'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. Old Salt

    In Texas, don't they call that "All hat and no cattle"?

    August 19, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Mark from Louisiana

    Michelle Obama and President Obama traveled to Martha’s Vineyard just hours apart, costing taxpayers thousands in additional expenses so she could have just a bit of extra vacation time.

    Mrs. Obama and her daughters arrived just before 2 pm Thursday on a U.S. government jet, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times, which got its information from the local airport. The first lady’s office has been silent on her travel. President Obama arrived in the evening along with the family dog Bo.

    The extra costs related to Mrs. Obama’s solo trip mainly include the flight on a specially designed military aircraft she took instead of Air Force One, as well as any extra staff and Secret Service that had to be enlisted to go with her. She would also have had her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence.

    Mrs. Obama’s separate jet travel sends the wrong message on a host of issues, from global warming to the budget deficit to the economy – in which currently so many people can’t afford to take a vacation at all.

    This is not the first time Michelle has gone on vacation ahead of the president on the taxpayers’ tab. Last December, she racked up what was likely more than $100,000 in expenses leaving early for their Hawaii vacation.

    Thanks to one of our readers, who goes by Lizzy, for noting the double dip.

    August 19, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Truth hurts

    That Perry is idiot is indeed indisputable – unless you a brain washed evangelical, a CEO pal pulling in $50 million + a year, or an easily led, working class FOX type viewer who will always be persuaded to vote against their own and the nation's best interests. Unfortunately even when it's clearly stated by a respected conservative who was a Bush snr advisor, these people still manage to stick their heads in the sand. Sad.

    August 19, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Expertia

    I am voting for Rick Perry for President.

    August 19, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. leon

    if all the RepubliCANTS produce is Perry and Bachmann, who can't keep her foot out of her mouth, then it is laughable to think things will improve.

    August 19, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Joe T.

    I cannot recall a time when so many inconsequential people were taken seriously by a large segment of our population. Palin, O'Donnell, Perry, Bachman, etc. are all fringe candidates who 1) make up stuff or don't have a clue to the real facts 2) Have a good dose of narcissism 3) Align themselves with corporations/big business against the middle class 4) Appeal to the disenfranchised right wing nuts who would decimate the Constitution and our way of life. 5) Claim to be Christians but have no clue as to what that really means, because their greed is all encompassing( "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to attain the kingdom of heaven") If you look closely, it is a philosophy of "I got mine, want to keep it, and the hell with you".

    August 19, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Old Salt

    As an ardent supporter of the president, I'm going to work as hard as I can to help Perry to win the GOP nomination. He would be even a better opponent than Palin or Bachman.

    August 19, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    @ Trevor Adams

    Bruce Bartlett is a former advisor to Reagan in the sense that Ann Coulter is a former MSNBC employee. This guy's livelihood is based entirely upon ripping the ripping the free market, then hiding behind the caveat "...and I worked for Reagan!" Read his NYT columns. He's left of Krugman. Oh, and he doesn't even have a degree in economics.

    No, he does not have a degree in economics, and Rick Perry was a C student in Animal Science who denies evolution: how is that really relevant to making policy? What you miss is the fact that Bartlett has the practical experience of having helped make policy at a national level, while Perry is only experienced at taking money from DC and his corporate masters, and lodging blame with others. There are no real "Perry initiatives" unless you count taking Stim money to balance a budget designed solely to benefit Big Business. BTW, you don't have to be Paul Krugman to read jobs data and realize the jobs Perry 'created" were largely min-wage in the private sector, or Public sector jobs, which outpaced private sector by a factor of 2 to1. Bartlett is not ripping on the Free Market, he recognizes the practical limitations of it to produce jobs, something you would understand if the GOP had not pulled over so far to the right that fascists are getting crowded off the roads.

    August 19, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |

    Bruce isn't in lockstep. Wingnuts still blame the liberal media. Rick Bush was sent from heaven to help President Obama.
    He has the Snookie Palin foot in mouth problem.

    August 19, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. StMike

    We have those texas members of limited intelligence and idiot design like bush and perry!!!! Where people who think they are normal kill and institutionalize those who really are normal!!!!!

    August 19, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Robrob

    "I mean, printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous, or treasonous, in my opinion," – – Perry isn't just an idiot, he also needs to bone up on the meaning of big words.

    August 19, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. EMCG

    If Rick Perry is an 'idiot' then he's my kind of stupid. Believe it or not, different people in this country talk, and act and posture themselves differently. If Perry's Texas drawl and straightforward frankness is described as idiocy, then perhaps it's time for this county to get stuck on a different kid of stupid than what we have now. One thing's for certain. He's not more concerned about getting elected than he is about leading.

    August 19, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. closetiguana

    If the shoe fits...

