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

    Perry has been waging a war on education. As evidenced by his debate performances and speeches - in his personal battle, intelligence has surrendered and left pretty Ricky.

    December 7, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. DMS

    BTW, I bet you IQ deficient conservatives didn't know that Grover Norquist's wife is a Muslim AND he spoke out in favor of building the mosque near Ground Zero.

    It's interesting how the conservative media never has mentioned that in the time since that story broke. Then again, they're allergic to facts.

    December 7, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. AL in West Palm Beach

    Pretty Ricky...really?

    THAT'S YOUR COMEBACK?

    December 7, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. roberta

    I like your conviction about being a Christian and I hope you adhere to that and I support that 100%. I do not support the Death Penalty. Being a Christian tells me that to take a life of another is wrong, regardless of which end of the spectrum you are from; i.e., you do not take a life of another to apease the life of the one they took. Separate them from society with incarceration for life and showing forgiveness. Far too many people have been put to death only to find out too late thru DNA that they were innocent.

    December 7, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Scott

    Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a numbnut of the highest magnitude.

    December 7, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Student

    Kids can't celebrate Christmas in school for exactly the same reason that they can't celebrate Independence Day in school. They get that day off, to celebrate Christmas with their families. Apparently, the take-home message is that Rick Perry wants to compel children to go to school on Christmas.

    That would put Christmas on the same footing as, say, Hanukkah and Good Friday.

    Well, Rick, I'm all for putting Christmas on the same footing as any other religious holiday and making kids go to school on that day. Go for it. I'd love to see how many votes you get for putting that forward....

    Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is an American holiday, much like Independence Day. Kids should have the day off. And God's not involved intrinsically in Thanksgiving. If religion is something you're thankful for, go ahead and say grace at your own table. That doesn't change the fact that Thanksgiving has no more relation to Christianity than Halloween does.

    Don't believe me? Then go ask the Pope if he celebrates Thanksgiving at the Vatican. Ask a Spaniard. Ask a Canadian. Ask a German. Ask a British person. All of these countries are majority Christian (some Catholic, some Protestant, some mixed). A couple of these countries have a "thanksgiving" holiday, some don't bother at all, and none of them celebrate at the same time or in the same way as the USA. Canada specifically tries to distance their thanksgiving from the US thanksgiving, and has a more solid historical basis than ours. Our holiday was essentially whipped up in 1941 by the President at the time (FDR), based on some sporadic historical celebrations. That's right – Thanksgiving came out of the World War 2 era, not a biblical era. It's only a religious holiday if you worship Roosevelt.

    December 7, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. kel

    Will someone stick a fork in this guy's campaign because it's done.

    December 7, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Stupidscript

    "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"

    Headline should read: "Perry Supports Increasing Federal Spending On Religious Groups During Recession"

    He's taking the "any press is good press" route, regardless of the fact that his claims are ... well, there's no other word for it (who would know better?) ... stupid. The last flailings of a doomed candidate. Not in 2012, not 2016 ... he's gone.

    December 7, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Jared

    Sorry, Rick, I'm a conservative who happens to be Christian and you just don't cut it. You aren't presidential material.

    December 7, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Texas calm

    As any Texan knows, here goes rick being a BULLY again. All he can do is accuse and blame.
    And right now his doing this with outright LIES. Pitiful.
    And please Perry, don't borrow George Bush's coat any more. We had enough of that too.

    December 7, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Ron

    Every day I click on CNN just to see how much more ridiculous and absurd the GOP primary has become. And I'm never disappointed.

    December 7, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. Rajiv Shaw

    Why does he think it is Obama who is responsible? I recollect the same situation during the Bush administration.

    December 7, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Derek

    Here is what I got from Perry from this ad. Only Christians or people adhering to Conservative Christian values deserve the government to fight for their rights. Gays definitely don't deserve rights. Students, who currently can pray on their own, should be allowed to organize a Christian prayer session to be a school function, despite that going against the Bible itself.
    Come, everyone, let's publically and openly pray the verse Matthew 6:5 and see who with us is still too dim witted to see the contradiction and hypocricy.

    December 7, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. NVa Native

    These GOP monsters will say anything to get their nasty primevil followers all fired up.

    December 7, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. pelegrim

    I welcome any war on organized religion. Religion is the worst thing that ever happened to the human race.

    December 7, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. GROVER NORQUIST IS A HERO TO ALL TAXPAYERS WHO ARE SICK OF PAYING MORE THAN THEIR SHARE TO FUND A CORRUPT SOCIALIST AGENDA

    The founding fathers were – ATHEISTS. While agreeing with the moral compass of the bible, they specifically rejected all of the supernatural and spiritual aspects of it. This country was NOT founded on christian values. It was founded on HUMANISTIC values.
    =================================================================================================
    WOW... How shockingly ignorant of the history of this country. "in God We Trust" on our money sound familiar? Signs all over the place for those that have eyes instead of blinders. They opposed a government sponsored and dominated religion like they had in England. Most of the early settlers came here specifically for religious freedom. It appears you ar ea failed product of decaying public schools that have purged the history books of what actaully happened and replaced it all with politcially correct BS.

    December 7, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. John C from Long Island

    The man is simply a dumb-ass pandering to the simplest, most base of all emotions – fear. The Black Muslim is gonna gitcha! Lord help us ALL if someone like that were ever elected anywhere....oh....that's right....he's the GOP GOV of Texas.

    December 7, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. pishaw

    Why, of course Obama has declared a war on religion. Just last week, Obama burned down a church here in Pennsylvania. Of course, in was unoccupied because the chrisians were across the street burning down a mosque.

    December 7, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. an agnostic

    As an independent I hate voting for one 'side'. But this gives me all the justification I need to feel good about myself at the 2012 election when I, once again, vote AGAINST all Republicans.

    Elizabeth Dole's thoughtless comments towards agnostics and atheists was what made me feel good about voting against all Republicans in 2008. Now your thoughtless comments have done it for me for 2012. Thank you, Rick Perry. Thank you.

    December 7, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Morgan

    And I will fight to the last breath in my body to stop ANY form of religious worship in PUBLIC schools. Perry is an empty headed putz who is riding religion like a dimestore hobby horse in order to avoid talking about the REAL issues that a potential president should concentrate on. I think more and more people are beginning to see through his act. He almost makes Dumbya look like a Mensa member!

    December 7, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Chuck

    "Faith" has made America stupid.

    December 7, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Ezra

    "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,"
    -------------–
    YAY! it's about time we stopped using taxpayer money to fund non-tax paying mega-churches.

    December 7, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. chromigula

    Mr. Perry, if you're in favor of openly celebrating holidays and prayer in schools, then you'd be fine with practicing Muslim children ducking out of class multiple times daily for prayers? What about practicing Satanists worshiping in the hallways? Voudoun children sacrificing chickens on the school lawn? How about a Pagan maypole celebration around the school flag? Scientologists offering free e-meter testing in the lunchroom? Hare Krishnas dancing in the lobby with their tambourines? Pastafarians dishing out a spaghetti lunch with blessings from the FSM?

    December 7, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. TomNPitt

    I'm getting pretty sick and tired of having the religious Right telling my government to protect the Right's rights.

    December 7, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. wanderer

    You just started this war, Mr. Perry.

    December 7, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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