He was referring to remarks he made Monday night in Iowa that Bernanke would be committing a “treasonous” act if he adopted another round of so-called quantitative easing — the buying of Treasury bonds to pump more cash into the economy. He said that such action would be an obvious political attempt to help President Obama win reelection.
Perry was quickly excoriated by Democrats and Republicans — including former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove — for the attack on Bernanke.
On Wednesday, he sought to explain his views and shifted his focus from the Fed chief to the agency itself, which he said should open its books.
“There have been a number of politicians who have stood up and really questioned the transparency of the Federal Reserve,” Perry said. “They should open their books up. They should be transparent so that the people of the United States know what they are doing and how they are doing. If they would simply open up and be transparent ... until they do that, there will continue to be questions about their activity and what their true goal is for the United States.”
Perry also went after the president, who had dismissed as a rookie’s mistake comments from Perry that as a veteran he would get greater respect from those who serve in the military than would the sitting president.
“Yesterday the president said I needed to watch what I say,” Perry said. “I just want to respond back to say: Mr. President, actions speak louder than words. My actions helped create jobs in Texas. The president’s actions are killing jobs in America.”
At an afternoon event touring a manufacturing facility in Nashua, Perry took more questions and repeated what is becoming the core of his stump speech. “We need to get America working again,” he said. “People will hear me say this over and over.”
In a roundtable with business leaders after the factory tour, Perry argued for a program that would create a zero tax rate for corporations that have money in offshore accounts to return that money to the U.S. without penalty as long as it is used for job creation.
George Katis, an executive of Nashua wallpaper company and independent voter, attended the roundtable and said he liked Perry’s ideas about taxes but his appeal to independents is still being tested.
“He didn’t sound like a far-right winger like the media has been making him out,” Katis said. “I feel that someone from the far right-wing of the party is going to have a hard time getting elected.”
Katis, who favors overhauling immigration law, asked the candidate how he would handle the issue of immigration, looking for a moderate response that included a path to legalization for illegal immigrants.