Rick Perry (R-TX), the Republicans' flavor of the day before they embrace the more marbled beef of Chris Christie (R-NJ), told Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that he would be committing "treason" if he "printed money prior to the next election," and that, if he dared come to Texas after committing such an act, he would be treated "ugly."
While the Beltway was, properly, taken aback by the not-too-subtle physical threat to Bernanke by a sitting governor who aspires to be president, they all overlooked Perry's time qualifier, "before the next election." That ought to dispel any doubt that the Republican Party will prevent an economic recovery so that they might win the next election.
Presumably, if Bernanke launched QE3 (the means to expand the money supply) after the election, it would not be treason, and Bernanke could go to Texas without fear for his life or health.
So, what was Perry really getting at? It seems clear that Perry was warning Bernanke not to improve the economy before November 2012 because it might help President Obama's re-election chances.
That is, they will prevent 14 million Americans from getting jobs. They will make millions more family members suffer. And, they will express outrage that anyone even suggested that that is what they are doing.
It was one of these authentic, unscripted moments in which the candidate said what he really believed. Indeed, he began his answer to the voter question about the Federal Reserve by stating he did not want to address it. But, could not stop himself.
Robert Gibbs is absolutely correct. The Republican Party will keep millions of Americans from having jobs, a payroll tax cut, and unemployment insurance so that the economy will suffer, just so the President will have a more difficult time winning re-election.
Their frontrunner just said so. There is no other plausible (or implausible) explanation for qualifying his outrageous accusation and implied physical threat against Chairman Bernanke with an election-related timeframe.
So, Mr Gibbs, you have the "smoking gun." Use it as evidence. Use it often.