Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry hit back Wednesday at critics who had blasted him for questioning the integrity of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben. S. Bernanke. But this time the Texas governor shifted his focus from the Fed chief to the agency itself.

“I got in trouble about talking about the Federal Reserve.... I got lectured about that yesterday,” Perry said during a breakfast at Saint Anselm College while on a campaign tour in Bedford, N.H.

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.

“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 had said, adding that such action would be an obvious political attempt to help President Obama win reelection.

Perry, who declared his presidential candidacy on Saturday, was promptly excoriated by Democrats and Republicans — including former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove -- for his attack on Bernanke’s motives for the agency’s monetary policy,

On Wednesday, Perry sought to explain his views and said that other political leaders have similar concerns about the Fed board.

“There have been a number of politicians who have stood up and really questioned the transparency of the Federal Reserve,” he 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.”