Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum joined the growing chorus of those who are admonishing fellow candidate Rick Perry’s comments about Ben Bernanke Wednesday, but the former Pennsylvania senator told Fox News he does believe that the Federal Reserve chairman has “done a poor job in some respects.”
Santorum first shared his opposition to Texas governor Perry’s comments in a tweet:: “Perry’s comments about Bernanke are disappointing and out of bounds,” adding “Bernanke’s policies are wrong for America, but it doesn’t make him treasonous, just wrong.”
Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren asked Santorum why he tweeted his admonishment.
“Well, look, I was disappointed at that kind of over-the-top rhetoric . . . you know, it’s not appropriate,” Santorum said. “I mean, the Fed’s supposed to be an independent agency — and I strongly believe that Ben Bernanke, you know, has made some mistakes.”
Santorum said the Federal reserve has “a responsibility to keep inflation in check, which I agree with. But they also have a charter to, you know, to get the economy going, to reduce unemployment — that I don’t agree with."
"The Fed should not be in the business of fiscal stimuluses or — excuse me — monetary stimuluses. It should be the job of the government and the private sector,” he said. “So I think he’s done a poor job in some respects. But to say it’s treasonous . . .”
Van Susteren asked Santorum whether he thought Perry’s comments were “just sort of political rhetoric, a little swagger from a Texan” and would anybody take the statements seriously — including Bernanke.
“ I don’t know — I mean, you’re charging someone with a high crime punishable by death,” Santorum said. “Well, I just think that, you know, we cheapen the debate.”
Switching gears, Van Susteren then asked Santorum whether there was a difference between the GOP and the tea party, and whether the Republican Party suffers because of divisions between the two.
“I would like to think that the Republican Party is a party that is a broad-based party that has various elements in it — one of the elements is the tea party, which is a grass roots, you know, [a] group of folks who care a lot about the founding principles of our country and the Constitution and having a government live within those constitutional bounds,” Santorum said.
“It’s all within the envelope of the Republican Party — it’s like anything else, how strictly do you interpret the Constitution? How limited a government should the federal government be? There’s certainly room for division,” he said.
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