'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. Sniffit

    As they say, takes one to know one, right? Of course, only an idiot would think that Parry is not an idiot, so d-mned if you do, d-mned if you don't. Everyone is an idiot.

    August 19, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. sf

    that's because Perry IS AN IDIOT! he in my eyes, is a domestic terrorist. using his code words to stir up his base...and his base are nutty people, and it only takes a few of those types of choice words to get one of them to do something stupid!

    August 19, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Eric

    Just what this nation needs to fix the economy that Bush broke...an IDIOT whose own intelligence is dwarfed by George Bush's. People, you've got to question your own sanity if you remotely consider this guy to start messing with an already fragile economy. If we can't do better, we might as well close up shop and hand over the keys to China.

    August 19, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Bessy

    WOW ! With grades ike that I would never have received my degree. My Major would not accept anything less than a "C". The man is an idiot and I didn't need his academic records to tell me that. All I had to do is listen to him speak and to express his ideas.

    August 19, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. buckup

    Obama cannot fill the federal reserve positions, same as treasury appointments and about 500 advisory committees because the republicans and tea bags have put holds on the nominations so they never get voted on by congress.

    this kind of systematic attack is crippling govt, as it is designed to do.
    it is unamerican, and shows their real allegiance not to this country or to the people.

    August 19, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. I have just given up

    Perry is no better or worse than the rest of them. He just says what all the rest are thinking. Instead of being a wolf in sheep's clothing he is just a wolf. Bachmann dresses all pretty and has the stepford wife smile all the while thinking how if she gets elected she is going to bring holy war on everyone who does not agree with her. Cain is living proof you can be a goof and still be successful in the United States. Santorum was drummed out in PA and now has a respectable chance of becoming the republican candidate. How did that happen? Romney couldn't drum up enough votes from moderates so he has to cozy up to the tea party and their crazies. We don't hear enough about Huntsman to really get a read on him.

    Couldn't vote for anyone in the bunch. And this is an independent that was looking for an alternative to Obama. Go figure.

    August 19, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. SaintM

    I agree with his "idiot" label, and am glad to see the posts here don't really challenge Bartlett's assessment of Rick Perry.

    I only hope that there are enough intelligent moderates and independents that will do what they need to in the "red" states to make sure Perry doesn't get the nomination. It is also a good that another potential "G W Bush" disaster must go through the 2-step process instead of one–he's not the nominee yet. Keeping it that way would be the largest public censure of Perry and his evangelical, lunatic, dictatorship politics.

    August 19, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. Chuck

    Bartlett is from the old GOP, back when they told the truth most of the time.

    Since Republicans in Congress impeached Clinton, the GOP only puts out think tank-generated poll-tested propaganda designed to deceive people.

    August 19, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Independent In Albany

    Rick Perry is proof-positive that ignorace should be painful

    August 19, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. L.O.

    Maybe this is a sign that the mainstream GOP is waking up to the fact that the Tea Party led Perry, Cain, Palin and Bachmann political freak show will sink them in 2012.

    August 19, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Diane

    Yes, he's an idiot....I know I live in Texas! Unfortunately, he's been elected governor for his third term which is absolutely ridiculous, even if the good ole'boy's club of Texas got him into office for a third term....it only goes to show that in politics ANYTHING can happen. So beware, there is a slight, scary chance he could make it to the oval office....I just hope and pray that doesn't happen!

    August 19, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. FRANK FROM LAS VEGAS

    A member of the GOP speaks out, nothing new there Except, he told the truth! Perry is indeed an idiot. His line of BS may play well in TX (not sure why), but it sure doesn't on the national stage. Perry is nothing more than a legend in his own mind. He'll soon find out that just because he hears all those voices in his head doesn't mean there's a crowd behind him.

    August 19, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Rexxx

    Texas is just beginning to burn. How do you know Rick Perry has been to your house? All the lights are on, the refridgerator is empty, and the Cat is pregnant. Going to be alot of angry Texans looking Rick Perry's way come this next year.

    August 19, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. ukanduet

    Rick Perry told the truth about Bernanke. Refreshing to hear a politician tell the truth. Only trouble, once they get inside the beltway, all truth telling turns to lies. Very sad.

    August 19, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Bible Clown

    The word "treason" just rolls off these people's lips too easily. Idiot's the word.

    August 19, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Perry and idiot? Well, he did not fare well in academia. That only means that he is not well educated, which of course, we would like our presidents to be. Now some uneducated folks do quite well. It wasn't that many years ago that a good high school education was enough. But, Mr. Perry's education (or lack thereof) is not an issue with me. What is troubling is his evangelical religiosity, his naive approach to economics, his propensity for stretching the truth with respect to job creation, his crackpot ideas like seceding from the United States (which if in jest still shows a lack of maturity) and his bombastic 'my way or the highway' Tea Party mantra on raising revenues.

