Yesterday, ThinkProgress caught Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) on video threatening Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during a trip to Iowa. Perry, the latest Republican to announce a campaign for the White House, called any effort by the Fed to provide monetary stimulus “treasonous in my opinion” and added that he would treat Bernanke “pretty ugly down in Texas.” On CNN this afternoon, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), another candidate in the race, slammed Perry’s comment and said any suggestion of treason is pure politics:
KING: What do you mean by he stepped on it?
SANTORUM: Well his comments about Ben Bernanke, they were completely out of bounds. I don’t agree with Ben Bernanke’s policies… but to me the rhetoric that Rick Perry used was sort of the rhetoric I would expect from a John Conyers, talking about President Bush and saying he should be impeached. We don’t do that. We don’t impeach people, we don’t charge people with treason because we disagree with them on public policy. You might say that they’re wrong, you might say lots of things about how misguided they are, but you don’t up the ante to that type of rhetoric. It’s out of place, and hopefully Gov. Perry will step back and recognize that we’re not in Texas anymore.
As Politico’s Alexander Burns notes, “Santorum’s point is that Perry sounds radical and irresponsible. Bringing impeachment into the picture may not be the best rhetorical choice, given that Santorum voted to convict Bill Clinton in impeachment proceedings back in the day.”