'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. didi

    Yes. thank you. Finally someone calling a spade, a spade. Perry has destroyed his once promising candidacy by idiotic comments in just a week!

    August 19, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. indydave

    Bartlett is one of the precious few conservatives left, it seems, who can use their brains to actually reason.

    August 19, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. jt_flyer

    I see a pattern forming. All my comment about Rick Perry vanish while "awaiting moderation". What else may out there awaiting moderation I ask myself. Hoffa? The second gunman? Weapons of mass destruction perhaps?

    August 19, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. closetiguana

    I'd have to agree with Mr. Bartlett. "Idiot" sounds about right. Probably why Perry's handlers whisked him away soon after he made the comment.

    August 19, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. eagle2352

    I could not stop laughing.. here you have one of the most conservative, and highly intelligent men, who served under multiple Republican presidents, flat out call Perry an idiot.. I only wish they had split camera in the studio to catch the expressions on the on the set. I think the American public, other than the rabid right, religious zealots, who will argue that cavemen rode dinosaurs, finally .. I repeat finally, understand that we have to have intellect, education, and capability to govern. If the Tea Cuppers actually force him on to the ballot, I just hope that the electoral college and the independents can save us from the movie “Idiocracy” becoming a reality. Incidentally, the google search for the story about this morning “truth will out event” on CNN was found by typing in to the search box “Perry idiot”.

    August 19, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. CS

    Mr. Bartlett, thank you. As a republican, I cannot support the fools in the GOP right now. You have the Palins, Perrys, Bachmans, Walkers...all fools that make the GOP look like idiots. It's nice to see there are still some sane republicans out there.

    August 19, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    blackness in this guys eyes??? About the same as "The great White Shark,except a great white is very particular about its "Pray"!!!
    Wow! I noticed his eyes also derek, and I too was struck with how much they resemble those of a shark.
    Nice play on words with 'prey' vs 'pray' and on point.
    Perry is nothing if not a big, boisterous, bullying predator. And just like a shark he is rigid in his positions.
    Obama 2012

    August 19, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. lloyd roberts

    An honest man Bartlett, bravo. You are independent and not beholden, how refreshing the truth can be

    August 19, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. rapierpoint

    Interesting that Perry actually gave some reasoning behind his statement, but all Bartlett did was call Perry an idiot without justifying the namecalling, but at the same time, agreeing with Perry that there is politics being played at the Fed. Don't know what to think about someone that calls someone a name and then turns around and at least partially agrees with them.

    August 19, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. ronvan

    The real problem here is that ALL of them are idiotic, spoiled, children! If you think they are truly interested in helping US, the American People, I wil eat my hat! I will continue to say that the ONLY way to correct these "elected childrens" agenda, that of putting as much money, from us, in their pockets as they can, is to VOTE everyone of them out of office and start with a clean slate! And keep voting them out until they get the message!

    August 19, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    @ 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.

    Wow. I guess the new GOP only believes in what Herr Goebbels, I mean, FOX tells them what to believe. You love the Dems who agree with you ( remember the lovefest for Joe Liebermann?), but if the shoe is on the other foot, you see the charges of disloyalty and questions of sanity begin to arise. Look at Perry's record with budgets and jobs( not to mention his mouth), and tell me with a straight face if you are really comfortable with him being the front man for your campaign in 2012. I would be petrified if I were a member of the GOP, but I'm in hog heaven as a Democrat.

    August 19, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Tired of the nonsense

    Yeah, Perry's an idiot.... and?

    Who didn't already know that?

    August 19, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. vatoloke

    This guy already burned down one executive mansion in Austin. Now he wants to burn down the White House. Please stay in the once great state that was Texass.

    August 19, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    Rick McDaniel

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

    The only quaking we're doing is with laughter. He won't win, but he'll be entertaining.

    Another Texas idiot, coming right up!

    August 19, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Hmm

    "that it is time to stop trying to spend our way, out of the problem"

    Actually, you ARE supposed to spend during a Recession.
    Nice try, though.

    August 19, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. V in Chicago

    @Leo – Thank you!

    August 19, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Spoken like a true Obama puppet.

    Obama is really running scared of Perry.

    August 19, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Lenny Pincus

    Hmmm, former Bush I officials agreeing with my assessment. Of course, the only reason right wing maroons like this Perry guy is his Dominionist Christianity and "Texshis" personality, which seems to comprise mostly of saying dumb things. Sorry, seen this show before.

    August 19, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    @ Rick McDaniel......

    yeah the Dems are scared to death of Perry but a Republican called him an IDIOT...and Karl Rove is calling him out. Just shows some people don't read before they hit SEND.

    August 19, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Olaf Big

    "Team Perry" did not immmediately return request for comment...." Well, it's hard to deny the obvious, so they are looking for a positive spin. How about this: Yes, Rick Perry is an idiot, but so are most people who vote for him...

    August 19, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. BobInIrvine

    Republicans eating their own. Love it!!!

    August 19, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. Travis

    Its Team Edward for me!

    August 19, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. SiriusVH

    Leo <=== I really liked your post. I agree wholeheartedly!

    August 19, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Open seats on the Fed? It couldn't be because the Republican MINORITY in the Senate keeps putting blocks and holds on most of his nominees, just like his judicial appointments. That was why the Republican Controlled House refused to allow the Senate to go into Recess only into Adjournment, to prevent these from going in as recess appointments.

    That being said, I am pleased to see an Intelligent Republican (yes, I know you exist despite what Fox and Roger Ailes try to present to the world) recognizes Perry for the uneducated fool that he is. Perry has no understanding of Macroeconomics, Foreign Policy, Constitutional Law, or anything else a real Presidential Candidate should understand. However, he is an Evangelical, Fundamentalist Christian, which makes him an ideal Tea Party backed Candidate.

    August 19, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. REG in AZ

    I'm not for name calling and see it as "stupid" when used in political competition, yet in Perry's case it does seem well justified with all that he has been saying. It is actually hard and really meaningless to try to respond to someone in an intelligent manner when almost everything they say is ridiculous and without thought for other than getting attention ... so in this case, maybe calling Perry an "idiot" is rational and justified.

    August 19, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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