    OK, I guess he is an idiot.

    August 19, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. Debra From Georgia

    The truth shall set you free

    August 19, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. SSampson

    Jonsie... Now HOW can you argue that a Treasury guy under REAGAN and HW Bush when he says that GW caused the problem – not to mention the OBVIOUS – that the recession was caused by elements that happened in the financial sector that we in place BEFORE Obama was even ELECTED????? – and the PREVIOUS DEM government – CLinton – left with a SURPLUS... These facts are BLINDINGLY obviuous – and no rational person is even trying to refute those facts...

    If you want to argue about the recovery... well, there are all sorts of opinions and certainly for 2 years this government was in charge.... However – Economies don't turn on a dime – they never have – and it would be improper to blame any government – DEM or GOP – for not dragging us out of the recession yet – Even blaming GW Bush for not fixing it before he left office is dumb – (although most people forget it started while he was STILL in the WH) –

    As for the Defecit... don't you remember the meetings between Nov. and Jan. after the election?? – Obama gave input (and agreed with the idea)... but it was again 'technically' GWs watch when the balout package was initiated...

    Why do people forget this?? – Simply to hate?? or to be obtuse –

    We need to STOP listening to politicians and media pundits and find the information ourselves – it is out there – but we are ALL constantly swayed by the propoganda machine – and we ALL fall for its lies at one time or the other....

    August 19, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Spydyee

    To: Rick McDaniel

    Herbert Hoover tried that way of doing things. Are you willing to be the first resident in a Perryville (the modern version of a Hooverville) and which public park will your tent or shanty be in so I can come and say "I told you so" You and obviously Governor Perry need to study history. Maybe a little less Bible thumping and a little more reading would do all of you some good. Herbert Hoover and the newly formed Fed did nothing to help the economy after the 1929 stock market crash. The left the "free market" to fix itself. Typical Republican response to the situation (yes Hoover was a Republican). Eventually, this policy created tent cities and shantytowns in the public parks called Hoovervilles because of the huge number of homeless, unemployed, people. They had no money to spend so the businesses began to fail because of lack of customers which meant even more people who were out of work. Then came FDR and fixed it. Now some economists think he prolonged the Depression and maybe he did but hwat he accomplished that no other President has accomplished for this country was a slow steady recovery. FDR did not allow the wall street tycoons that created the Great depression control the country's recovery from it.

    August 19, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Is it a jab if it's the truth?

    August 19, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Lisa

    @ Jonsie – this is coming from a Republican/conservative, not the Democrats. This guy served under George H.W. Bush and was an advisor to Ronald Reagan.

    August 19, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. bertha59

    Rick Perry is definitely an idiot!

    August 19, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. SaintM

    to LM:

    Well that may be right, but keep in mind that the more people who move to TX from other areas, puts in jeopardy your status as the "biggest red state". When demographics shift, so does the voting.

    Texas is drying up, is hot, and Perry does not believe in global warming. He asked Texans to pray for rain, and the drought got worse. Rick Perry's politics are not easing the suffering you Texans are facing because of lack of water, and a drought will pretty much dry up an economy–and may cause an exodus of people if it goes on too long.

    Additionally, Perry is not well liked in his own state, and other major contributing factors have allowed Texas to flourish–not by the intelligent, thought out policies of your governor. Also, regardless of what kind of wages you offer your employees, the majority of Texans are not getting those types of jobs from most other employers, so singling yourself out, although it is commendable to see that you support your employees, there are so many other employers that don't, and it's not enough to make up the difference.

    August 19, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. Sorensen

    He is the worst kind of snake-oil salesman. Dishonest, fake, corny, stupid and totally without any talents.
    Exactly the type who appeals to naive, religious, old, southern fools.

    August 19, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. sam

    The GOP is so desperate they're letting all of the idots come out of the wood work starting with Sarah Palin etc. Perry is an Idiot, cowboy, 2010 rumors were he's George & Jeb Bush's cousin-strong resemblence too, for years people bragged what a great State Texas is "Don't Mess With Texas" blah blah blah. Thank you Rick Perry running for POTUS 2012, now the world knows what a greedy money hungry idot you really are; what a horrible govenor you are lying about creating jobs in 2008 when in fact the minumum wage jobs you created came directly from President Obama's Stimulus Bill.

    August 19, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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