Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) fired back Wednesday at President Obama, who admonished the Republican presidential candidate to watch his words more carefully.
Perry said "actions speak louder than words" after Obama's public admonishment Tuesday on CNN for Perry's comments that an expanded money supply by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would be "almost treasonous."
"Yesterday the president said I needed to watch what I say," Perry told a crowd in New Hampshire at a politics-and-eggs breakfast, which was broadcast online.
"I'd just like to respond, if I may: Mr. President, actions speak louder than words. My actions as governor are helping to create jobs in this country," Perry said. "This president's actions are killing jobs in this country."
Obama joined other members of his administration — and a number of veterans of the George W. Bush administration — in chastising Perry for his comments about Bernanke on Monday in Iowa.
"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," the president said. "But I'll cut him some slack. He's only been at it for a few days now."
Perry's campaign has hardly backed down from the comment, though the governor hasn't repeated it. But Perry has also made clear that he's spoiling for a public fight with the president, something that could endear himself to conservative primary voters, especially those voters aligned with the Tea Party movement.
"I got in trouble talking about the Federal Reserve yesterday," Perry said in response to a subsequent question about the Fed, to laughter. "I got lectured about that yesterday."
Perry defended his record on jobs amid criticism by some Democrats that Texas's jobs numbers aren't as rosy as they seem, and that the gains made in the state were driven by federal spending, or low-paying jobs.
He also promised New Hampshire voters that he'll spend a lot more time in the state as his campaign kicks into gear. New Hampshire is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's (R) home turf, and Perry made clear the state's first-in-the-nation primary won't go uncontested.
"I'm going to be here a lot," he said. "And I'm going to be campaigning — I think the right word is with 'fervor.' "