Following Gov. Rick Perry's comment that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would be "almost treasonous" if he "prints more money between now and the election," Fox figures have defended Perry by claiming that he's "passionate," using his "Texas swagger," and that the "fundamental point he makes is totally true."
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Perry: It Would Be "Almost Treasonous" For Bernanke To Print "More Money Between Now And The Election"
Perry: "Printing More Money To Play Politics ... Is Almost Treasonous." As Think Progress reported, at an August 15 fundraiser in Iowa, Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry claimed it would be "almost treasonous in my opinion" if Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke "print[ed] more money to play politics." From Think Progress:
Texas Governor Rick Perry, who entered the presidential campaign on Saturday, appeared to suggest a violent response would be warranted should Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke "print more money" between now and the election. Speaking just now in Iowa, Perry said, "If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y'all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion." Treason is a capital offense. [Think Progress, 8/15/11]
Fox Figures Defend Perry As "Passionate," Using "Texas Swagger"
Bolling: "The Guy Is Passionate. He Said Stop Printing Money ... Nothing Wrong With That." On the August 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, guest host Eric Bolling defended Perry's comments, stating: "[T]he guy is passionate. He said stop printing money, you're ruining the country. Nothing wrong with that." Co-host Gretchen Carlson later claimed, "We don't think that he actually thought out what treason means." From Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Yeah, and what [Perry] brought up yesterday is, saying in Texas, he's really upset about [what] Ben Bernanke says, he says it's almost treasonous to do what he's doing. Got some backlash on that, but he did not apologize for saying it.
BOLLING: Let me ask you something, Brian. You're going to play somebody in basketball, and you go, you know what? I'm not only going to beat you, I'm going to kill you. You think I'm actually going to kill you -- physically kill you? No, the guy is passionate. He said stop printing money, you're ruining the country. There's nothing wrong with that.
CARLSON: But when you're running for president, and we argued about this on the radio -- not argued, but debated -- that we don't think that he actually thought out what treason means, and that you can, you know, get the death penalty if you're convicted of treason. You're right, you just do figures of speech. But when you're running for president, unfortunately, every single thing you say now is going to be looked at and parsed and videotaped and picture taking, and it's just -- you have to be so incredibly careful. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/17/11]
Napolitano: Perry "Was Using His ... Texas Swagger"; "I Would Have Applauded The Governor If I Was There." On the August 16 edition of Fox News' Your World, Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano reacted to Perry's comments by claiming, "I would have applauded if I was there," and stating that Perry was "using his, can I say, Texas swagger." From Your World:
NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): Well, he might have gotten a round of applause from that crowd, but the White House quickly blasting Governor Perry's warning for Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman. The presidential candidate standing by those remarks. To the judge, who says that the governor is expressing his frustrations with the economy. What do you make of it?
NAPOLITANO: Well, I would have applauded the governor had I been there. You know, politicians sometimes speak, even Reagan did this, with exaggerations in order to make their point. To be precise, treason is defined in the Constitution, and as horrible as QE3 would be, it's not treason. But --
CAVUTO: Quantitative easing -- buying up more paper by the Fed.
NAPOLITANO: Correct. Correct -- the funny money that they have just printed. Governor Perry was making a point. Most Americans understand what the Fed has done to us, and many Americans are against this happening again, because inflation is the cruelest tax of all. It was his way of expressing it. Did the governor threaten the chairman of the Federal Reserve? Absolutely not. Did he say some harm would come to him? Absolutely not. He was using his, can I say, Texas swagger, to say, you're not going to get away with this if you say it to me.
Napolitano later said Perry's comments "were appropriate and made a good, strong point." [Fox News, Your World, 8/16/11]
On Fox, Michael Reagan Claims, "Most People In This Country Agree With Rick Perry ... It Is What It Is. Get Over It." On the August 16 edition of Fox News' America Live, guest and conservative commentator Michael Reagan reacted to Perry's comments by claiming that "[m]ost of the people in this country probably agree with Rick Perry." From America Live:
REAGAN: Most of the people in this country probably agree with Rick Perry here. Printing more money is not going to answer the problems we have in the United States of America. We're running a primary here, not a general election, and he knows who the audience is. The audience [would] say, 'We print enough money, we need to get our house in order.' And this is the governor who, in fact, has done nothing but create jobs in Texas since he's been there. Eleven years he has been the governor of Texas. He's been creating jobs. And that's what this election is going to be about.
Reagan later said that "people say things of that nature. I think sometimes we just -- we take this stuff too seriously in the middle of a campaign. It is what it is. Get over it." [Fox News, America Live, 8/17/11]
Tucker Carlson: "Probably Best Not To Say Stuff Like That" But "The Fundamental Point He Makes Is Totally True." On the August 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson reacted to Perry's comments by stating:
CARLSON: It's probably best not to say stuff like that, but the fundamental point he makes, and I know the [George W.] Bush people are mad about this, they don't like Perry, but the fundamental point he makes is totally true, actually. We are devaluing the currency. It's happening because of the Fed's policies. And it is benefitting, in a short term way, I think, the White House. Or that is one of its potential effects, and he's right to call them out on it. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/16/11]