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U.S. Fed's Fisher: Fed pays no attention to critics

The U.S. Federal Reserve is reflected in a car as a security officer patrols the front of the building in Washington, June 24, 2009. REUTERS/Jim Young/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said on Thursday that central bank policymakers pay no attention to criticism by political candidates of the way it manages monetary policy.

"As far as the impact on our decision-making, whether it's Fed Chairman (Ben) Bernanke or whether it is the the rest of us that sit around that table, we just don't pay attention to this," Fisher said in a CNBC television interview.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, the Texas governor, created a fuss when he said earlier this week that it would be "treasonous" if the Fed "prints more money between now and the election" in November 2012.

Pressed on whether policymakers were worried by the apparent bid to bring the central bank, which is independent from the government, into the campaign as an issue of debate, Fisher said the best stance was to stay above the fray.

"I think it's very important that we resist the temptation to react to that criticism in any way, shape or form," he said. "We know historically when legislatures have taken over central bank functions you end up with Argentina, Weimar republic, nationalist China and so on," Fisher said.

"If we don't allow it to permeate our thinking, we just do what we're supposed to do for a living, then I think we'll stand in the best stead," he added.

Fisher said that while the U.S. economy faces a "slow slog" toward recovery, with inadequate rates of job creation, it was unlikely to slip into recession.

"I still think we have positive momentum," he said, adding "I do think we're going to have a positive third quarter."

He said the "comic opera" debate among politicians on Capitol Hill last month about raising the U.S. debt limit had hurt growth prospects by creating severe uncertainty among companies about making new investments but said he still forecasts economic expansion.

(Reporting by Glenn Somerville, editing by Jim Marshall)