Rick Perry downplays default fears, calling debate ‘political theater’

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

Rick Perry downplayed the ongoing debt debate in Washington, suggesting in a news conference Wednesday that a failure to raise the debt ceiling won't trigger the economic catastrophe lawmakers in Washington have suggested.

"There's still gonna be revenues flowing in, so I think this threat that somehow or another the world is going to come to an end and the threat of  'We're not going to be able to pay our bills' is a bit of a stretch," Perry told reporters Wednesday, per the Texas Tribune's Jay Root. "Most Americans know this: We've spent too much money. We've gotten our house in bad shape, and we need to stop spending."

The Texas governor said he was "taken aback" by the tone of President Obama's speech on Monday, calling it "condescending." Perry claimed that Obama implied that "most Americans" don't understand what will happen if the nation begins to default on its financial obligations.

"A lot of Americans understand it," Perry said Wednesday. "But even more than that, Americans know what the president wants to do: He wants to spend more. He wants to tax more. He wants to further put America in debt … And Americans don't want that."

Perry said he was "frustrated" with the debate, describing it as nothing more than "political theater."

You can watch Perry's comments below, courtesy the Texas Tribune:

The governor's remarks come as the House prepares to take up a debt plan proposed by House Speaker John Boehner that would raise the debt ceiling on a short-term basis in exchange for trillions in spending cuts.

Perry has declined to say whether he supports Boehner's bill, but on Wednesday, he reiterated his support for the "cut, cap and balance" legislation passed previously by the House.

"I still think that's the way to go," he said.

Perry joins other 2012 hopefuls who have been cool to Boehner's debt proposal--including Mitt Romney, who refused again on Wednesday to say whether he supports the speaker's bill.