(CNN) - Rick Perry signaled Tuesday that if elected president, he would be open to reinstating the "don't ask, don't tell" law that banned openly gay individuals from serving in the military.
The Republican presidential candidate said the 18-year-old policy, which was repealed earlier this year, "worked well," and accused President Barack Obama of lifting the ban in reaction to his political base.
"I think the idea that the president of the United States wanted to make a political statement using our men and women in the military as the tool for that was irresponsible," Perry told ABC News.
When asked if he, as a former member of the Air Force, would be comfortable serving with openly gay men and women, the Texas governor said that was not a question that needs to be asked.
"If an individual in their private life makes a decision about their sexuality from the standpoint of how they're going to practice it, that's their business," Perry said. "That's the reason 'don't ask, don't tell' was in fact a workable policy and that's why I would be comfortable with our country going back to that."