Rick Perry Hits Bernanke and Fed, Talks Immigration and Border Security

Texas Gov. Rick Perry touched on many of his hot-button issues in an interview with CNBC this morning, as he attempted to fine tune his message on immigration and border security, clarify his stance on Social Security and explain his views on the Federal Reserve and its chairman, Ben Bernanke, whom he openly criticized in the first days of his campaign.

In the wide-ranging interview, Perry ventured into the topic of the Federal Reserve, saying he would not reappoint Bernanke and sending a message to the Fed to stop conducting what he views as bad policy.

“I think the statements towards Chairman Bernanke need to be very clear to him that making monetary policy to cover up bad fiscal policy is bad public policy, and that’s what we’re seeing a Fed that is getting involved in things that frankly it does not need to be involved with. So printing more money doesn’t do anything at this particular juncture but to make the dollars in our pocket worth less money,” Perry said in an interview on Squawk Box.

Perry revealed his distaste for Bernanke and the Fed’s monetary policy in August, suggesting that printing more money would be almost “treasonous.”

“If this guy prints more money between now and the election,” Perry said last month at a house party in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “I don’t know 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 treacherous, or treasonous in my opinion.”

The Texas governor is now offering a tip to the federal government on how to better help governors do their jobs: Strengthen border security.

“One of the things I wish the federal government would do, that a lot of problems that we have to deal with as governors would go away if they would secure the border of this country with Mexico,” he said. “We’re having to deal with the results of a federal government that has failed in their duty.”

Perry suggested that the federal government is to blame for creating new issues for states to tackle, such as determining whether states should offer in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants, because of poor border security.

“In Texas, and it’s a sovereign state issue, we decided it was better because the federal government forcing us to take care of these individuals and the federal government is who allowed them to come in with their lack of security. We have to make decisions on how to deal with that in Texas. We thought in 2001 it was the best interest of our state to have those young people educated rather than kicking them to the curb and not allowing them to be educated and then having to pay for them in some other form with government programs or what have you. But how to cure that is for the federal government to secure that border.”

On Social Security, the Texas governor repeated his assurances that the entitlement program will exist for those nearing retirement age but needs reform for younger generations. But he also went as far as to suggest that the existing system goes beyond the intent of the Founding Fathers.

“What we talked about in the book ['Fed Up!] was that this was one of many places where the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. or congress or president of the United States went well outside our Founding Fathers,” Perry said. “But look, Social Security is in place, that program is going to be there, it’s just got to be transformed, and that’s what we’re talking about doing.”