Perry says 'privileged' Obama can't relate
November 17th, 2011
12:24 PM ET
9 years ago

Perry says 'privileged' Obama can't relate

(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry backed up his "pathetic" criticism of President Obama late Thursday, saying the incumbent's thinking is based on his background.

"He grew up in a privileged way," Perry said while explaining his ad attack that decries President Obama's description of America as being "a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades."

Obama made the comments Saturday in Hawaii during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit as he explained the nation can do a better job of selling goods outside of the U.S.

"You know, he never had to really work for anything and he never had to go through what Americans are going-you know, there's 14-plus million Americans sitting out there, some of them watching this program tonight that don't have a job," Perry said in an interview on Fox News.

"The president has never felt that angst that they have in their heart."

President Obama's memoir, "Dreams from my Father," published in 1995, documents a less than privileged childhood marked by the divorce of his parents when the president was two years old, his father's absence, and a move to Jakarta after his mother remarried. At 10 years old, Obama returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. His mother followed later. He was admitted to a  college preparatory school in the fifth grade on scholarship.

But for Perry, Obama's background falls short.

"We need a president who's been through the ups and downs of life, who understands what it's like to have to deal with the issues of our economy we have today in America, and that's what this election is gonna be about," he continued. "Who has a plan to get America working again."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also attacked the president's comments, saying he doesn't think Obama understands America at a campaign event in South Carolina.

"He said Americans are lazy," Romney said. "I don't think that describes America."

And Thursday, the Democratic National Committee hit back at both GOP rivals with a Web ad questioning their record on creating jobs.

"President Obama said we need to do more to bring jobs to America," an ad banner says before a photo of Romney slides across the screen. Matched with the photo is text that states "Mitt Romney's Massachusetts: 47th in job creation."

Perry's photo is paired with: "Rick Perry's Texas. #1 in minimum wage jobs."

Calling Rick Perry's description of Obama's "lazy" remarks "another gaffe" and Romney's "another manipulation" the Web spot blasts both GOP candidates for the 2012 presidential nomination for making "another attack we just can't believe."

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates next face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.. Submit your questions for the debate here.

Also see:

Santorum: Republicans 'ignore some realities' on economy

Cain: How do you say that in 'Cuban?'

Gingrich faces more questions about Freddie Mac

soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Laverne

    This guy is something else, and is obviously desperate to remain relevant when he is not! Perry is in denial and in too far over his head. After all the fuss about him jumping into the race because he is what the world has been waiting on proved to fizzle right away and now Mr. Dufus has no other choice than to stay in until there is no one left to listen to him except his family. Creep!

    November 17, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. kevin beck

    I am interested in what policies the candidates will have concerning diabetes research funding. Organizations such as JDRF have made signifucant progress in reent years on juvenile diabetes treatments.

    November 17, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Dan

    One thing for sure, that empty suit in the middle will be gone in 2012. Who will replace him is anyone's guess right now.

    November 17, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Would somebody please get this guy off the stage? This election is about running for POTUS, not president of your high school class. Name calling and mud slinging ( just to see what sticks ) by a candidate is a disgrace to the office of POTUS.

    November 17, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. dennis freeman

    Words cannot describe Rick Perry...

    November 17, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. Dan5404

    The big problem with the remarks is that they are both lying through their teeth. Obama did not call the American people lazy...he said officials and representatives of industry and business have been a little bit lazy in attracting foreign business to America. I don't know about you, but I am not such a representative, but I am a citizen. Also, he was hardly privileged, living in a broken home, raised for several years by grandparents, but smart enough as a kid to get a scholarship into a good school. Before you believe a mislading soundbite, find out what was REALLY said.

    November 17, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Wes B.

    What planet is Perry from anyway? Obama didn't have a privileged upbringing at all. Unless you mean that know...studied hard and learned stuff in school (unlike Perry).

    November 17, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Jake

    Obama put himself through college by taking out student loans....i think he can relate a whole lot more than most elected officials!

    Did Rick Perry go to college?

    November 17, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    kevin beck observed:

    I am interested in what policies the candidates will have concerning diabetes research funding.
    I am sad to report the answers. Cut. Cut. Cut. 9-9-9. Drill, baby, drill. Deregulate. Strangulate (as in, starve the beast). Never Capitulate.

