'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. lefty avenger

    Rick Perry is a corporate evangelical right wing extremist tea party terrorist from texas. Bush on steroids, right wing nuts must love this man.

    August 19, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. atypical

    tempting . .but not necessary to resort to calling people names. I do think that Perry would not make good president for many reasons, but I also think he is right about it not being a good idea to print more money.
    this isn't a monopoly game where we can all play pretend. . . . or maybe we can–but it's not a good idea.

    August 19, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. sam

    Chris Matthews on MSNBC is right, President Obama should create a Jobs Bill for all of the GOP/Tea Party leaders who asked for money to create jobs in their district, put it out there for them to sign it, if they refuse to sign the jobs bill for money that they asked for to creat jobs in their district, not just the voters but the world will see who's not creating jobs...the GOP/Tea Party. Their mission to make President Obama a one term President/make him fail is going to back fire on their ***es!

    August 19, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. mikeymike

    Michael Steele is the only Republican I can stomach these days. He's the only one that argues for Republican tenets without misrepresenting the opposition.

    August 19, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. GOP =Get Obama Party

    Here we go again.........

    Every time Cowboy Slick opens his mouth, only STOOOOPID comes out – just like Michelle...........

    $arah taught them well, didn't she???????

    August 19, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    @ 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

    The man being quoted served in the Reagan administration and worked for Bush 41: care to explain how this is the Dems blaming Bush 43? He simply stated some hard facts that you can accept, and he did not get Obama off the hook either. Stop laying all the blame at Obama's feet, and start accepting the fact the GOP is responsible for this mess as well.


    No one disputes the population growth, but your experience cannot be used as an accurate gauge of how the TX economy is doing. Private sector job growth in 10 years is 9%, public sector is 19% and largely funded with stim money. Those Public sector jobs will disappear as soon as Perry's budget cuts kick in: who is going to want to move to a state with lousy schools and no services? You are servicing companies relocating: how much of your business comes from longtime TX residents? Sorry, but you sound like a soundbite, and you are the one who does not want to face the truth.

    August 19, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. MrFabulus46

    Rick Parry with an A, slowly? Self-destructing? I have to disagree with that. Before he even declared he was running he had openly discusseed cessetion from the US & held his Prayerapaloosa in Reliant Stadium in Houston. The guy's Texas A&M transcript clearly indicates he's a dim bulb. Then, he declares & within 3 days publically states the following: 1. Ben Bernacke would esssentially be tarred & feathered if he came to Texass; 2. He doesn't "believe" in global warming! & 3. He believes evolution is just a "theory" with holes in it & that's why he's proud they teach creationism in "his" state. Clearly, if he flaps his mouth so indiscreetly in the first week of his run, we can look forward to a fun Fall. I'm so happy someome of some import had the stones to state the simple truth: the guy IS an idiot. Now about Bachmann.....any takers???

    August 19, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. MiketheElectrician

    Thanks Bruce for that, hmm, I wonder how the new GOP will try to spin this, since it comes from a member of the Reagan's administration. I will take sensible words over McDonalds jobs anyday.

    August 19, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. MAC

    Perry is no more of an idiot on economics than our current President. Lawyers are definitely not masters of the economy!

    August 19, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    Team Perry includes: Ronald McDonald. Yogi Bear, Booboo Bear, Wiley E. Coyote and The Roadrunner

    August 19, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Spydyee

    To: Charlie in Maine

    You are absolutely right about how to go at them but maybe we have different reasons why. They are such idiots that if you go at them using historical facts about a different President that tried their approach and failed you can stump them because they don't know their history. Of course that means that the Democrats need to know their history and the reality is that the only one that seems to know that is Ben Bernanke over at the Fed and he is the very person Perry is attacking. I would love it if Ben would come out and challenge Perry but then the Dems would fall in line behind him and life would get interesting. This Independent would love to watch that whole scenario unfold. Perry scares me because I can see the next series of shanty towns and tent cities being called Perryvilles instead of Hoovervilles.

    August 19, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    The Dems are obviously really scared of Perry. They are quaking in their shoes, that he will defeat them.

    August 19, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. cm

    Well to be honest the man looks like an idiot if he not.

