It did not take Texas Gov. Rick Perry long to catch fire in the polls, climbing atop a new Rasmussen survey to claim the title of GOP front-runner from Mitt Romney.
The poll, taken after the Iowa beauty pageant known as the Ames Straw Poll, puts Perry at 29%, Romney at 18%, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 13% and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 9%. Some 16% of the respondents were undecided in the poll of 1,000 people conducted Monday night.
Perry can expect to take fire from some of the other camps, with his name atop the leader board now. Already the Romney campaign is pegging Perry as a candidate with little real world experience or working knowledge of running a business.
However, when given the chance today to comment directly, Romney took the high road, saying there will be plenty of time to engage Perry at "10 to 15 debates."
Meanwhile, The White House has some advice for Perry when it comes to taking a cheap shot that sounded a lot like a threat (see below this update) aimed at Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke:
"When you’re President or you’re running for President you have to think about what you’re saying, because your words have greater impact. And President Obama and we take the independence of the Federal Reserve quite seriously, and certainly think threatening the Fed Chairman is probably not a good idea," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry caught people's attention with one of his tough-guy cowboy rants when he trained his fire on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, calling a Fed plan to bail out the economy and loosen credit markets "almost treason."
At a campaign stop last night in Iowa, the GOP presidential candidate appeared to threaten Bernanke.
"If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what you all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas," Perry said.
The Fed is considering another round of quantitative easing of the money supply to help the U.S. economy rebound. Perry calls the so-called QE3 program printing money to help President Obama's re-election.
Earlier on the stump Perry called into question Obama's patriotism when he was asked if he believes the President loves this country. "I dunno, you need to ask him," Perry replied.
Since hitting the campaign trail Perry has tried to highlight his service in the Air Force at the expense of Obama, who did not serve in uniform. Perry went so far as to suggest Obama does not command the respect of the troops.
"I think people who have had the same experiences connect with people who have had the same experiences. That’s human nature. If you polled the military, the active duty and veterans, and said 'would you rather have a President of the United States that never served a day in the military or someone who is a veteran?' They’ve going to say, I would venture, that they would like to have a veteran,” Perry said.
"The President had the opportunity to serve his country. I’m sure at some time he made the decision that isn’t what he wanted to do," Perry added.
The Texas governor made no mention of Obama's biggest military fete to date: The killing of Osama Bin Laden in a mission that the President approved and followed every step of the way. "He staked his presidency on that mission," a senior U.S. official said shortly after the raid on Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.