'Idiot' jab lobbed at Perry
August 19th, 2011
08:56 AM ET
12 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. John in Colorado

    The shocking thing here is how little people know about the Fed, why it exists, why is MUST remain independent. Elected officials like Congress and the President decide fiscal policy (taxes and spending). But the Fed handles monetary policy (how much money is in circulation). That is what decides the level of inflation and the lower end of interest rates that financial institutions charge for loans. The Fed is a bank's bank. Would anyone really want the likes of an ignorant politician deciding monetary policy? God help us! Gov Perry doesn't know the least thing about it. For him to threaten the Fed Chairman displays his abject ignorance. Also the crime of Treason was much abused by dictators and monarchs. So in our country we reserve that to aiding and abetting the enemies of the United States. Gov Perry should be ashamed of himself for trying to politicize that grave crime.

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

    There's already a "Rick Perry Is An Idiot" page. Wonder if Bruce Bartlett started it.

    August 19, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Chris~Albany, NY

    Obviously! I saw video of him yesterday in NH talkin to an 8 year old boy about science. He told this kid when talking about evolution or creationism that he was smart enough to figure it out for himself. UM HELLO that's why kids go to school to LEARN THE FACTS! An 8 year old isn't smart enough to know! Perry is an idiot.

    August 19, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |

    No truer words have been spoken. Now, start digging deeper into Perry's campaign & see the ties to big corporations that are using Perry for their puppet. He's been a puppet for a long, long time. The push is on in Texas to bribe people to vote Republican. Wonder how widespread this disease is?

    August 19, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |

    Bartlett is truly irrelevant. It is clear that he is seeking attention, and the easiest way to get that is to bash your fellow Reps, because the liberal MSM will sniff this out and make it headline news. There are PLENTY of Dems who think that Obama is a disgrace and leading us to disaster. BUT you will NEVER hear about them in the MSM. In other words, HO HUM...

    August 19, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Anita

    We are in this mess because of Bush and Perry makes Bush look like a genious.

    August 19, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. MSH Miami

    To paraphrase Bubba Gump's momma, "Idiot is as idiot does."

    August 19, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. TheAlaskaCurmudgeon

    Actually, there is a long string of adjectives that should preface the term "idiot" when it is applied to Perry, but if I posted those adjectives, my comment would be blocked. Unfortunately, the need for polite speech sometimes prevents honest speech in the public realm.

    August 19, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Mountaineer

    Perry is distinctly UNQUALIFIED to be President of CITY DUMP let along President of the United States. I thought He seceded already!

    August 19, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Tony 140

    Having a "brilliant" Harvard elitist and his academic cronies run our country hasn't worked out real well – give me a Texas A.M. idiot who served in the military.

    August 19, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. GUYinVA

    Bruce who? His former government positions aside, he reminds me of many of today's leftist pundits. He calls Rick Perry an idiot, and then doubts anyone would argue with it. Of course they wouldn't once it has been spoken as fact by the Great "Bruce". Not only that, but spoken by the Great Bruce on CNN. Kind of like global warming... I mean climate change. "All debate is over." If you disagree with Governor Perry, so be it. Show your perceived brilliance and explain why he's wrong. Rational people will listen.

    August 19, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. geno

    All hat and no cattle!

    August 19, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Ron in California

    Geitner seems to fall into the category more than Perry does. Two reasons , 1. he's fumbled the job and 2. He doesn't know when to quit.

    August 19, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Pam

    We ALL think Perry is an idiot!!!

    August 19, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Tony 140

    Thank God the Senate Repubs are putting holds on BHO Fed nominations. Just what we need – more Federal Reserve people with this Administrations economic priorities. These Senators should be given medals.

    August 19, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Starman

    Just what is this Republican affection for idiots? Is it really necessary? Are there no prominent Republicans, educated and capable, willing to seek office?

    August 19, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Objectivity

    Mona2010 That is where you go wrong. If the stimulus worked in Texas then Perry must have had conducive policies for it to work unlike other states. Private sector work and stimulus will work in places like Texas because of their policies. As long as policies are wrong in other states the stimulus won't work .Go figure that too!!!

    August 19, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. herbert juarez

    Perrys' best chance for the Republican nomination was before he opened his mouth.The more he speaks the more he distances himself from ever gaining the White House.For that matter why would Texas even want him back?

    August 19, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Jonesie:
    Babe, I noticed that no one thanked you for playing, so.....Thanks for playing!!
    Obama 2012

    August 19, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Jim in Chewelah

    I'd rather be governed by the first few hundred people in the phone book than by any incumbents or aspiring candidates.

    August 19, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Carrington1

    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.

    August 19, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. Zil Zerimar

    Only in America that an "idiot" can run for president. And only in Texas that an idiot can be a governor. Mr. Barlett are you sure he is an idiot?

    August 19, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. rs

    Calling Perry an idiot is pretty mild. I'd call him something much, much worse. He can't tell the truth; doesn't believe in science; calls for secession, but thinks the Fed. Chair is the treasonous one. This guy is GWB all over again. He wasn't an idiot he was a moron. If the GOP/TP thinks so little of us that this guy is presented as a viable candidate (along with crazy Bachmann, and the rest of the uber right rabble), then they don't deserve winning elections to higher offices... dog catcher parhaps.

    August 19, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. John

    Rick Perry Is a Idiot. And so Is most of the people the Tea Party Back. Just look at there track record. You have O'Donnell ,Angle , Palin ,Bachmann, Perry ,Cain and the List go on.

    August 19, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. In order for 15 MILLION to find a job, only ONE must LOSE his.... Fire Obama in 2012

    Don't just LOVE how the lbtards trying to paint all of their political opponents as "idiots" while all of their "progressives" are Einstein level geniuses?!!

    Yet here we sit, mired in record unemployment, for record time, with record foreclosure, record debt, record deficits, sky rocketing food and fuel prices, while the man they proclaim is a genius runs this country into the financial abyss by trying to spend and borrow our way to properity. All while the markets crash, his signature healthcare "reform" is judged unconstitutional and he takes a nice long vacation in between campaign fund raisers. Golfing while Rome burns...

    I'll take my chances with the "idiot" thank you!!!!!!!!!

    August 19, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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