    August 19, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Carrington1

    Bartlett is hardly an impartial "Republican" source. He has been off the GOP reservation for a long time. While calling Bernanke "treasonous" is an overstatement, countries that start "printing money" often do get in trouble and it is perfectly rational to criticize that practice, no matter what the outspoken Mr. Bartlett might think.

    August 19, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    just look at practically ANY picture taken of Rick Perry and tell me if this guy's elevator goes all the way up to the top. He is not very bright but shrewd.
    @LM....I live in Texas too and if I had a company that could come here, pay lower wages and benefits and make a good profit for myself despite what my workers may suffer I guess if I had that frame of mind I would do it also. But don't look to get employees from the area unless you don't mind having droputs or folks without highschool diplomas since our state is near the top in not graduating our kids. And GUESS where Gov Perry is going to start cutting next...education of course. And the "evil left wing media" is not lying about that.

    August 19, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |

    @ LM, Lets hear some truth, Perry didn't create those jobs, as you said those jobs came from companies moving to TX., one of those reasons you gave was lower taxes....Perry didn't have to raise taxes in TX. because he took billions of dollars from the Obama stimulus package to pay down the states debt.....TX. lost around 50,000 private sector jobs, and added 115,000 federal, state, and local jobs....This is the same TX.GOV. who is going around saying the stimulus package failed, and we should reduce more of the federal gov., while the state is benifiting from those same policies...... if you want us hear the truth, you need to know the truth...

    August 19, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. religious right

    The religious right just love their idiots; all of them.....
    palin, bachmann, perry, rush, hannity, beck, koch boyz, murdoch..... oops, murdoch and the koch boyz are behind it all but they are certainly not idiots

    August 19, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. FromTexas

    Rick Perry's GPA out of A&M was 1.9583. His last semester he received two B's....if one of them was a C he would not have passed. All that said, this doesn't make him an idiot, but it does show he isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. And I personally think we need some pretty smart folks getting this country out of the mess it is in.

    And btw, Perry does say some things that put him in the "idiot" category. Such as doubting the theory of evolution.

    August 19, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Richard Ryder

    Perry thinks his "national" campaign is like his "Texas" campaign....he cant say the idiotic things he could in Texas on the national and international stage..can you imagine the embarrassment he would cause overseas? Bush put his big Texas foot in his mouth many times...I was there...and heard it...unbelievable. Perry might sell in Waco or Van Horn, Texas,but not in the real world...they would eat him up...his silly Texas bravado will wear thin. I am a lifelong GOPer and I would never vote for him. I would vote Obama before Perry...he is truly rude and crude and we deserve better. And Bachmann? Well her own words seal her fate...promising 2.00 gas and no teleprompter? She is a fool!!

    August 19, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. Kool Aid

    A REPUBLICAN is calling this guy an idiot...interesting. That should ENSURE he is elected.

    August 19, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Now this is a joke!

    One moron calling other an idiot! now this is GOP!

    Looks like GOP is seriously fractured! Team bush, Team perry, Team teaparty, Team Karl Rove and Bartlett!
    A Moron Bartlett calls other an idiot! We all know what happned under GW bush! anyone working under him and contributed to this state of affairs is absolute moron!

    Anyway congrats Obama! on more term! Thanks to seriously fractured GOP!

    August 19, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    LM wrote:
    ".... 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."
    Truth be told, I cannot wait to see how Texas balances its' budgets now that Perry has decided to cut and run on the deficit disaster he's created in Texas.

    One major reason why some states have higher taxes, lower taxes, or even no taxes, has to do with the cost of living in those areas and how much in way of federal dollars they receive.

    Every state "pays" tax revenue to the feds through their residents filing federal income taxes. Some states pay out a lot more than what they get back.

    And, some states experience high costs of living, which translates to high cost of doing business, because prices are set higher for goods and services. Don't blame the states for that because high prices can be chalked up to good old capitalism, which says charge the highest price the market can withstand. So, places like NY are expensive because you have so many folks making millions hand over foot each year. You might be awed by the McMansions around here.

    August 19, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. jt_flyer

    If you hit him in the head -forget it; it was a wasted blow. You NEVER hit a Texan in the head! Never!

    August 19, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  24. Perry Winkle

    Super to see Perry get hammered for being a cheap, hypocritial flake.

    August 19, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. shamgar50

    What choices Republicans have! ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 19, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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