Perry hits Obama for war on faith, despite a ghost of 'holiday season' past
December 7th, 2011
04:32 PM ET
2 years ago

Perry hits Obama for war on faith, despite a ghost of 'holiday season' past

(CNN) - Rick Perry doubled down on his religion-based attack of President Barack Obama Wednesday, saying the president was preventing students from celebrating Christmas in schools. But just last year, Perry issued a holiday statement as governor of Texas that omits any mention of the Christian holiday.

In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Perry said Obama and the political left were waging a "war on religious traditions," including preventing students from praying in schools and having Christmas parties.

"What we're seeing from the left, of which I would suggest to you, President Obama is a member of the left and substantial left-of-center beliefs, that you can't even have a Christmas party. You can't say a prayer at school," Perry said in an interview airing on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

But in a holiday statement to troops issued by his office on Dec. 22, 2010 and posted on the governor's website, Perry fails to mention Christmas at all, sticking instead to more general terms like "holiday season."

"During this holiday season, remember to thank a first responder or salute a veteran for their service and pray for God's protection on them and their families," Perry said.

The concern over Christmas was part of a larger attempt by Perry to attack the president on religious grounds, an effort that also included a television ad, released in Iowa Wednesday, that paints a similar picture of the Obama's policies.

"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," Perry says in the ad.

In the interview Wednesday, Perry said he stood by the spot.

"I'm very comfortable and with that ad," Perry said. "For one thing, my faith is part of me. The values that I learned in my Christian upbringing will affect my governing."

Perry said the Obama administration was executing a war on religious values by restricting federal funds to certain organizations.

"When you talk to the bishops of the Catholic Church, there is clearly an agenda by this administration to go after those Catholic charities that are offering health care, doing work or trafficking of individuals," Perry said.

"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 continued.

Perry also mentioned he had yet to make a decision about participating in a debate sponsored by reality television star Donald Trump, saying he had planned a bus tour through Iowa on the same date, and wasn't sure if his schedule would allow participating in the Trump event.

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Filed under: 2012 • Religion • Rick Perry • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. gwen

    Perry is scary.

    December 7, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Little Ricky is off his meds again.

    December 7, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Jake

    if you want your kids to pray in school, send them to a parochial school!

    December 7, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. DLWyer

    Wow. Doesn't anyone just report any more? CNN had to become Obama's state run network along with NBC? I'd appreceate just reading what the candidates have to say without wading through two paragraphs defending Obama for every statement made by a candidate. This only tells me Obama can't defend himself.

    December 7, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. kevin

    Oh boy your reThugliCan't sure can pick em. Please send this POOR EXCUSE FOR A GOVERNOR back to Texas, they deserve him.

    December 7, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. GROVER NORQUIST IS A LOBBYIST PANDERING TO THE SELFISH BAGGERS WHO WHINE ABOUT PAYING THEIR SHARE AND SHOULD GO TO SOMALIA FOR THE GOVT THEY DESERVE

    Parry is uping the freak show quaility of his raving and that can only mean one thing – he wants lame-stream media attention. Like every GOPer running for RNC nomination the only thing the are capable of is insiting fear among the foxed-up followers. They are so afraid of Obama no lie is too crazy.

    December 7, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Perry is dumb as a box of rocks, but he seems to be a voice for the teavangelicals.

    December 7, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Katy

    I watched that interview; Wolf did a good job. And what I decided after listening to Governor Perry was that I would never vote for him.

    December 7, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    Okay, this is getting ridiculous. Shouldn't we be concentrating on getting people BACK to work or is that asking too much?

    December 7, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Daniel

    A war on religion? At last, a war worth fighting.

    December 7, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Most Faith-based organizations that I know of don't want federal dollars because of strings attached, many of which came during the Bush years. What a load of hogwash to suggest there is a war on people of faith.

    December 7, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    To hell with religion. It's responsible for most wars that happen on this planet. all you need to know is that there is a God and he don't like ugly. I'm sure he can't stand C.I.N.O.s(Christians In Name Only).

    December 7, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Stacey

    LOL! Why is this ignorant red neck still iin the Barnum and Bailey GOP Circus? He's the dumbest out of all the clowns. No one is paying him any attention anymore, so he needs to get in the news by telling another bald-faced lie about the President. Faith or no faith, Rick Perry will never be POTUS. Go back to Texas and figure out how to secede from the USA!

    December 7, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. scmom

    Please find something else to bash him about. This man cannot do anything without being critized. Perry needs to watch what he says about someone else's religion. It is so apparent that people have forgotten what America is suppose to be about. Freedom of speech, religion and if the President had said something about someone elses religion they would jump all over that. Is there anything that the President can do? Republicans mantra critize everything that Obama does or say.

    December 7, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. Canuck

    So, Rick, how about those jobs???????

    December 7, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Do I have this right, Texas was a state that foreign media, Fox, cited last year as waging a war on Christmas?

    December 7, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Religion is nothing but a form of control. I'm sure everyone has seen the movie The Matrix. As you all know, the Matrix was designed to keep people under control. Same thing with religion. It's to keep you under control from rebelling against the system that's called "government."

    December 7, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. ChiTownArkie

    Perry should thank his God that gay men and women don't vote. (tongue firmly implanted in cheek)

    December 7, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. unsub

    the public has already made up its mind about Perry! He is unelectable!

    December 7, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. encore

    only thing I can say is dude u sound like a fool. I know that prez Obama he more a christan than u and the gop. If u was a true christan It will show in the way u walk, talk. If u have to convince someone u r a christan that make u not a christan. So satan get over yourself go back to hell were u came from.

    December 7, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Debra

    I do not like it when the media twist the truth and are trying to convince people on who they want you to like and dislike.
    We are not stupid people in America to see through the lies!

    December 7, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Debra

    There is a lot of evil on this earth and it is because mankind choose evil.

    December 7, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Debra

    Rick Perry would make a great President and I hope people see through the lies that are told about him. CNN lied!!!

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

    There is no such thing as invisible sky fairies. Grow up.

    December 7, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Scott O' Canada

    Praise the Lord, and pass the bucks. He is stealing the rhetoric right out of the George Bush handbook. Bibles and handguns for everybody this "holiday season". It's a stale strategy, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

    December 7, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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