused their energies on the bank.

"He [Obama] has had open seats on the fed almost his entire presidency and I think that this sends a signal that he just doesn't care very much about what the fed does," Bartlett said.

Despite serving in Republican administrations, Bartlett is no stranger to GOP criticism, particularly of former President George W. Bush.

Bartlett's 2006 book "Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy" accused the administration of departing from conservative economic principles. More recently he attributed the economic recession to the former president and Republican Party.

Team Perry did not immediately respond for a request for comment.


Filed under: 2012 • Federal Reserve • Rick Perry
soundoff (539 Responses)
  1. MEF

    Perry is an dumb idiot, I know I live in Texas.

    August 19, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. Jam11

    amazes me how the middle class and poor vote in Republicans, when Republicans only help the top 5%. Americans want to think they are rich so they go with the Republican party and it only hurts them. It is so stupid. Ronald Reagan was the one who really did a lot of damage to the middle class and poor

    it was BushJR and his rethugs. who tripled the debt. They tried hard to destoy America by spending with tax cuts for the wealthy, of which I am sure you are not, and they spent on two wars OFF THE BOOKS, and a prescription drug plan that was not paid for. When are you ignorant repugs. going to realize that the people in this country are waking the MESS up and this crap won't go on much longer. May the rethuglican party sleep with the fishes!!

    There's no exaggeration when the Republicans want to take away "entitlements" that we have been paying for all our working life's. What they are exaggerating is that the rich are not going to create jobs (they haven't in the last 10 years with their tax cuts so why know when they want the President to fail and be a one term President); they are not going to have to declare bankruptcy, or lose their homes, or their cars or not be able to put on the table for their little darlings and they will still be able to invite all their rich friends who fly in on jets to their lavish parties while the rest of us, seniors, poor and the vanishing middle class scrape to get by.

    My oldest friend been duly paying his fair share into social security for 30 years. In fact, all of us in the middle class paid in a $3.2 trillion dollar surplus. And where did that money go while Republicans oversaw the "surplus". Poof gone – tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations to create jobs. I guess they meant in China. And now, when the time to put it back comes up, NO not the corporations and wealthy who took the surplus will repay, WE IN THE MIDDLE CLASS are supposed to repay ourselves. What shills for corporations and monied interests. Remember in November folks. 2012, the elderly and MIDDLE CLASS VOTE!!!!

    August 19, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Melissa2

    Well, now you know Republicans will vote for him!

    August 19, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. CBR

    The use of the tactic of labeling candidates as idiots, nutcases, or anything else has no place in the race for the White House. Find legitimate reasons for joining or supporting one campaign or another. Calling names just shows the immature manner in which some people view candidates.

    Surprise, surprise, there are empty seats on the Fed. What about all the appointment that are languishing in the Senate because one senator or another keeps the name from a vote by the whole Senate. There needs to be a way to stop this practice. The committees should have just so much time to study and/or release the name of the candidate to the Senate for a full hearing. The idea that anyone can stall nominations is outrageous and speaks to the manner is which the Congress does business. Why do we allow this to happen?

    August 19, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Claire

    The only bigger idiots than Perry are the fools in Texas that elected GWB and Perry to office. Texans are just plain stupid.

    August 19, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. roccyraccoon

    I have a feeling that Rick Perry may have suffered oxygen starvation on several of his flights as a fighter pilot. That's the only explanation I can come with concerning several of his statements this week.

    August 19, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. 2tired2care

    Thanks Bruce Bartlett for having the courage and respect for this great country to say it like it is.

    August 19, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Sonnie2

    here is the deaL/ Right now we have lots of idiots out there. So many that when some one makes sense like Perry they can't tell the truth when they see it. Yes to print more money is stealing from the unborn and grand children, Now it don't take science to figure that out. Just Plane Common Sense.

    August 19, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Screw the unions

    I agree with Perry the FED is an idiot and should quit now!

    August 19, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Scott

    It was plain to anyone watching that Bush was a dim bulb, but that didn't stop him from getting elected. Big money knew they could control him, and the religious Bubba majority saw someone like themselves. A perfect republican canididate.

