'Idiot' jab lobbed at Perry
August 19th, 2011
08:56 AM ET
11 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. Billy

    How can the secessionist accuse someone else of treason?

    August 19, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Republican for President Obama

    Yes! Call him out. Perry's comment was stupid and he should come down from the ivory tower. This is the 21st century not the 1700's.

    After 6 days I can see the "EPIC FAIL" stamp on his campaign.

    August 19, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |

    I disagree. It's the people who voted for him that are idiots.

    August 19, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. BD70

    I second that! Oh wait...need to get in line.

    August 19, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Former Republican, but never again!

    At least there's one Republican who tells the truth! I'm a Texan and believe me, Perry is an idiot!

    August 19, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. zip

    America is not ready for a president that uses a curling iron.

    August 19, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. frank burnsf

    Isn't an "idiot Tea Parytier" an oxy moron?

    August 19, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. Randy, San Francisco

    Perry is no George Bush clone. Bush wasn't the smartest president but he was no idiot. Perry is an idiot. What a pathetic field of GOP/Tea Party presidential candidates. They want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    August 19, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. Wow. Just....wow.

    I understand a lot of people want to attack his grades as proof that he's inept. It's an easy target. But look, if he was pre-vet, that's a really hard major. I major in zoology, and I barely made it through. Extremely tough curriculum. After Organic Chem 1 and 2, Genetics, Physics 1 and 2, Calculus, Physiology, Cellular Biology, etc etc, its easy to get some bad grades.

    Most of my friends in college were business majors. I was jealous of the difficulty level of their classes.

    All that being said, Perry IS an idiot. I'm really pulling for him to win the nomination, because I think it would be fantastic theatre to see him going up against President Obama.

    August 19, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. amber

    'Trending: Perry is an Idiot'......Since when was he trending in that direction – looks to me like he was born that way.

    August 19, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. hoop

    Hopefully other prominent Republicans will grow a backbone and come out against the current crop of GOP candidates. We deserve people who can articulate a policy that will get the USA going again. Instead we get morons who will say anything just to get some press coverage.

    August 19, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. God

    "Perry didn't respond". Because he couldn't figure out how to make the internet thingy work.

    August 19, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. roscoe

    If the label fits, you got to wear it. Perry is an idiot and his grades in college help prove it.

    August 19, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. Dee

    I agree Mr. Bartlett, Rick Perry is an idiot, perfect example: He called for us to pray for rain, which hasn't come yet here in Texas, yet doesn't believe in Global Warming.

    On the flip side when it does rain here in Texas, Rick Perry won't have sense to come in out of it!!

    August 19, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Rodney

    Is Bruce Bartlett any relation to Jed Bartlett?

    August 19, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Laurie in Spokane

    He IS an idiot. What moronic statements these Republican POTUS wannabees make. Don't they realize how stupid they sound? Guess not, since they continue to entertain us.

    August 19, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. Charlie in Maine

    I agree with all the negative comments about Perry's policies but it would be a big mistake to"misunderestimate" him. We've made that mistake before. He, and Bauchman are both serious threats to our democracy as is the tea bag party they serve. But they are not dumb. They need to be fought with reasoned arguments name calling will not help us a bit. Show the voters where they are wrong and these candidates will be dfeated, keep calling them names and we will not like the outcome.

    August 19, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Ancient Texan

    Perry names the Fed as being counter-productive to the problem we have and he's correct! Printing billons out of thin air lowers the value of the dollar and has done nothing to help the economy. The Fed has also refused to even acknowledge the inflation that is driving prices of food and fuel out of reach of the working class. Mr Bartlett is getting a little liberal in his views, so he's entitled to his opinion, but he's wrong. .....JD– Texas balanced it's budget this year by cutting spending, something that is foreign to the Federal Government.

    August 19, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. Matt

    Perry may be an idiot, time will tell, but Bruce Bartlett is an opportunist. He has created a personal cottage industry around criticizing the GOP in order to curry fame from a lusty left-leaning media.

    Bruce Bartlett was never a principal in the Conservative movement. He never was considered a thought leader. He is simply parlaying his former buraucrat status into a payday by bashing Republicans. Today he argues in favor of policy that Reagan would excoriate and yet claims to be the arbiter on who abides by the Reagan revolution.

    He is a shill and an opportunist.

    August 19, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. LM

    I own a staffing business in Houston, TX. I challenge anyone to say Texas hasn't been the place to be during this recession. And I am not placing minimum wage jobs either! 155 companies alone last year moved from California (not to pick on CA. Just numbers I am using) to Texas. And we're seeing a big increase in population from other states in terms of potential workers. The problem is going to be how do we keep up with population growth. People and companies are escaping higher taxes, bad employment markets, higher cost of living and higher cost of doing business (I get this from new Texans I interview). Just is what it is. The media isn't being honest and they are twisting things to their liberal advantage. Sorry, for to those that don't want to hear the truth.

    August 19, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. Jonsie

    George Bush's fault, George Bush's fault, George Bush's fault – grow up kids, at some point the Dem's have to stop putting the blame on everyone but themselves, Obams has the Congress he wanted for two years and still could not do anthing! The economy sucks, job market sucks and deficit over the top and has gotten much worse during his presidency. Could pointing fingers at other people and fix it!!

    August 19, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. In order for 15 MILLION to find a job, only ONE must LOSE his.... Fire Obama in 2012

    While Perry didn't say it very well, he's absolutely correct that the Fed should NOT be printing any more money. We already have high inflation. Their primary goal was to keep inflation in check. Instead they have been printing money like crazy trying to save Obama from himself. Meanwhile WE pay for ever increasing food and fuel. It is a hidden Obama tax on everybody.

    August 19, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. Tom

    Isn't advocating secession treasonous?

    August 19, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  24. nomoreipo

    Being from TX, we're all in a state of panic watching Perry self destruct this early in his campaign. Our hope is that he'd resign as governor before showing what an idiot he really is. At this pace, it looks like we're going to be stuck with him, along with the other hot air for a while.

    August 19, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    once upon a horse observed:
    wow Republicans calling other Republicans idiots...OMG what would Ronald Regan say about THIS???
    Reagan would first throw Perry out of the party, and then call him an idiot.

    August 19, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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