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

    having Christmas parties.

    Ricky like's
    Christmas parties.

    December 7, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  2. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    A woman came up to me in the grocery store and told me that Rick Parrys mother was Jewish. Why won't he comment on this fact??

    December 7, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. Confused

    So he's hitting President Obama for limiting funds for religious organizations? Wait, isn't his whole schtick about reducing government spending? Why does he want to give a bunch of federal money to religious organizations? Seems a bit hypocritical to me.

    I wish he had participated in some debates during the last gubernatorial election In Texas (he refused to debate his democratic opponent). I’m sure we wouldn’t have him as a governor or candidate now.

    December 7, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  4. detada

    Perry, you remind me of a little child who poops in their underwear to get attention. You need to take a long time out.

    December 8, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  5. Buster Bloodvessel

    What a nut case. They sure do keep popping out of the GOP Clown Car, don't they? What does RNC Chairman Donald Trump have to say about this?

    December 8, 2011 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  6. realtalker

    Gays should be able to serve openly. Children are free to celebrate Christmas as is everyone else and they are also free to pray in school if they choose to do so. A child praying isn't against policy. A school official leading a prayer over the intercom is. Big Big difference.

    December 8, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  7. Old Bill

    As long as there are final exams, fervent prayers will be issued in classrooms all over this country.

    December 8, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  8. m

    perry is just trying to get in the headlines ..first of all...EDUCATION is a place for learning < santa isnt real , you dont want lies in a place where your suppostu be learning FACTS . but anyways schools are aloud to have christmas like decoration , so all this drama is just overrated. why not just talk more about turning our country into a polluted desert for oil

    December 8, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  9. Saganhill

    "The values that I learned in my Christian upbringing will affect my governing."

    Thats why you will never become president and I will never waste my vote on anyone like you.

    December 8, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  10. nytw

    I just heard Perry on the radio saying he was going to increase foreign aid to Israel, instate regime change in Iraq, and increase federal aid to Catholic Charities. I don't have a lot of problems with any of this but, he didn't say how he was going to pay for it all.

    December 8, 2011 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  11. The Greedy Old Pigs offer nothing for the 99%

    Perry is just another GOBP ne(cr)ocon deathcult member seeking to impose his phony "christian" version of Sharia law on the US. The American Taliban is alive and well thanks to idiots like Ricky.

    December 8, 2011 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  12. a in austin

    What a joke – Ricky, what would Jesus say about your lies....

    December 8, 2011 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  13. Ol' Lefty

    The stupid is strong in this one.

    December 8, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  14. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Can you believe that this guy was elected multiple times as Governor of Texas......OMG!

    December 8, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  15. jim

    "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,"

    This quote would be more accurate if you replace the word "administration" with CONSTITUTION.

    December 8, 2011 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  16. wgf

    "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,"

    Well, first of all, the government can't support faith based organizations with federal dollars because the Supreme Court has ruled that type of activity to be a violation of Church and State. It has nothing to do with Obama or those leftist liberals who want to destroy our country if every way imagineable. Second - I thought the Republicans were against the redistribution of income, and the general waste of federal dollars. What happened to that ?

    Republicans should just admit that they have only one core value - disagreeing with anything that Obama says or does.

    December 8, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  17. wayne

    Religion and Politics work the same way:

    1. Present problem
    2. Present solution
    3. Present consequences for not accepting solution

    December 8, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  18. Franny

    Please folks, not all Texans support Perry, nor do they like this pathetically stupid politician. NO, we don't deserve him back in Texas, but I would sacrifice that to make sure he never serve as a President of anything! Yes, many here in Texas are very embarassed by him, and his supporters!

    December 8, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  19. Independent Voters

    Perry is a joke need stop listening to Donald Trump that why he will not win the nonimee.
    President Obama love God more then any of these clowns.

    December 8, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  20. CB

    Rick Perry's religious beliefs include Faith, Hope and Oops!

    December 8, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  21. Jack in SC

    I guess Rickie-boy didn't realize that Engel v Vitale, the case that declared state-required prayer in public schools to be unconstitutional, was decided by 3 Democrat and 3 Republican SC justices. He should blame Eisenhower and Taft for nominating those 3 godless infidels to the SC.

    December 8, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  22. ronvan

    I am surprised Perry hasn't exploded yet. He always looks like his chest is so puffed out. Probably why he is full of hot air!

    December 8, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  23. Maryellen

    He is the gift (not) that just keeps giving, what is with this moron? Please shut up amd go back to the poor people of Texas. I loved Patriot Awesomes comment, it was my laugh for the day.

    December 8, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  24. lgccac

    Sometimes the truth hurts, huh? Well said, Perry.

    December 8, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  25. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    War on Christmas? What war on Christmas? All Christmas has become is just another holiday pumped up by retailers trying to make a crap load of money. Want proof? Just look at the worlds biggest outlet for chinese goods and home to a freak show that is second to none, walmart and how they start displaying Christmas decorations around the third week of October. Christmas has NOTHING to do with Christ anymore it's only about the worship of dollars.

    December 8, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
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