    August 19, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Sonnie2

    Perry will be a big player and for the dems to bad mouth him shows how scared they are the Bamster has not got a chance in the world.

    August 19, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. MadinCT

    This should come as no surprise to reasonable people who have suffered through that blowhard in TX. Recent events clearly demonstrate that the Republican party continues its shift towards the extreme, putrid right of the political spectrum: a small cross section of the American political landscape that devalues education, glorifies ignorance, views quitting as a virtue and takes pride in blatant hypocrisy. That is the only explanation for their revelry and excitement with the "D" student, "job-creating" TX governor/preacher idiot and the bona-fide ding-a-ling sporting a law degree from an unaccredited, "intellectual powerhouse" with a storied 6-year pedigree, O.W. Coburn Law, aka, Cracker-Jack U!

    How could two dunces, who just a few years ago would have been roundly dismissed by their GOP counterparts, suddenly become mainstream in Republican politics? Well, this is what happens when a political party launches an all-out sustained assault on anything related to education. The modern-day Republican party is now reaping the fruits of their calculated strategy to maintain power through ignorance by attacking, undermining or subverting things from Head Start to Pell Grants; from the Department of Education to the National Institutes of Health; from textbooks to school lunches; from the science of stem cells to the science of climate change. Anyone else (Republican or Democrat) who is more educated, who advocates the vital importance of these things is branded as "elite" and subject to ridicule. Then, after the neo-Republicans create a significant underclass of ignoramuses that hew to their ideology but who are incapable of higher order thinking or basic computation skills (thus requiring companies to either seek foreign talent or offshore jobs to a smarter, cheaper labor force) they cry foul.

    That is the thinking and warped mentality that has brought us the twin cancers of Perry and Bachmann, the fanciful, lunatic rants of the remaining GOP wannabes and the stench of the Republican Tea Party. If left unchecked, they will no doubt take America back indeed–back to a time when all decisions were made through the prism of religion; when the earth's roundness or polarity or scientific facts were dismissed by “learned” clerics; smart "elites", submissive women and minorities knew (and stayed in) their places; and education was optional. We all know how that turned out but, alas, a generation of fools who have failed to consult history (let alone read it) embark on a repeat performance with hopes of a different outcome!

    August 19, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. Squigman

    The truth is a powerful thing. Never met a republican yet that had any appreciation for the truth, but never failed to lie about opponents to achieve their thought of success. According to Dant'e, there's a ring in hell for these people. Hope they get there soon.

    August 19, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. 2cents4free

    Personally I thought his secession comment was more stupid than the one on Bernanke. Funny how it took this long to figure him out.

    August 19, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. paul

    The Republican party of Texas should never have left him go past the borders. They all know his limitations and they can control him inside the borders. Outside, all bets are off and he is proving that everyday he opens his mouth. I am starting to think more highly of Bush. A Perry, Palin ticket would permantley lower the collective I.Q. of presidents.

    August 19, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. SP

    Your choices this election cycle will be dumb, dumber, or that lamp post over there...

    August 19, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. c

    "He [Obama] has had open seats on the fed almost his entire presidency and I think that this sends a signal that he just doesn't care very much about what the fed does" Bartlett said. – doesn't he know that the repubs have blocked EVERY nomination to the fed that has been submitted?!

