Perry says 'privileged' Obama can't relate
November 17th, 2011
12:24 PM ET
3 years ago

Perry says 'privileged' Obama can't relate

(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry backed up his "pathetic" criticism of President Obama late Thursday, saying the incumbent's thinking is based on his background.

"He grew up in a privileged way," Perry said while explaining his ad attack that decries President Obama's description of America as being "a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades."

Obama made the comments Saturday in Hawaii during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit as he explained the nation can do a better job of selling goods outside of the U.S.

"You know, he never had to really work for anything and he never had to go through what Americans are going-you know, there's 14-plus million Americans sitting out there, some of them watching this program tonight that don't have a job," Perry said in an interview on Fox News.

"The president has never felt that angst that they have in their heart."

President Obama's memoir, "Dreams from my Father," published in 1995, documents a less than privileged childhood marked by the divorce of his parents when the president was two years old, his father's absence, and a move to Jakarta after his mother remarried. At 10 years old, Obama returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. His mother followed later. He was admitted to a  college preparatory school in the fifth grade on scholarship.

But for Perry, Obama's background falls short.

"We need a president who's been through the ups and downs of life, who understands what it's like to have to deal with the issues of our economy we have today in America, and that's what this election is gonna be about," he continued. "Who has a plan to get America working again."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also attacked the president's comments, saying he doesn't think Obama understands America at a campaign event in South Carolina.

"He said Americans are lazy," Romney said. "I don't think that describes America."

And Thursday, the Democratic National Committee hit back at both GOP rivals with a Web ad questioning their record on creating jobs.

"President Obama said we need to do more to bring jobs to America," an ad banner says before a photo of Romney slides across the screen. Matched with the photo is text that states "Mitt Romney's Massachusetts: 47th in job creation."

Perry's photo is paired with: "Rick Perry's Texas. #1 in minimum wage jobs."

Calling Rick Perry's description of Obama's "lazy" remarks "another gaffe" and Romney's "another manipulation" the Web spot blasts both GOP candidates for the 2012 presidential nomination for making "another attack we just can't believe."

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates next face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.. Submit your questions for the debate here.

Also see:

Santorum: Republicans 'ignore some realities' on economy

Cain: How do you say that in 'Cuban?'

Gingrich faces more questions about Freddie Mac

soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Lenny Pincus

    Obama grew up privileged? What a fudge nugget. I haven't heard that Obama used to go to his family's hunting ranch called N!ggerhe@d. What are Texas voters thinking when they elect maroons like Perry?

    November 17, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. sequoia

    Wow, this Perry guy is really making a fool of himself. That even a single person thinks this nutball baby could/should be President is astonishing. What a loser.

    November 17, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. John

    And Rick Perry Is a little bit crazy. And he doesn't know what the heck he talking about.

    November 17, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    @ AlaskaPalin....

    I have to admit your statement if funny coming from a PALIN supporter....Ms Victim all the time. I'm sure if anyone can take the heat it's Obama, folks like you have been giving him heat from day one.

    November 17, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. ted

    sure, the son of a divorced single mom and working like hell to get where he is IS certainly not born of privilege, like Romney or the Bushes. Perry is a delusional moron.

    November 17, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Mama Judy

    Doesn't he have people advising him? ... is this what he going to do in office.?..make up stuff and make America look Stupid....get a grip...if you want to be a leader.....show us...this just cut more points off your name.....listen to your advisers I would hope they know better!!!!! Get a statement your supporters can use and not look dumb!

    November 17, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. KC

    Perry is a FLAKE and he needs to fire his entire staff because they keep letting him speak. Does he know he actuallysaid that out loud.

    November 17, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. AlaskaPalin

    Commies 11% + socialists 34% = 45% obamas/biden- lost. Conservatives = 55% Perry/Rubio or Bachmann/Newt- white house! Can't wait for 2012!

