'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. Spydyee

    To: rapierpoint
    Perhaps Bartlett expected too much of the American people. Perhaps he expected you to know your history and know that Andrew Mellon, Secretary of the treasury under President Hoover along with President Hoover had Perry's mentality or rather he has the same mentality that they did following the stock market crash of 1929 which drove the economy into the great depression. Go read the Wikipedia article on Andrew Mellon and you will see how he took this great nation from what it was under Theodore Roosevelt into the depths of the Great Depression as the secretary of the treasury under Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover. Ben Bernanke seems to be the only person in this country that understands that concept but he has studied the causes of the Great Depression as part of his graduate studies. Dr. Bernanke is actually a great deal more qualified than Rick Perry or even Barack Obama to decide how to deal with our financial crisis in this country. Unfortunately his powers are limited by the very people that are pretty clueless about how to fix the problem and they are not listening to him. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    August 19, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Roger Rabbit

    Well, it's not like this is the first time Perry has heard that adjective directed his way... He's probably heard that every day of his 61 years of life on this planet.

    August 19, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Richard Aberdeen

    Perhaps he should have tossed in global warming and what Jesus really said along with his criticism regarding the Fed Head. It's doesn't take more than an elementary school student to understand that if ice is disappearing, the planet is warming up and, it even takes less education that that to understand that nobody is lying abut Jesus worse than the Republicans, except of course the lying ass tv evangelists, who like to pretend he was some sort of supply side capitalist and otherwise, justify to the mega millions flowing into their stain-glass coffers.

    August 19, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. Objectivity

    If an idiot is running Texas for over 10 years then why isn't the state collapsing like California. I am an independent and reading the bias approach in these blogs is unbelievable. People have differences in their governing styles and beliefs. That is what makes America great. If someone is Christian and isn't liberal it does not mean they are idiots. If someone doesn't get good grades at school it does not mean their idiots. The richest men in the world like Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Richard Branson dropped out of school. There is a thin line between name calling. Perry may not be be perfect but he has tried to do a good job in Texas. Give him credit.

    August 19, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Snehal

    Atleast someone is speaking the truth from Fed side! Yes, we all know how idiot is Perry, Palin, Bachmann. Huckabee. A ddeck of cards have 2 jokers, GOP has four!

    August 19, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Spydyee

    To: Rick McDaniel
    If he is running scared it is only because he realizes that the school systems in this country have deteriorated to the point that a huge portion of the American people are uneducated enough to vote for this moron just like they voted for Dubya!

    August 19, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Blswan

    Yes, what we in TX have known for a long time. Perry is an IDIOT!

    August 19, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. w l jones

    Only one way to get out of recession stimulate the economy freeze wages and basic good and work our way out it over time. We would not have a treasure department if not appoint a man who uses his mind eyes to see far into monetary situation of the country. Bless.

    August 19, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. Ken in NC

    WOW... A Republican calls a TeaPublican "An IDIOT". Republicans can't hit back at Democrats on this one because it came right out of their own backfield. Since he is not the only one tagging this Perry dude from the backfield, I would think there must be some truth in what they say. We'll all know soon enough. Some reporter covering Perry will ask him to comment on the accusations sooner or later and if he dodges giving a direct answer that he is or is not an IDIOT then we can assume he did not want to admit to it.

    August 19, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Richard

    A former high-ranking Republican official in the Reagan and Bush I administrations has called Governor Perry an idiot? As a registered Independent voter who votes primarily along Democratic lines, my faith in the traditional Republican Party has been restored. If we could see similar action from sitting establishment Republicans in Congress, I would believe that there is still hope for America!

    August 19, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Spydyee

    To: Jonsie
    RE:typos in my previous response
    This is the corrected version of what I was trying to type at the beginning. Had a kid in my lap needing attention and I lost my train of thought for a few minutes.

    Actually he did not have the Congress he wanted.If you understood how the Senate works then you would understand that if the House had bulldozed the Republicans then the republicans would have filibustered the Senate and nothing would have gotten done. So they had no choice but to try to work with the party of resistance and destruction instead of simply doing what they wanted.

