“If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what you all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas,” Perry said of the possibility of another round of so-called quantitative easing in the money supply.
Perry, on his first swing through Iowa after announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, also had strong words of criticism for the president. He said Obama’s management of the economy has been an experiment that has “gone tragically wrong” and said the American people needed to send a signal of disgust in 2012 by voting him out of office.
Perry resumed his criticism of the president on Tuesday morning during an appearance at a roofing company in Cedar Rapids. “What America needs is jobs,” he said. “We don’t need symbolism.”
Meanwhile, spokesman Ray Sullivan declined to walk back the governor’s harsh remarks about Bernanke, though he did not repeat the charge of treason Perry leveled on Monday night. “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 if he thought the language had been too harsh, he 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.”
On Tuesday, Perry and Obama will appear fewer than 15 miles from each other, with the president holding an economic town hall meeting in rural Peosta, Iowa. Perry will hold an economic roundtable with business leaders in Dubuque.
With that in mind, Perry turned his attention away from Republican rival Mitt Romney, who was his target during a morning appearance at the Iowa State Fair, to focus on the president, his policies and his character.
The Republican candidate — who served in the Air Force from 1972-1977 — said he believed that the men and women in the armed forces would have more respect for a president who had served in the military than one who had not.
“That’s just a fact of life,” he said.
He then pointedly noted Obama’s lack of military service. “The president had the opportunity to serve his country I’m sure, at some time, and he made the decision that that wasn’t what he wanted to do,” he said.
At another point during a brief news conference here Monday night, Perry was asked about a comment earlier in the day, when he said people want a president who is passionate about the country and “is in love with America.” Asked whether he thought Obama did not love the country, he replied, “You need to ask him. I’m saying you’re a good reporter, go ask him.”