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

    Church and state are separate. Obama the person can be a Christian or whatever he chooses to be. Obama the President needs to be religion-neutral. Being religion-neutral means not promoting certain religions in public schools (christianity), and basing laws on basic human rights instead of what christianity says are human rights.

    December 7, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. dean

    What war on religion is he talking about? Is it the one where christians show up on my doorstep and tell me I'm going to hell because I'm not like them? Is it the war christian social conservatives are raging against me when they say the bill of rights shouldn't apply to non-christians? That one? Practice your religion, just quit trying to force it on me. You can pray in school. There is no law against that. What will not happen is that a teacher will not lead it and then punish my child when she refuses to participate.

    December 7, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. LaPlut

    Religion and Rick Perry must go! It's time to evolve!!

    December 7, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Cedar Rapids

    "Jerry – Most of the time I don't agree with presidential candidate Perry; but this time he hit the nail "squarely" on the head. The president's war is any religions other than Moslem."

    So as an example he has done what to christians during this 'war' to prove your point?

    December 7, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Stephen in VA

    How about a War on False Witness, there, Governor Perry? Oh, right, you'd be on the bad side of that one.

    December 7, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. ChicagoGuy

    This guy is 'dicker' than Dick Cheney.

    December 7, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Dave

    Christmas is openly celebrated within Military organizations as well as prayer. There hasn't been any changes with current Commander in Chief. Chaplain always says a prayer before we start eatting at our Christmas parties. We have to be careful with schools and remember that our Country was founded on freedom from Religious persecution. If you open the doors, then the doors have to be open for all religions to be practiced in our schools, not just Christianity. Do parents really want to lose control of what religions their kids are exposed to during their impressionable years? Does Rick Perry support schools interrupting classes throughout the day so the kids can pray to Allah?

    December 7, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. twiddly

    mm hmm, and if a public school had a muslim leading a prayer, would Perry applaud that?
    Nah, didn't think so. Christians only, er, make that straight christians.

    This is NOT a christian nation, no matter how hard the Christian Taliban want to make it so.

    December 7, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. Freddy

    Once again, Gov. Perry is a living example of the Texas public school system....

    December 7, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. Hunter

    Perry is a joke and so is his religion.

    December 7, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Military Spouse

    Perry posted the add on his facebook. He probably doesn't read the comments here but probably does on his facebook. If this matters to you, either way, I suggest commenting where he will be more likely to read it.

    December 7, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. zak

    if he becomes pres...goodbye freedom of religion and goodbye separation of church and state

    December 7, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Texas calm

    And lo, one day Rick Perry said to his followers, "elect me as president, and ye shall live in the shade of my stupidity for eternity"

    December 7, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Balls McGhee

    GOp can have a war on every religion, but Obama doesnt use the word God in a speech and all of a sudden its chaos!!!!!!

    December 7, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. GaryB

    Are there really people who are stupid enough to believe that Obama has some secret war on religion? It's just like those idiots who think (despite all evidence to the contrary during his 2.75 years as president and years as senator) that Obama is out to get their guns. I have to say though, that little falsehood has been good for the gun and ammo business.

    December 7, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. coolbreeze

    What is Christmas doing in schools anyway..Take it out of schools, kids are there to learn not celebrate

    December 7, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. dave

    President Obama's war on religion? He has spoken more about faith than McCain ever would have, and probably on par with what President Bush did. One would hope he doesn't use faith so often to justify/get support for his policies (like Bush or others on the right does).

    December 7, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Nunya

    I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian because I know that being a Christian has absolutely nothing to do with Perry's particular flavor of public profession. I am against his attempts to integrate Christianity into government in official ways. If he wants to interpret that a war on his religious expression, that's his choice – but it is dishonest to represent it as a 'war on religion'.

    December 7, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. maine liberal

    The founders were not with Perry

    Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle

    The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.
    - Thomas Jefferson

    December 7, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. Julie

    If ever there was a time for non-believers to come out the closet, it's NOW! We live in fear of persecution for our beliefs that there is/are NO god/gods. Like the concept of time, god/gods are human creations. I'm sick and tired of having religion, more specifically Christianity, shoved down my throat. I can't even watch a NASCAR race without having to suffer through a pre-race prayer. We non-believers need to come together in a nationally unified manner and SPEAK UP! The religious bantering of all the GOP candidates is sickening. Think the healthcare issue is short-sighted? Imagine an America where being a member of a government-approved church is mandatory. That's where we're headed...

    December 7, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Jesus was a space alien

    Maybe we can pray Rick Perry away. He is the best advertisement for keeping church and state separate. Keep up the good work.

    December 7, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Tony FL

    Separation of religion and state, Rick!

    December 7, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. ScreenAngel

    Julie, you go, girl. Absolutely true, and the right is at its worst campaigning in Iowa, where corn and fundamentalist ideas grow in abundance.

    December 7, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. Belingo

    Right now, the ad video on Rick Perry's own Youtube channel has 436 likes... and 14614 dislikes. Ooops...

    December 7, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Observer

    Perry is staging a war on intelligence.

    December 7, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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