Perry: Fast and Furious is 'Nixonian'
June 24th, 2012
11:40 AM ET
6 years ago

Perry: Fast and Furious is 'Nixonian'

(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Sunday labeled President Barack Obama's claim of executive privilege over Operation Fast and Furious as "Nixonian," suggesting the scandal is worse than Watergate.

"You have a president who is using his executive privilege to keep that information from Congress. If that's not Nixonian, then I don't know what is," Perry said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

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The Republican governor and former presidential candidate portrayed the botched gun-running operation as more serious than the 1970s Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of former President Richard Nixon.

"We've had over 300 Mexican nationals killed directly attributable to this Fast and Furious operation, where they brought those guns into Mexico. A former Marine and a Border Patrol agent by the name of Brian Terry lost his life," Perry said. "With Watergate you had a second-rate burglary."

Obama asserted executive privilege last week over Justice Department documents surrounding the Fast and Furious probe by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The House is expected to vote next week to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives launched the operation out of Arizona to track weapon purchases by Mexican drug cartels. However, it lost track of more than 1,000 firearms that the agency had allowed straw buyers to carry across the border, and two of the lost weapons turned up at the scene of the 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

- CNN's Tom Cohen contributed to this report.

Filed under: President Obama • Rick Perry
soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. vic , nashville ,tn

    Even republicans don’t want to talk about this, every time democrats say this program started By G.W.Bush Oops
    24 /7 Fox talking about this even fox viewers say boring Oops
    Past 10 days Romney campaign look like suspended because of this Oops

    June 24, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. w l jones

    Seem like somebody who head the State trooper and National Guard were not durning his job.of proteting it border.

    June 24, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    From Fox News Sunday, June 24, 2012:

    "The Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee [Rep. Darrel Issa] on Sunday said that there was no proof that President Barack Obama’s White House had any involvement in Fast and Furious, a botched gun “walking” program that intended to trace weapon sales to Mexico."

    June 24, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. John

    Why don't Rick Perry just back to Texas and shut Up, Didn't he get the hint when he was running for President and couldn't get any vote. That 95% of the People of America don't cares what he think or what he taking about. The Man just a Idiot that the people of Texas wasn't smart enough Not to Elected him for GOV. So If he got something to stay than keep It In Texas where they like to hear him.

    June 24, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    If Darrel Issa and the Republicans are so concerned with getting to the bottom of this, then why hasn't Issa called any witnesses from the ATF Phoenix field office?

    Could it be because this would lead to revelations regarding the GW Bush Administration's gun walking programs?

    June 24, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. Governor 47th in Job Growth


    If Darrel Issa and the Republicans are so concerned with getting to the bottom of this, then why hasn't Issa called any witnesses from the ATF Phoenix field office?

    Could it be because this would lead to revelations regarding the GW Bush Administration's gun walking programs?

    GOP response? *crickets*

    June 24, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    The Repubs are going after Attorney General Holder because of his efforts to stop Repub governor voter suppression and to yet again try to make President Obama look bad.

    The amended statement by Holder that all the Repubs are so agitated about concerns Holder correcting the record after he received false information from the AFT Phoenix field office. I would think the Repubs would appreciate Holder's efforts to get the truth into the record ... I would also think the Issa and the Repubs would want to see all the documents Holder has offered to provide the committee to provide further facts about this program ...

    I would think ... but apparently Issa and the Repubs don't want to ...

    June 24, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. King

    when will these rabid repubs stop sucking up to the NRA and reenacted the assault weapons band, these repubs refuse to call in the bush administration who started this gun running crap, what the hell was these repubs thinking when they started this program, what is left of the NRA, that these repubs wont suckup to.

    June 24, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Robert Schiele

    "Nixonian?" Please. The Nixon White House committed their assorted felonies with the one objective of procuring (in the legal sense of the term) Nixon's re-election in 1972. "Fast and Furious," whatever it may have been, had nothing to do with elections or electoral politics. As nearly as I can make out (and I am not as well informed about the whole fiasco as I would like to be), it was a ham-fisted, busted "sting" operation which went catastrophically wrong. There is no reasonable comparison between these two objectives.

    June 24, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    GW Bush started these gun walking programs; under his, the vast majority of guns were lost as they entered Mexico. More significantly, no arrests or indictments were made as a result of such programs as "Wide Receiver."

    In 2009 [President Obama's Administration] Holder and the DOJ reviewed Wide Receiver and found that guns had had been allowed into the hands of gun traffickers. Based on this evidence, indictments began in 2010, with these results:

    9 people were charged; 1 charge was dropped; 5 people plead guilty; 1 person was arrested; 2 people remain fugitives.

