Texas Governor Rick Perry spoke with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham today to defend his statements critical of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and address his relationship with the Bush family.The newly-minted GOP front-runner would not apologise for saying that Bernanke would be roughed up in Texas, saying, “I speak plainly, I call it like I see it.”
“Look, I am not an establishment figure, never have been and frankly I don’t want to be. I dislike Washington; I think it’s a seedy place,” he said. “Our country is in trouble, and I don’t have the privilege to sit on the sideline and watch our country be destroyed economically by a president who has been conducting an experiment on the American economy for the last two and half years.”
Perry said he has “great respect for the Bushes,” when asked if he thought there was an organised effort by people close to the political dynasty to undermine his campaign.
“I don’t think there is a more honorable man, a better man than George H.W. Bush, one of the finest men I’ve ever met in my life,” he said. “He and Mrs. Bush are like everyone’s grandparents…. And they taught their children.”
As for the man he has been compared to most often—President George W. Bush—he said: “I’m not George Bush, I don’t try to be.”
“I respect him. I consider him a friend. We talked to each other a couple of times over the past year—his birthday was July the 6th,” he said, without elaborating on their differences.
Former Bush press secretary Dana Perino denied that there was any bad blood between the “Bush world” and Perry in an interview on Fox News, adding that Perry would also be foolish to run against the younger Bush’s record as president.
Perry added in the interview that he would not vacation on Martha’s Vineyard as president—a jab at President Barack Obama’s perceived elitism.
“I’m not even sure if I know where it is,” he said.
Listen to the full interview below: