New Perry ad derides Obama's 'war on religion'
December 7th, 2011
11:56 AM ET
7 years ago

New Perry ad derides Obama's 'war on religion'

(CNN) - Rick Perry says that if he's elected president, he'll end what he calls President Barack Obama's "war on religion."

Perry makes the comments in a new TV commercial that's sure to create controversy.

"I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school," says the Texas governor and Republican White House candidate. "As President, I'll end Obama's war on religion. And I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again."

The Perry campaign tells CNN the 30-second spot starts running in "heavy rotation" statewide in Iowa Wednesday. The state's Jan. 3 caucuses kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar. The campaign says the ad will also run on cable television on the Fox News Channel.

The 30-second spot is slotted to run statewide starting Wednesday in Iowa. The state's Jan. 3 caucuses kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar.

In an email release touting the new commercial, the Perry campaign lists headlines from mainstream, conservative, and religious reporting sites to illustrate what it calls the "Obama Administration's war on religion." Those examples include the president's move to stop defending the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and his exclusion of the word "God" from his Thanksgiving speech.

In an interview Wednesday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Perry said he stood by the ad.

"The administration is clearly sending messages to people of faith, and organizations of faith, that we're not going to support you with federal dollars," Perry said. "I'm very comfortable with that ad, for one thing. My faith is a part of me, and the values I learned in my Christian upbringing will affect my governing."

CNN has reached out to Obama's re-election team for reaction to the new Perry ad.

Perry is a Methodist and has not shied away from touting his faith during his presidential bid . In an earlier campaign commercial, Perry described himself as a "man of faith."

Social conservative voters are influential in race for the GOP presidential nomination, especially in Iowa and South Carolina, the first southern state to vote.

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Ads • President Obama • Rick Perry
soundoff (405 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Hang it up, Rick... you're just not cutting it.

    December 7, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Jeff in Virginia

    I'm more interested in Rick Perry's 'War on Intelligence'.

    December 7, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. king

    what is perry yapping about now. obama ends all his speaches with god bless america. why is he blatantly lying on this president. hey you forgot perry about seperation of church and state. its amazing how you guys use the constitution as a front and dont adhere to any thing the constitution is for. if you and your right winged followers can change the constitution and rewrite it in your twisted ideology, this would be accomplished tomorrow so please stop the crap.

    December 7, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The poor man just doesn't get it. Almost every change that he's proposing to make is already settled law by the SCOTUS. If he wants to know why the cases were decided the way they were, then he needs to sit down read a junior high school textbook on the US Constitution that wasn't printed in the state of Texas.

    December 7, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Lee

    Really Rick??? A war on religion accusation is the best you can do?

    December 7, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Tired of the nonsense

    What planet does Perry live on? What war on religion? It's religion that's made war on people thanks to the Bushies and their regime.

    December 7, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. TJB

    How many times does Obama have to say he's a CHRISTIAN? War on religion? Can we not have ANY regulation for our media in this country? People do believe this stuff!!!

    December 7, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. gt

    better becareful ..... even though its true about obama ... one should not talk about ones religion,...ones wife or there dogs....

    December 7, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Greg in Arkansas

    Perry: "I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian,"......but.... In 2007 — a year in which Perry reported an income of more than $1 million — he gave $90 to his church, according to the Perry family’s tax return. Twice since becoming governor, in 2000 and 2009, he reported no contributions to churches or religious organizations.

    Can't put his "Money where his Mouth is".....typical GOP religious hypocrit.......

    December 7, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Tony

    Perhaps someone should run a counterpoint ad on how bible-thumpers like Perry and his ilk are waging a war on free thought. That whole freedom of religion thing does not have an asterisk and a footnote saying "Christians only."

    December 7, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. Keyser Soze

    Rick needs some longer arms for that reach.
    Rick also needs to keep his religion out of my government; there is a purposeful separation of church and state in this country. Freedom of religion or freedom from religion - whatever suits a person.
    Rick's best move would be to go step in it somewhere else. Unelectable.

    December 7, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    Let's see how do I respond to this WITHOUT siding with Perry? For starters, I do agree with part of what Perry is saying. IF you are a Christian (and I am) why should you have to gloss around that? While there is separation of church and state (and for good reason) Perry is ONLY saying these things because he knows he's no longer in good graces with his TP crowd and he also knows he needs these fanatics in order to have a chance. Switching gears – Perry is the LAST person to mention Christian values when he executes people with the stroke of a pen (and brags about it). Your career in the WH is over governor even before it began and you might as well go on back to Texas for good.

