Obama On Perry: “I’ll Cut Him Some Slack”

August 16, 2011 3:33 pm

President Obama joined the chorus of people trashing Texas Governor Rick Perry’s foot-in-mouth remarks, in a CNN interview Tuesday night.

At a Sunday campaign appearance in Iowa, Perry said one reason he was running for President was in order to to “make sure that every young man and woman who puts on the uniform of this nation respects highly the president of the United States.”

Appearing on an episode of The Situation Room, program host Wolf Blitzer raised these comments to President Obama. The President replied:

You know, Mr. Perry just got into the presidential race. I think that everybody who runs for president, it probably takes them a little bit of time before they start realizing that this isn’t like running for governor or running for senator or running for Congress, and you’ve got to be a little more careful about what you say. But I’ll cut him some slack. He’s only been at it for a few days now.

Although Blitzer did not raise it in his question, President Obama’s remarks could just as easily serve as a riposte to Perry’s ruminations about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s “treasonous” behavior. Those comments have already brought a slew of condemnations, including from Obama’s spokesman and even from former appointees of George W. Bush.

President Obama also took the chance to fire off a subtle reminder of his own military decisions, including ordering the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

Asked by Blitzer whether Americans should fear another “spectacular 9/11 kind of event,” Obama noted “the extraordinary progress we’ve made over the last couple of years in degrading al-Qaeda’s capabilities.” He told Blitzer, “They are a much weaker organization with much less capability than they had just two or three years ago.” That timeframe coincides with Obama’s Presidency.

Speaking of military matters, Obama’s daughters Sasha and Malia might get a further taste of it over the next few years. Blitzer reminded the President that he had bought the girls a puppy as a gift after his election in 2008. “What are you going to get them the next time, if you’re reelected?” he asked. Obama’s response:

When I’m reelected, what I’ll be getting them is a continuation of Secret Service so that when boys want to start dating them they are going to be surrounded by men with guns. That’s their gift.

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