CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, Aug. 16 (UPI) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, campaigning in Iowa for the Republican presidential nomination, said the Federal Reserve is almost “treasonous.”
Perry, one of the front-runners for the nomination, also said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke would get an “ugly” reception in Texas, USA today reported. Perry’s comments came Monday night at a political even in Cedar Rapids on only his second day of campaigning.
“Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous or treasonous in my opinion,” Perry said about the Fed, the newspaper reported. Asked about Bernanke, Perry said, “I know there’s a lot of talk, and what have you, about if this guy prints more money between now and the election. I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.”
Perry’s comments drew immediate criticism. Tony Fratto, a former aide to President George W. Bush, who appointed Bernanke, called Perry’s statements “inappropriate and unpresidential,” USA Today reported.
Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s former spokesman, said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Perry would soon ask to see the president’s birth certificate. Gibbs said GOP front-runners are pledging allegiance to the Tea Party.
Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan declined to reject the harsh remarks about Bernanke, although he did not repeat the charge of treason, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. “The governor was passionate and energized by a full day of campaigning,” he said. “It was his way to talk about his views on the budget and the country’s fiscal problems.”
Asked about the harshness of the language, Sullivan said, “You’ll just have to listen to what the governor says every day. The message is going to evolve to be responsive to the news of the day.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday of Perry’s remarks, “When you’re running for president you have to think about what you’re saying because your words have greater impact. We take the independence of the Federal Reserve quite seriously.”