White House press secretary Jay Carney chastised Texas Gov. Rick Perry for suggesting on the campaign trail that some economic policy decisions the Federal Reserve is considering border on “treasonous.”
Speaking at a campaign stop in Iowa on Monday, the Texas governor didn’t name Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, but he said that printing more money--or quantitative easing--amounted to playing politics and he considered such a move as “almost treacherous—or treasonous in my opinion.” Quantitative easing is an effort to lower borrowing costs and keep banks lending.
“When you’re running for president you have to think about what you’re saying, because your words have greater impact,” Carney told reporters traveling with the president in Iowa. “We take the independence of the Federal Reserve quite seriously.”
Perry, who announced last weekend that he’s running for the Republican presidential nomination, has come out firing against the Obama administration in speeches and chats with voters in Iowa.
On Monday, Perry also suggested that Obama was lacking as commander in chief because he never served in the U.S. military.
“I think the military men and women respect the commander in chief regardless of who it is. I think they really like to see a person who has worn the uniform in that office,” said Perry, who flew C-130s in the Air Force. “I think that’s a true statement and I wouldn’t back off it an inch. Go ask your veterans if they rather see somebody who has never served in uniform as their commander in chief.”
In an interview with CNN, Obama brushed off Perry's critique about his commander-in-chief bonafides, but repeated his press secretary's warning that presidential candidates "got to be careful" about what they say. Since Perry just entered the presidential race, Obama said, he will "cut (Perry) some slack."
“I think that everybody who runs for president probably takes a little bit of time before they start realizing that this isn’t like running for governor, or running for senator, or running for congress. You’ve got to be more careful with what you say.”
During a speech in Eastern Iowa, Perry also suggested a question Iowans should ask the president—who is traveling through Iowa on Tuesday as part of his rural American bus tour.
“I think it’s fair for Iowans to ask the president tomorrow, where are the jobs that you promised, Mr. President?” Perry said. “That’s a fair question to ask this man.”