    Once again, President Obama has had to work cleaning up a mess left by GW Bush. And once again, all the Repubs can do in response is try to obstruct and blame him.

    June 24, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    An interesting factoid about the Committee's contempt vote: The NRA is "scoring" the Committee members on how they voted.

    The NRA will also be "scoring" House members when they hold a full House vote on the contempt citation.

    We all know that NRA "scoring" is used to determine whether House members will be "primaried" the next time they are up for reelection – and is a make-or-break when it comes to whether House members will receive an endorsement from the NRA (which directly translates to campaign funding).

    Anyone out there not see this as blatant blackmail by the NRA to get House members to do what THEY want, regardless of the FACTS?

    June 24, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. g

    home, home,on the range,the governor of texas is strange -is it before or after or after before the program started by bush

    June 24, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Pander Bear

    Sorry Darell. No White Water for you. Try Dancing with the Stars if your ego requires so much attention.

    June 24, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    More info about the NRA's pressure tactics: Do an Internet search on "NRA letter June 20, 2012" to read the NRA's letter for yourself.

    In plain English, the NRA promotes the paranoid lie that Fast & Furious is an attempt by the Obama Administration to escalate gun violence along the Mexican border to use as an excuse to take away Americans' guns. (No mention of similar programs started under GW Bush, or the FACT that the ONLY gun legislation signed by President Obama RELAXED gun restrictions by allowing concealed guns in National Parks.)

    BTW, the letter was sent directly to Darrell Issa and Elijah Cummings (the Ranking Member on the Committee). It was cc'd to Boehner, Cantor, Majority Whip McCarthy, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and all members of the House.

    The GOP has been totally taken over by the loonies in their party ...

    June 24, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Expat American

    The Republicans [war] criminals are once again strategically trying to hide their own failures – when it's impossible to do so. Credit is due, however, for their persistence. When are these liars going to come clean with their failures? The world is waiting.

    Rick Perry should stick to what he does best and shut his 3rd grade educated mouth. That is Drinking alcohol all day and hunting at his 'lodge'.

    June 24, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Dave

    Like it or not, cons, Nixon is still the poster child for the way the Republican party does business.

    June 24, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. Abnguy

    Nixonian is usurd. Watergate did not kill federal agents and Mexican nationals as the Holder-Obama Fast and Furious scandal.

    June 24, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. ty

    who would have thought anyone could make sarah palin look better..well trick perry has. all the lack of intellect of palin without any of the charm.. poor texas..first bush, now perry. you folks in texas really should see a therapist and work on your need for political abuse.

    June 24, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Greg

    Rick Perry = Failed republican candidate for President spreading false rumors about a sitting democratic President. Typical republican strategy.

    June 24, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. jerry

    who can believe anything obama and holder say? Our mothers (at least the boomers mothers) told us not to lie leads to another to another and to another..obama said he knew nothing of FF and now he has to cover this up. We know even his books were filled with distortions and lies to create this mythical black poor boy named barry then back to barack...seems obama couldn't tell the truth if he were paid too...oops he is paid to.

    June 24, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. liberal disease

    i thought liberalism meant freedom of speech, guess only if you agree with it. Your whole believe system is a sham.
    Obama has blood on his hands and all he cares about his the election. What an elitist phony!!

    June 24, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. John

    The idea of planting evidence you can track is sort of a sting operation. This one went wrong, which is an occupational hazard when you're trying to sting bad guys. So, unless the issue is that the US still has human resources in play who could be endangered, I do not understand yet why Justice doesn't just publish the whole story. I DO however understand the GOP people quite easily-ANYTHING to demean and destroy the Presidency of Barack Obama. The idea that he or his administration would knowingly and intentionally aid and abet drug cartels is so ridiculous Issa and Perry and their like ought to be laughed out of town. Who in either party could even hope to gain by helping evil people?

    June 24, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Jim

    Let's face it. Perry is an idiot. He described watergate as a '3rd rate burglary,' completely in denial about its implications against our democracy. Then again, I doubt he cares at all about democracy. Why the hoo-haw about this? Because people died. I wish the president would just hand over everything and let the chips fall where they may. Once everything is public, then everyone, including the prior administration, will have their say in the court of public opinion.

    June 24, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. TOOL

    this is worse then the watergate we the people demand a full investigation!!!!!!

    June 24, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. justic

    Don't forget his "enemies list" either.

    June 24, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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