    August 19, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Tea Party Mike

    The only real idiots are those who actually think it would be a good idea if Bernanke printed more money and further devalued the dollar. When the dollar drops in value so does everyone's pay checks and that goes for unempolyment checks and food stamps to. It also lowers the value of the interest paid to those who have borrowed money the the US Government, causing them to be reluctant to borrow more in the future unless the US pays a higer rate of interest. If the US has to pay higher interest in order to borrow the money it needs to feed the Obama big government machine, then future deficits will be even higher than currently projected. All bad policy for the US.
    Perry should have chosen less harsh language, but he was smart on the substance of his statments.

    August 19, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Mike

    Since both the normal left and the normal right call Perry an idiot does that mean he is a tea party darling?

    August 19, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. tess

    bartless obviously is jealous of the impact perry is making on conservatives and he's not a part of it. i'm getting pretty sick of the RINO's criticizing perry because he is speaking for the majority of americans who are fed up with what washington and some of the elected poi-poi are doing to us. we need to clean house and that is exactly what perry will do and that scares the crap out of these people who have been on the public dole way too long.

    August 19, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Brian

    The Dems are certainly not great, but what bothers me about the entire GOP field, is their lack of substantive solutions. We have 16 months till the next election - What legislation exactly, will the GOP champion during that time, that will help the economy? My guess is they will obstruct, filibuster, and block anything that could possibly be construed as helping the economy get better - all because any improvement will help Obama and the Dems keep control. S&P said the Partisan bickering, along with the GOP's anti Revenue stance were cited as two of the main reasons for our downgrade. Sadly it is good Politics just to blame the other party for our debt, but in reality, both parties are culpable. The Tea Party represent the Hooverites of the 21'st Century, and offer the same Fiscal Austerity card, Hoover used during the Great Depression, which caused Unemployment to soar from 9 to 25%. It is not Rocket Science - If Govt. is the Countries largest employer, (Which it is) if you cut Trillions from the budget it will result in massive unemployment, and reduced Revenue. Fiscal Austerity, when implemented alone, will create a whirlpool effect of decreased GDP. That is the fact. Its all been tried before, during the Depression. The only true solutions to our debacle is to Lower Corporate taxes to 15%, in line with the world's lowest – Repatriate offshored money without penalty, and Revise the tax code through a VAT, Flat Tax, or National Sales Tax, with appropriate exemptions for the poor and elderly. A National Sales Tax would allow us to tax Imports, without breaking Intl. agreements that limit tariffs. The Tea Party( and their followers, will inadvertently create The Great Depression through Austerity. This is the Unintended Consequence of Fiscal Austerity without fundamental tax Reform. We don't have just a spending problem ( IRS stats prove the Bush Tax cuts substantially lowered Govt. Revenue from 18.5 to 14.9%) We have both a spending problem, and a Revenue problem - To address one without the other will increase both the length and depth of our malaise.

    August 19, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Pukita

    How is it that the great state of Texas get to pick such mediocrities, starting with Bush Junior, to lead them.

    August 19, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. dutspup

    The ONLY republican with a brain is obviously Ron Paul, perry is a theif and is uneducated.

    August 19, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Alex A.

    I hate it when people claim that Obama had congress for 2 years all to himself....
    Its not true!!!! Obama had control of the house and in the senate he had 58 senators for 6 months including the 2 independents.
    People seem to forget that Ted Kennedy did on August 25 2009.

    August 19, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    We don't need another texas village idiot. It reminds me of Mrs Corleone telling Michael's girlfriend that her son was not what she thought of him being.
    The US is number 45 in a listnof income equality. Nigeria, cameroon, evdn iran fard better than us. The pack of arse holes on faux news are incensed because a family of four with a salary of all of $22,000 a year have luxuries such as 99% have a refrigerator, 81% have a microwave,78% have a/c and, how dare them, 25%have a dishwasher. This is while calling Buffett a socialist. How dare poor people have a refrigertator while the richbhave a private jet.the bottom 50% control only 2.5% of the wealth in the US. Who is a socialist now???? Yes, the rich!!

    August 19, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Aurelius1947

    Why is it that the great state of Texas gets to pick such mediocrities, starting with Bush Junior, to lead them.

    August 19, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. ljjm

    Perry reminds me of schoolyard bully—calling names, strutting around. God save us!

    August 19, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    While his choice of words could have been less controversial, the message was that the US should NOT print money, as a short term fix of the economy, because.........there is no long term benefit to doing so.........quite the contrary.......devaluation of the dollar, would be the result, and that would be damaging in the long term.

    I totally agree with that, and anyone who truly thinks this economy is going away any time soon, is going to be the idiot.

    August 19, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. bellablue

    I LOVE this GOP sparring!! The left of the right of the right of the left are ALL in a quandry!! The Republican Party will NEVER be as we once knew it. They have gone so far right they have fallen off a cliff! And not even KARL ROVE can save them!!

    August 19, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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