    August 19, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Ken in NC

    I must admit, however that I do not think Perry is an IDIOT. Most IDIOTS I know are much smarter than this guy comes of as being. For him to be an IDIOT, he would have to be as smart of an IDIOT as Sarah Palin and I don't think he has reached he level yet.

    August 19, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Ghost Writer

    Ben Bernarnke does not know what he is doing and is causing this recession to linger. Regardless of how Perry said it...there is no question that Ben Berarnke NEEDS TO GO!!

    August 19, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. txbd948

    To Ray E. Georgia: Are you blaming President Clinton for printing money with nothing to back it up? If you had bothered to do any research you would know that it was President Nixon that took the U.S. off the gold standard(i.e. our money was actually backed by gold reserves). Once we were off the gold standard the value of our currency was determined solely by faith in our government, which the GOP and the tea party destroyed by holding our economy hostage till the last minute and not backing any sort of tax hike(i.e. increase in revenue which S&P specifically called for in its press release defending the downgrade of U.S. debt)

    It's like this people, if you are behind on your bills, what do you do? You stop spending so much money on things you don't need, but you also pick up extra hours at work or get a second job! It's not that hard people...

    August 19, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Ron in SC

    Clearly, the man is and idiot but what is even more troubling is his and Bachmann's connection to a religious movement called Dominionism. Check it out...very scary! Perry spends a lot of time talking about the "jobs" he created in Texas during his reign but Texas under his "leadership" has gone from 4% unemployment when he took office to over 8% now. Texas is one of the lowest states in spending for education and investing in education. Over one quarter of the population has no health insurance. A large portion of the "jobs" that were created in Texas were created by the Stimulus monies that he took and now he spends a great amount of time railing against the stimulus. Ah, Republican/Tea Party...they just don't know where the truth begins and the lies end do they!

    August 19, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Ghost Writer

    I think the Democrats are scared that Perry has what it takes to take on Obama...I am independent. I feel we would be better off with Hillary Clinton than Obama(that was the Democrats mistake). Hillary had far more experience than Obama did. Look...Obama has been talking about what he is going to do about jobs since 2009. Yet unemployment remains at 9.2%. He is ineffective as a President. People just need to wake up and smell the coffee!! Obama is the real idiot!

    August 19, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. charles

    You cannot hate Obama so much that you lets the good things that might this country great go down. Let Perry, Bachman and other remember that!!!

    August 19, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. hjs3

    Apparently someone stocked the pond with GOP gusto this election cycle and it wasn't necessarily the best or the brightest either. Damn these people are scary....

    August 19, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. mona2010

    To Objectivity:

    And how was these jobs created, through Obama's stimulous package, not through any private sector....Go figure!!!!!

    August 19, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. TOM

    This is not news to a Texan! Listen to the man for 10 minutes and you can see where he is coming from. He was just lucky he made it as far as he has and that being because the is so conservative and Texas back woods people love that! Man does he have them fooled!

    August 19, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Jon

    "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.

    You have got to be kidding me. The REASON there are so many vacancies is because of Republicans blocking confirmation of people like Peter Diamond. Mr. Diamond won a Nobel prize for his work on unemployment but was deemed unacceptable by the GOP. Yeah, I guess having an expert on unemployment on the Federal Reserve right now would be a bad idea. How pathetic can you get?

    August 19, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. MTATL67

    What I don't understand about the Secessionist governor is how can you tax a state with a tax surplus to have debt of around $27B with an oil based economy and have to borrow millions from the federal government then criticize that same government for over spending......I have to agree with Mr. Bartlett.

    August 19, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. RAWoD

    Vote NO on Incumbents. Rick Perry is one but (hopefully) not for long.

    August 19, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. JeffBertram

    Another town in Texas has lost its idiot. Maybe the fence needs to be placed around Texas not the Mexican border.....

    August 19, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. gar

    Does Slick Rick have a brain? It's a theory that's out there, but no one can prove it!

    August 19, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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