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Tuesday
Aug162011

White House to Rick Perry: 'Threatening' Bernanke 'Not a Good Idea'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked Tuesday about comments made by Republican presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

Perry on Monday at a local Republican Party event said of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we -- we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous -- or treasonous in my opinion.”

The White House spokesman said, "When you're president or you're running for president you have to think about what you're saying because your words have greater impact. President Obama and we take the independence of the Federal Reserve very seriously and certainly think threatening the Fed chairman is probably not a good idea."

A Perry campaign spokesman, Ray Sullivan, responded Tuesday morning to the Texas governor’s comments the previous night that if Bernanke were to print more money between now and the election it would be “almost treasonous” and that things could get “ugly” for him.

“The governor is passionate about reducing federal spending and moving towards a balanced budget as quickly as possible. He does not believe that printing more money is the answer to our economic problems,” Sullivan told a gaggle of reporters at Perry’s first campaign stop of the day.

He repeated, “The governor was passionate and energized by a full day of the Iowa State Fair, public events and interacting with the people of Iowa. And it was a way for him to talk about his concerns about the federal budget and his strong belief that printing more money is not the solution.”

A reporter pressed Sullivan on whether Perry’s words were perhaps too harsh.

“I think you’ll just have to listen to what the governor says every day,” Sullivan said. “The message is certainly going to evolve and be responsive to the news of the day. Just keep watching.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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