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Conservative leaders of the GOP aren’t happy with Perry’s claim that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is “treasonous.”
“If this guy prints more money between now and the election,” Perry said in Iowa. “I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous…err…treasonous in my opinion.”
Democrats, of course, jumped all over Perry’s remarks but his comments also pissed off the right.
“You can’t accuse the chairman of the Federal Reserve of being a traitor to his country, of being guilty of treason,” GOP political guru Karl Rove said on Fox News. “And suggesting that we treat him pretty ugly in Texas. You know, that is not, again, a presidential statement.”
Rove once worked with Perry but left the Texas governor’s campaign when Perry’s off-the-cuff statements dissed George W. Bush loyalists.
Another former aide in the Bush White House called on Perry to apologize for the remarks, saying Perry’s words reflect “the kind of blustering, unthinking comment that Perry’s critics expect of him.”
Why he would play to stereotype is hard to fathom. Or, perhaps he’s simply being himself. We’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime Perry ought to offer a retraction and apology—and then offer a serious intellectual critique of why he believes Ben Bernanke is pursuing injurious policies.
On Twitter, former Bush deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said: “Gov. Perry’s comments about Chmn. Bernanke are inappropriate and unpresidential.”
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum joined the bash-Perry campaign Tuesday, saying the Texas governor’s style sounds like comments from liberal Michigan Democrat John Conyers, former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Said Santorum on CNN:
Well his comments about Ben Bernanke, they were completely out of bounds. I don’t agree with Ben Bernanke’s policies… but to me the rhetoric that Rick Perry used was sort of the rhetoric I would expect from a John Conyers, talking about President Bush and saying he should be impeached. We don’t do that. We don’t impeach people, we don’t charge people with treason because we disagree with them on public policy. You might say that they’re wrong, you might say lots of things about how misguided they are, but you don’t up the ante to that type of rhetoric. It’s out of place, and hopefully Gov. Perry will step back and recognize that we’re not in Texas anymore.
While Perry’s bombastic comments fit right into the style of politics that appeal to tea party activists they don’t sit well with more reasoned conservatives who worry if his mouth hurts the party’s efforts to recapture the White House in 2012.
“He’s just another loose cannon in a field of loose cannons,” one GOP activist tells Capitol Hill Blue. “We don’t need any bomb throwers.”