Perry has no apologies

Last modified: 8/18/2011 12:00:00 AM
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry continued his onslaught against the Federal Reserve yesterday in Bedford, questioning the agency's intentions and calling for Chairman Ben Bernanke to "open their books up."

"Frankly, the mistrust that is there today, if they would simply open up and be transparent with the American people, I think it would go a long way to finding out if there is some activities that have been improper or if they have been handling themselves quite well," Perry said to about 225 people gathered at a standing-room-only breakfast at the Bedford Village Inn.

Perry, the governor of Texas, continued to position himself as a no-apologies candidate yesterday, refusing despite widespread criticism to back down from his Monday night comment that it would be "almost treasonous" for Bernanke to "print more money."

After a spokesman for President Obama suggested Tuesday that the governor choose his words more carefully, Perry addressed the president directly yesterday morning.

"Mr. President, actions speak louder than words," he said. "My actions as governor are helping create jobs in this country. The president's actions are killing jobs in this country. It's time to get America working again."

The Politics and Eggs breakfast is a long-standing tradition in the Granite State's primary, and yesterday's event brought the largest attendance since George W. Bush visited in 1999, according to organizers. Perry spoke for about 10 minutes before taking 20 minutes of questions from the audience.

After being asked about global warming, Perry said "a substantial number of scientists" have manipulated data to funnel funding to their projects. He said anti-carbon programs have cost the federal government trillions of dollars

"I don't think, from my perspective, that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven and is, from my perspective, more and more being put into question," he said.

His stance offers an early divide between Perry and one of his top competitors in the state, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who has maintained that human activity contributes to global warming.

When asked about Perry's comments on the Federal Reserve and global warming, Romney's spokesman Ryan Williams said only that their campaign is focusing on comparing their candidate's record to Obama's.

In his prepared remarks yesterday, Perry focused heavily on economic growth, proposing a plan he has repeated in his first week on the campaign trail: cutting spending, pushing taxes as low as possible while still delivering essential services, making regulations fair and predictable, and reforming the legal system to eliminate frivolous lawsuits.

He said the heavy-handed federal government is stifling growth, and he suggested freezing all federal regulations for six months to spur the economy.

"It's regulatory overkill," Perry said. "It's a serious threat to investor confidence and growth, this tension between Washington regulators and employers."

In the infancy of his campaign, Perry said yesterday he promised to visit the Granite State often in the coming months.

"I love any state that doesn't have a personal income tax," he said.

Texas also doesn't have an income tax, but Perry added: "I'm kind of jealous of you that you don't have a sales tax either."

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or tnadolny@cmoitor.com.)




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