Pendleton, South Carolina (CNN) – Rick Perry's wife Anita said Friday that she could sympathize with the plight of the unemployed because her son was forced to resign his job to take a more active role on his father's presidential campaign.
Anita Perry blamed the Obama administration for her son having to resign his position.
"My son had to resign his job because of federal regulations that Washington has put on us," Mrs. Perry said while campaigning for her husband in South Carolina, after a voter shared the story of losing his job.
"He resigned his job two weeks ago because he can't go out and campaign with his father because of SEC regulations," she continued, referring to the Securities and Exchange Commission. "He has a wife... he's trying to start a business. So I can empathize."
"My son lost his job because of this administration," she said a few minutes later.
According to press reports, the Perrys' son, Griffin, worked at Deutsche Bank.
It was unclear what SEC regulations Perry was referring to, but the commission adopted a new rule last year aimed at limiting political activity on the part of investment advisors.
Mrs. Perry was speaking at a meet and greet at Dyar's diner in Pendleton, in western South Carolina, on the same morning her husband delivered the first major economic address of his campaign.
Her comments about her son came in response to a question from 45-year-old voter who said he lost a job paying over $100,000 and who now makes $12 an hour as a handyman.
Asked after the event to elaborate on comments she made a day earlier about her husband being "brutalized" by fellow conservatives over his Christian faith, Mrs. Perry said she didn't have anything to add.
"It's been a rough month," Perry said in an emotional speech to voters on Thursday. The speech was recorded by NBC News. "We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today.
The Texas governor has been sliding in national polls since mid-September, when he put in shaky performances at two GOP presidential debates and lost a closely watched straw poll in Florida that he was widely expected to win. Perry's appearance at Tuesday's GOP debate also garnered negative reviews.
The latest CNN Poll of Polls, released Thursday, shows 14% of Republican voters identifying Perry as their choice for nominee, behind former Godfathers' Pizza executive Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Those numbers reflect a sharp fall since early September, when a CNN/ORC International poll showed 30% of Republican voters picking Perry.
On Thursday, Anita Perry pointed the finger at fellow Republicans, who she said took issue with the governor's strong conservative Christian stance.
"We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party," Perry said. "So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith."
Perry's relationship with the influential evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress has come under scrutiny in the past week. Jeffress told reporters at the Values Voter Summit in Washington he believed Mormonism was a 'cult.'
Two men running for the GOP presidential nomination are Mormons, Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Jeffress has endorsed Perry, and introduced him at the summit.
– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
ohmygoodness, that's one of the most ignorant things I've heard a wife say.
Are they THAT out of touch?
Isn't $294K in free security for Anita's and her kids personal vacations enough. What the heck does she want special treatment. The Perry's are not above the law. She was just whining how tough it was on her....pathetic.
This woman is as deluded as her husband. Get lost Bimbo.
Is there anything that has happened in this country to its citizens in the last 100 years that IS NOT Obama's fault?
Is she serious?? He quit his job and its the Obama administrations fault? Wow! Is she related to Sarah Palin?
It has beeb 10 months sense the GOP took control of the house. Mr spreaker where are the jobs?
Maybe his wife can get one of those minimum wage jobs his father created in Texas.
Take it easy, Anita. Why don't you sit this next one out, stop talking for a while.
It's always Obama's fault. A toothache is Obama's fault. If it's raining, it's Obama'a fault. Yada Yada Yada Whine Whine Whine
Can the US give Texas and all it's residents back to Mexico with our apologies? Naw – they'd want money too to compensate for Mexico's average IQ dropping 50 points.
THis is the funny thing I heard blaming Obama for this. Well your son resgin job and you blame it on Obama.
The republican cult, is nothing but losers- – – -"Go Obama"
Isn't stupidity grounds for Divorce? Needs to be in this case!
The son resigned or was laid off. These are two different things. He left one job for another. I am sure he is getting paid from the campaign fund.
SInce when is it the role of the president and the federal government to keep your kid employed? This is the same kind of whiney crap that we constantly get from the Republican party–Less government, unless it's giving us an unfair advantage, then MORE GOVERNMENT is OK. Both mom and son should get a real job and shut up. You're not helping!
Anyone remember when Mitt Romney's 5 boys took time off of college & jobs to help him run last time? They claimed they couldn't enlist for the "War on Terror" (echo, echo, echo...) because they were fighting it at home by helping their dad get elected?
Republicans say the dumbest things.
Really????? They will never occupy the WH and this country will be better because of it...ugh
Look, folks, not all of us here in Texas think like the Perrys. I am embarrassed by them.
Really? She is blaming Obama for a CHOICE that HER SON made to resign? Does she blame Obama for her own dumbness too?. WOW!!!
Perry reveals his jobs plan: Drill Baby, Drill (sound familiar?)
What an IDIOT!!
Oh my Lord, Where do the Repubs get these candidates and their nutty wives?
He resigned his job to do some short term campaigning for his DAD........Resigned his job? Well I guess when Daddy is rich doesn't really matter if you have a good job or not
These folks are CLUELESS
man, these conservatives love to play the victim even when they're in the top 5%. C'mon Perry be a survivor, not a victim! You can do it. How pathetic.
How much you want to be he is taking a temporary leave of absence and will get his job back whether his father wins or looses.
Anita wants to be the First Lady? Give me a break. No class and no brains. As most Tea Party led GOPers would recommend, she should tell her son to get a real job and pull himself up by his bootstraps.
Wait a minute - he QUIT his job and she blames the Obama administration??
Mrs. Perry, thank-you. Thanks for showing America just how empty conservative complaints about excessive regulations really are. Especially in light of the fact that the Obama administration has not added any significant regulations, nor made any significant changes. Dodd-Frank does not take effect for at least another year, and ditto for the Affordable Care Act.