    November 17, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Mike

    Despertae men say desperate things, even if it's a lie.

    November 17, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    grew up without a father and being bi-racial in Rick Perry's America is a priviledge? But sad thing is far right Obama haters, the ones that Perry is preaching to will eat this up like flies do honey.

    November 17, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. maximusvad

    Ok so the GOP is back to...."it doesn't matter why you elect me as long as you get the other guy out" attitude. America crash and burn mentality

    November 17, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. edpeters101

    What planet is Perry from? If it weren't for Newt I would nominate him for the head of the Bum of the Month Bunch!

    November 17, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "You know, he never had to really work for anything
    "We need a president who's been through the ups and downs of life,
    "He grew up in a privileged way," Perry said
    I normally would not respond to the blatant, easily disproven lies, spewed by both right-wing posters on this site, and these GOP so-called candidates for the presidency of these United States, but Mapface set my head reeling with his chutzpah.
    It appears that the GOP candidates think that their base are the most moronic, uneducated bunch of people that ever walked the face of this earth. And based on the fact that there are people out there that would actually vote for any of them I would tend to agree.

    November 17, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Sooooo, basically, Cowboy Fonzie just blew the affirmative action dogwhistle with his anus? Lovely.

    November 17, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "Name calling and mud slinging ( just to see what sticks ) by a candidate is a disgrace to the office of POTUS."

    But but but...that's OK when a Dem is in office!!!! IOKIYAR

    November 17, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. ST

    What a fiasco Perry is bringing to his campaign? Doesn't he have anyone to tell him the water is almost to cover him, he better call it a try to his bid.

    November 17, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Duke One

    Going to a private school in Hawaii (which is not in Asia Mr. President) and then to Harvard (thanks to Affirmative Action) means he was running in privileged circles. This is why President Obama is considered privileged and out of touch with the American people. PERRY/RUBIO 2012 !!

    November 17, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    First states people like to cling to their guns and religion, then he says cops acted "stupidly" before knowing ANY of the facts, then runs around the world apologizing, then uses the word "lazy" when talking about the country. Is it any wonder why his popularity is plummeting like a rock? Obama is the worse president this country has ever had.

    November 17, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Mar5

    Yeah, wow, I guess Perry is still drunk. Being abandoned by your father and raised by a single mother back then? Being half black and then having to go to a foreign country and fit in. Being poor and having to live with your grandparents. Yeah – sounds like a really cushy lifestyle. No Obama never had to work for anything in his life – he is just like George W. Bush – he is from want of the most powerful political families in in the history of the nation. Truly Rick Perry will say ANYTHING to get elected. You know sometimes when it is evident that a candidate is going nowhere and is just humiliating themselves by staying in the race, they have the decency to go out with honor and dignity. Example: Tim Pawlenty. Not Perry – this loser knows he has nothing to offer and can't even string together a noun and a verb to communicate one of the silly, muddled half-thoughts banging around in his empty head. Just go away Mr. Televangelist. Go back to Texas and secede or something

    November 17, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Pig in a poke

    "Texas Gov. Rick Perry backed up his "pathetic" criticism of "
    Excuse me Ms Stewart but doesn'y this belong on the Op Ed page ? I was brought up to believe News stories are supposed to be third party neutral.

    November 17, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Ardubbs

    This settles it for me. NO politician from Texas should ever be elected POTUS. They obviously can't read and all engender a vortex of ignorance that can be felt for miles beyond the Alamo. Saying that Barack Obama came from a "privileged" background would be like saying that the Kennedy's never sold alcohol illegally, and as a result, lived in squalor.

    November 17, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Clem

    I always thought Texas had scraped the bottom of its barrel in giving us W. Now they've outdone themselves by overturning the barrel and finding Perry underneath it.

    November 17, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. pmk1953

    Sounds like a politition. When the facts are not know or fit his (or her) position, make stuff up and act as if you know what you're saying is true.

    November 17, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. MTATL67

    OH MY GOD, he has no morals. Who knew putting yourself through and taking a scholarships equals privilege. Gov. Perry went to school at Texas A & M with a C or D average. This guy has sunken to a new low.

    November 17, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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