    August 19, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Jam11

    Let me make it crystal clear: Tea Party Republican­s oppose raising taxes for millionair­es, but have no problem raising taxes for the middleclas­s. The total tax burden on Americans in 2010, as a percentage of GDP, was 24%, lower than it was in 1965. In comparison­, Canadians paid 31% of GDP in taxes, Britons 34%, Germans 37%, and the French 42% (and all have successful single payor healthcare­), yet Tea Party Republican­s backed by the Koch Brothers are pushing to lower the tax rate for the top 2% to a mind-numbi­ng 14% of GDP, while increasing the tax rate for middleclas­s Americans to 36%. Corporate taxes are at their lowest point in 60 years, yet Tea Party Republican­s are pushing to lower the corporate tax rate to 12%, even as cash-soake­d corporatio­ns are sitting on $22 trillion in revenue and continue to close US factories, pink-slip Americans, ship jobs overseas, bilk Americans via Republican create tax loopholes, and conspire with lobbyist to keep lucrative taxpayer funded subsidies in place. Revenue is at a 15 year low, leaving many states unable to pay for the replacemen­t or repair of aging bridges, roadways, and sewer systems, yet, in an effort to defeat Obama, Republican­s continue to throw gasoline on our current economic crisis they created by calling for deeper reductions in revenue, even though Obama offered $4 trillion in cuts for $1 trillion in tax increases aimed at closing tax loopholes for corporatio­ns and millionair­es (Buchman opposes exempting the first $20,000 in income from payroll tax, a move uniquely designed to benefit the middleclas­s). 72% of Americans support raising taxes on the top 2%, also known as the Republican base, yet Tea Party Republican­s keeping promoting baseless claims that reducing taxes on millionair­es will create jobs, which failed to happen from 2000-2008, when Republican­s controlled American politics and 11 million jobs vanished, outsourced overseas. Under Bush 43, spending increased 241% ($11.6 trillion), while revenue decreased 442%, due primarily to cuts in income and capital gains tax for the wealthy (under Reagan, the capital gains tax was 28%, under Bush it was 14%, accounting for billions in loss revenue), which led to massive teacher lay-offs and a 93% loss of total wealth for middleclas­s Americans.”

    August 19, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. The Elephant in The Room

    Texas has a $26B budget shortfall – this despite receiving BILLIONS in Federal Government spending to help them.

    Texas unemployment – at 8.2% – is higher than ANY of its surrounding neighboring states. If the media focuses on Texas` job creation/ unemployment data over the next 6 months, Americans will see things get worse [laid-off teachers, firefighters, etc.] as the stimulus money runs out.

    Moreover, Texas ranks very low in education and other key leading metrics for the quality of life.

    Rick Perry, you are not doing very well in your DAY JOB. Don`t you think that before trying to land the next big promotion for yourself, you should solve Texas` $26B BUDGET GAP?

    Either that or quit, run for President and let someone else handle the FULL TIME job of being Governor.

    August 19, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Steffani

    George Bush's fault, George Bush's fault, George Bush's fault – grow up kids, at some point the Dem's have to stop putting the blame on everyone but themselves, Obams has the Congress he wanted for two years and still could not do anthing! The economy sucks, job market sucks and deficit over the top and has gotten much worse during his presidency. Could pointing fingers at other people and fix it!!
    *************************************************************************
    The GOP blocked/obstructed/fillibustered a record number of bills/proposals that the Dems put forth. Then you tea partiers have the audacity to say Obama didn't do anything when they had control of congress? It was and continues to be a concerted effort on the part of the GOP to ensure Obama fails and does not win re-election. I believe the majority of Americans are on to what the GOP has done and what they truly stand for. You can blame Obama all you want but I believe history will portray correctly who is really to blame.

    August 19, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. Dani

    While Rick Perry calling Bernanke "treasonous" is insulting and obvioulsy not true, Mr. Bartlett's use of the word "idiot" is equally insulting and equally untrue. Anybody who has gotten elected as often as Rick Perry in rough and tumble Texas politics is clearly no idiot. On the one hand, it is hard to understand why anyone would care what some has-been minor official in some past administration has to say. On the other hand, Rick Perry should remember he is not in Texas anymore. He would do well to cool his rhetoric when he addresses his new national audience.

    If Perry got voted for "often" it's because the people who voted for him "often" are idiots too. Bartlett called it right – Perry is an IDIOT! He won't win a general election with his 1700's ideology anyway.

    August 19, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Ricky Perry

    I'm not stupid. You're stupid.

    August 19, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. HawHaw

    "He [Obama] has had open seats on the fed almost his entire presidency and I think that this sends a signal that he just doesn't care very much about what the fed does," Bartlett said.

    The GOP has blocked almost every apointee Obama has made. So whose fault is that?

    August 19, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Tony in Maine

    Watch Faux Gnus get all righteous about how the left is calling the new darling of the Tea Baggers an idiot. Idiots of the world will protest also. Actually Perry is a moron, at his best a bit player in a Grade B western.

    August 19, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. RexCraigo

    Truth hurts doesn't it repugs?

    August 19, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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