    November 17, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. AMK

    WOW – now we should vote for Perry because he is not as smart as Obama – I cannot believe that we are considering "dumbing down" the presidency AGAIN – we did that w/George W and look where it got us. A war in Iraq that was based on controlling oil – not WMD. Cheney and his croonies controling the presidency and pushing their vendettas and personal oil agendas! We need a president that has the intelligence, compassion, and guts – we need Obama!

    November 17, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @v_mag:
    Good one v_mag, but you forgot Gingrich....or maybe you did'nt. It is quite possible that Gingrich being up to his neck with trying to explain away the whole Freddie Mac thing just hasn't had TIME to comment!
    lol!!

    November 17, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. Roger

    Now do you all see what we have had to endure here in Texas the past 10 years! He's a joke yet because of the "good ole boy" mentality down here, he keeps getting re-elected. However, I think now even his most ardent supporters are seeing him for what he truly is.

    November 17, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. FLIndependent

    Wouldn't it be great if because the entire Nation has now been exposed to this buffoon that Texas goes blue in 2012!!

    November 17, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Brian`

    So lets take his idea and give the tax credit. Currently, as OCCUPY has shown, the bottom 48% pay no taxes and corporations are essentially marginal. Now he wants to create more lower middle income with no income taxes and an additional income tax break to companies.

    How about this, we have a National Minimum Income Tax. You make over 12,000 in inocme you have to pay at least 500 Federal and 175 State Income Tax. If you make over 30k double it. and 45k you have to pay at least 2000.

    This is a joke not increasing income taxes.

    Did you know OCCUPY and WALL STREET are the same. Neither the OCCUPY members nor many of the Fortune 500 Companies pay taxes. Where do they think all the services come from. The Credit Cards are max'd kids.

    November 17, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Expat American

    Rick Perry = Hank Hill
    Sarah Palin = Peggy Hill
    Bahmann = LadyBird Hill

    Perry/Palin 20-never!

    November 17, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. Christina H.

    Oh CNN how pathetic this news organization has gotten. Why don't you give news that's fair and balanced....instead always defending the politician even when they are wrong. Nobody is perfect, everyone messes up from time to time. The sad thing is that when your news organization does these things you are doing an injustice to that politician. Hey I for one am a Democrat and when someone in the party is not doing a good job there is nothing wrong with calling them out. That why I watch Fox News!

    November 17, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Rick Perry = GWB 2.0

    November 17, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. keeth in cali

    Single mother, lived with grandparents, put himself through school. Yeah, that's privilege. (fail)

    November 17, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. Evan

    Well if you consider growing up without knowing your father, with a single mother, then after she dies of cancer living with your grandparents privileged then what is Perry?

    November 17, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. susanbellnc

    President Obama did not say Americans are lazy. He said that America (as a country) has been lazy. Way to take the words out of context and make them say what you want them to say, Perry.

    November 17, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Jon

    So let me get this straight... Obama's privileged. The guy who *chose* to work in the slums of Chicago is privileged. Yeeaaaahhhh...

    November 17, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  21. asrael

    President Obama never said "Americans are lazy"; but wait a few minutes, and Romney will deny he ever said whatever he said last. And it's hard to believe that Perry actually has "angst" in his vocabulary...

    November 17, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  22. James

    "Perry says 'privileged' Obama can't relate"–Privileged or not I don't know one business man who wants him for another term–

    November 17, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. danny

    Well last time I checked Perry is privileged also, so I guess he can't relate also.

    November 17, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  24. Linda

    I don't think any candidate or the President can relate to most Americans or at least not to me and I think I have more in common with most Americans than the candidates or the President do. I was raised in a lower middle class family. My father was a salesman for a cereal company so we were transferred about every three years. We lived in average neighborhoods and I went to average schools, married an average guy who was drafted and served two years in the Army. We had the average number of children–two–who have grown into productive adults who each have one child. I would imagine each candidate spends more on one pair of shoes than I've spend in the past forty years on clothes. Now–tell me-how is it the candidates and the President know what's best for me?

    November 18, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  25. tim

    I dont like perry but obama was privileged. his grandparents and mother were CIA operatives...look it up. dems and repubs are on the same team...againt us.

    November 18, 2011 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6