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. Sandy Carey

    Is there a more pathetically DUMB candidate in the history of presidential politics. The Republican field is astonishingly thin on any sort of intelligence or credibility - but Perry is just plain laughable. What a sad day for this struggling democracy.

    November 17, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. GrogInOhio

    Yeah... raised by single mother in a mixed race household and earning his way to an Ivy League school... guy was born with a silver spoon in his mouth... /sarcasm

    Republicans get goofier daily.

    November 17, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. James in Columbia

    How can they get away with these blatant lies? Obama didn't grow up rich or privileged. He was solid middle class, and in fact spent part of his childhood seeing real hardship in Jakarta when he lived there. He's a complete self-made man, getting scholarships to go to the best schools because he's frankly a genius. I don't agree with him a lot of the time, but this assertions are getting out of hand. Obama's life is an open book – read his memoir that he wrote long before getting into politics.

    Plus who the heck is Mitt Romney to talk about growing up privileged?

    November 17, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. Lost in Texas FOREVER AND EVER

    so a desperate Rick Perry pulls the "hate and fear" card to try to get back into the race? Wasn't Obama one of the so-called millionaires who is WILLING to take a tax hike on his salary. Perry claims to be this "born again Christian called by the Almighty" to run for POTUS. And he right now is trying to appeal to the right wing wackos in his party that could care less about the truth and more about hate for Obama. Sad thing about it is that more than likely this tactic will WORK!

    November 17, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Gloria

    Oh my, President Obama certainly did not come from a privileged background...far from it. He and his family made the most of what they had, used intelligence and hard work to get where he is. He is in touch with America; Perry and the rest of the GOP bumpkins aren't in touch with any kind of reality!!

    November 17, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. AndyTheGameInventor

    It's truly stenning that the Republicans would call Obama "elitist" and having a "priviledged upbringing". Obama attended Occidental College and then Columbia, and at Harvard was editor of the Law review – yes that's certainly prestigious. George W went to Yale and was a member of Skull and Bones – I don't think there is a more apt definition of "elitist" than that.

    November 17, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Sasha

    Perry is desperate to somehow erase his debate performance, isn't he ...

    November 17, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Goptfascists Nationalists Party - radical "regressive" bigoted intolerant fanaticism screwing the USA

    The GOP plummeting in the polls is due to the American public understanding the GOP has worked to appease the "captains of industry" while putting more of our money in their pockets. With fox media’s dropping ratings they will become more desperate in spreading the neo-con lies and “trickle-down-your-leg” economics.

    November 17, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    "He's a complete self-made man, getting scholarships to go to the best schools because he's frankly a genius."
    A genius? More like a lengend is his own mind.

    November 17, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Goptfascists Nationalists Party - radical "regressive" bigoted intolerant fanaticism screwing the USA

    Obama is the true story of American exceptionalism, and it drives the GOPTee-baggers nutts!

    November 17, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. Marry

    The kind of disrespectful and lying talk coming out of Perry and the other „candidates“ is just simply disgusting! Never mind their “political nonsense” – it should make anyone through up by now that ever considered voting for them.

    November 17, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Mike from Boise

    Yes Governor Perry, President Obama didn't have to be a cheer leader in college like you.

    November 17, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. AlaskaPalin

    What's wrong with liberals. This is politics. If obama cannot take the heat- get out of the kitchen! Obamas own, on the liberal channel- waters and west- say he can't relate.

    November 17, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Seth

    Perry is done. Sorry Ricky Boy.

    November 17, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Debbie

    Perry has no clue about the people of Texas and their problems, so I seriously doubt he could relate to most Americans.
    Perry is not good for Texas or the U S.

    November 17, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. The Other Michael in Houston

    Wow Ricky, one who lives in a glass house cannot throw stones. Let's see here Ricky, you spent almost all of your adult life being paid by the American taxpayers, Mitt, your whole claim to fame is buying comapanies, dismantling the company and selling it off piece by piece, Mitt you are porbably the story behind the movie Wall Street. I just cannot wait to see the likes of Democrat Class Warfare, Duke One, Dan and others who actully think any Republican will win in 2012, when President Obama is re-elected for another four years. Mark my words Hood wearers, there are more of us who like the President and the job that he is doing than more of you who hate the color of his skin. There will not be a 46th President of the United States until after the 2016 presidential election

    November 17, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. Ronj

    Alaska Palin this is not a game. We have had enough lies with Bush and are still trying to get over that mess. They lie and cheat to get a degree, tax breaks and whatever else they can get away with. Com up with some real solutions. There won't be a need to lie. But they have none.

    November 17, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. Woman In California

    These people are really desperate aren't they? I'm not buying whatever it is they are selling and IF anyone is "privileged" it's Rick and Willard. Both are corporate zombies with no morals and certainly no understanding of the average American.

    Obama ALL the way 2012.

    November 17, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Mark

    This guy is clueless. Obama is the epitome of the American Dream. He grew up with nothing and now he's President of the United States. Instead of tearing him down the Republicans should hold him up as an example that in America you can come from nothing and be President of the United States.

    November 17, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Lolo

    Also Perry grew up in the 50's & 60's as well as most of his followers. They know how it was for black people. If affirmative action was not created minorities were not getting anywhere in America. There republicans are such hypocrits they make me want to puke. I betcha they could walk into any establishment back then with out being told to turn around and leave. How quickly they forget. They only want to see America through their eyes which is a lie. No way will they get my vote because of their lies and hatred. Just admit that you are the KKK Klan.

    November 17, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. JR White Bear Lake MN.

    If Perry is elected president...... the youth of today will think Obamas upbringing looked pretty sweet compaired to the mess Perry left them.

    November 17, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Wayne

    Why doesnt he drop out? Doesnt he know when his goose is cooked?

    November 17, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. mattski

    Perry is one of a number of people who believe that if you repeat a lie often enough, it will be accepted as truth. The sad thing its, he believes it because it often works.

    November 17, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    AlaskaPalin, what's wrong with conservatives? This is politics. If Perry cannot take the heat- get out of the kitchen! Perry's own, on the Conservative channel- Krauthammer and O'Reilly- say he can't relate( or do anything else for that matter, except spend stim money). At least Obama can count past 2 without help. Granted, Romney's political schizophrenia is entertaining, if politically suicidal. Btw, get another nickname, Caribou Barbie is even more irrelevant than she was prior to her announcement that she was not going to inflict herself onto the American public any longer.

    November 17, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. nancy

    Gov. Perry is absolutely right saying Obama does not have any clue how average working Americans feel. Your messiah never worked for a pay check. He was a community organizer and recipient of welfare check. He is a Harvard boy and never paid a penny for his education. I understand that you and the msm know that Perry is the biggest threat to your messiah. Sadly enough FNC has joined the rest of the leftists in ridiculing Perry. But Perry is a fighter and will win the nomination.

    November 17, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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