Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign offered some clarification of the candidate’s suggestion that Texas would treat Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke “pretty ugly” if he printed more money before election day.In a statement to the Washington Post, Perry spokesman Mark Miner wrote:
“The Governor was expressing his frustration with the current economic situation and the out of control spending that persists in Washington. Most Americans would agree that spending more money is not the answer to the economic issues facing the country.”
Note that Perry isn’t walking back from his original shoot-from the-hip remarks, instead characterising his implied threat as a fair expression of widely-held frustration with Washington spending. The measured statement indicates that Perry’s team believes this type of anti-Washington, populist rhetoric will win him support among Republican primary voters.
(The campaign also appears to think that Ben Bernanke actually controls spending in Washington–or at least thinks the American people won’t know the difference. As the Fed chairman, of course, Bernanke doesn’t have any authority over government spending.)
But Perry’s comments have drawn the ire of the GOP establishment just three days into the Texan’s 2012 presidential campaign. GOP operative Karl Rove — a longtime Perry foe —lashed out at the Texas Governor on Fox News this morning, calling his remarks “very unfortunate” and “not presidential.”