    December 7, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
    This is what the Constitution says Rick. Stop trying to push your false christianity upon true believers in God. I'm shocked that God hasn't strucken you so called christians down for your blasphemy. If you call yourself a christian, then prove it! You've executed a man who possibly was innocent Rick. Who made you judge, jury and executioner?

    December 7, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. BillSD33

    This isn't a matter of having everyone believe in their "God". This is a matter of forcing everyone to their belief system. Matthew 7:12 "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

    December 7, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Hap

    Now this is just a big waste of money. This guy has no shot at getting the nomination but has millions to spend so he's going down as a good republican and using his money to deride the President. I say cut your losses, give the money back to the Koch brothers where it came from and let them give it to the next potential loser. Better yet, give it to the United Way and actually help someone.

    December 7, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Mikey

    "there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school"
    What does gays-in-the-military have to do with religion? Can't gays have any religious belief? Unless, of course, you consider homophobia a Christian value. Do you have to have a canine IQ to respond to this kind of dog whistle?

    Second, learning about religion in school is different than using peer pressure to evangelize you fellow students. Let's see how many of these defenders of religion would support real religious education. Let's have a curriculum where elementary schools spend 20 minutes a day on religious study, but rotate the religion each day to include all the various flavors of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other non-Christian religions. Support that or admit you don’t want religious freedom as much as religious domination, which is completely un-American.

    December 7, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |

    It's truly amazing how these guys just make up crap and don't get called out it. There is no war against against religion, the president is however standing up for human rights. I wonder if Perry and the rest of these clowns understand that Jesus if he were alive today would be a very liberal democrat. Things like feed the poor, provide health care, and love thy neighbor, including those that you do not agree with. It's one thing to claim your faith, it's quite another to truly be a Christian! As far as not mentioning God in his Thanksgiving speech, if you look at the written copy he does indeed mention God. Furthermore, the previous two Thanksgiving speeches did include God in the verbal version. President Bush neglected to mention God in a few of his Thanksgiving speeches and I did not hear any these comments from these so-called Christians about him. I wonder why, what are they really saying? All they seem to do is express their hate for the President, hardly Christian.

    December 7, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    @ Greg in Arkansas –

    To be fair, there are many people of faith who give money to their house of worship and don't claim it as an itemized deduction – for the simple reason they DO put their money where their mouth is.

    December 7, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Reggie from LA

    So you'll mindlessly offend Americans who are not Christians by insisting that they practice or otherwise be part of Christian observance agains their wills. Things have changed a bit in America since the "wonderful 50's". People have made other choices for which they expect to be respected. Now I was going to say that Perry's camp wasted money on ridiculous nonsense, but there are enough "REAL Americans" who are succeptible to utter foolishness to agree and maybe vote in favor of Perry's Hail Mary, Obama bash. Geezis!! Circus indeed.

    December 7, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Nick

    Perry has the unique ability to make "W" sound almost intelligent. Even we atheists wouldn't support a "WAR ON RELIGION". What is needed is a war on ignorance and Perry could be the Poster Child for such a movement.

    December 7, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    pathetic how the GOP constantly comes back to religion when they're not getting anywhere with any real issues. Sorry Rick. Americans (at least not the American taliban) don't want religion forcing your opinions and policies

    December 7, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. RINO Bil

    Now that we have finally heard from Rick Perry, I realized how blessed we were for the past four weeks when the media concentrated on Herm Cain and then the Newtster.

    If Rick could manage to read the Constritution itself and not the Constitution For Dummies, he would realize that there is something called separation of Church and State. No one is asking Perry not to be a proud Christian, but the U.S. is home to Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. We are not a theocracy as Perry's follwer would have us believe.

    So Perry's assigning a "War on Religon" to Obama is about as truthful and accurate as Palin's "Death Panels," and the birthers claim that Obama was not born in the U.S. It's all a dodge and irrelevant.

    Deal with REAL issues Rick.

    December 7, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. ddblah

    Yeah, start a "war of rationale thinking".

    December 7, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Robert

    I can see where you're coming from Mr. Perry about gays serving openly in the military as belonging to the POTUS, but Christmas or prayers in school were decided by the Supreme Court WAAAAY back during your twin, I mean, enemy, President Bush's term.

    Way to go, fact twisting!

    December 7, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Yaung Ni Oo

    Yeah,, Obama should stop war on religions, he should say " May Allah, Buddha and God bless the United States of America" (it is alphabetical order) at the end of the every speech he will give in the future.

    December 7, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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