2011: Sharpton Mocks Perry's Skills; 2004: He Delivered His Own Rambling Debate Performance

While many on the liberal MSNBC network have attacked Rick Perry's performance in presidential debates, it might be interesting to look back at how one of the network's own cable anchors botched such a performance.

On October 18, 2011, Al Sharpton himself trashed Perry's rhetorical skills: "And then there's Rick Perry, still dancing with the stars, but with every debate his Texas two step is drawing low marks across the country." Yet, on January 22, 2004, while running for the Democratic nomination for President, he confused the Federal Reserve with the International Monetary Fund and struggled through the late Peter Jennings' queries. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

At one point during the Fox News debate, Sharpton rambled, "Oh, in the Federal Reserve Board, I would be looking for someone that would set standards in this country, in terms of our banking, our, uh, in how government regulates, uh, the, the Federal, uh, uh, Reserve..."

Earlier, Jennings pressed Sharpton, "If, during your term as president, if you become the nominee, and you have the opportunity to nominate someone to be chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, what kind of person would you consider for the job? You can name someone in particular, if you have someone in mind."

A professorial Jennings pushed, "And maybe just take a minute or so to give us a little bit about your views on monetary policy."

Sharpton then proceeded to discuss the IMF, prompting Jennings to correct, "Forgive me, Reverend Sharpton, but the question was actually about the Federal Reserve Board."

A transcript of the Jan. 22, 2004 debate question to Shaprton can be found below:


PETER JENNINGS: Reverend Sharpton, I'd like to ask you a question about domestic policy, if you don't mind. If, during your term as president, if you become the nominee, and you have the opportunity to nominate someone to be chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, what kind of person would you consider for the job? You can name someone in particular, if you have someone in mind.

And maybe just take a minute or so to give us a little bit about your views on monetary policy.

SHARPTON: Well, first of all, let me say this. I wanted to say to Governor Dean, don't be hard on yourself about hooting and hollering. If I had spent the money you did and got 18 percent, I'd still be in Iowa hooting and hollering.

SHARPTON: So, don't worry about it, Howard.

DEAN: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: I think, first of all, we must have a person at the Monetary Fund that is concerned about growth of all, not setting standards that would, in my judgment, protect some and not elevate those that cannot, in my view, expand and come to the levels of development and the levels of where we need to be. I think part of my problem with how we're operating at this point is that the IMF and the policies that are emanating there do not lead to the expansion that is necessary for our country and our global village to rise to levels that underdeveloped countries and those businesses in this country can have the development policies necessary.

JENNINGS: Forgive me, Reverend Sharpton, but the question was actually about the Federal Reserve Board.

SHARPTON: I thought you said IMF, I'm sorry.

JENNINGS: No, I'm sorry, sir. And what you'd be looking for in a chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

SHARPTON: Oh, in the Federal Reserve Board, I would be looking for someone that would set standards in this country, in terms of our banking, our, uh, in how government regulates, uh, the the Federal, uh, uh, Reserve as we see it under Greenspan, that we would not be protecting the big businesses; we would not be protecting banking interests in a way that would not, in my judgment, lead toward mass employment, mass development and mass production.

I think that — would I replace Greenspan, probably. Do I have a name? No.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org