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. Brian52

    Perry's comments clearly shows what happens when you been governor for too long. Time for a new governor in Texas.

    June 25, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. Marshall

    Poor Perry, still flailing away.

    June 25, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. Larry L

    @Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    "End the lawlessnes of the Obama administration in November or this country is headig toward a lawless leftist dictatorship. We are already half way there."
    Ahhh... another Fox News drone screaming at the cars on the highway. The President is forced to take executive action because of the obstructionist Republicans in Congress. They've used the filibuster in the Senate 137 times to block every initiative – even those they introduced in committee. The House has become nothing more than a platform for right-wing political stunts and witch hunts for political gain. Since the Supreme Court is just an activist tool for Republicans, the Executive Branch is all that's left to actually govern America.

    June 25, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Voice Crying In the Wilderness

    Why would a person who showed himself to be a complete intellectual lightweight in the republican primary resurface and, instead of trying to reconstruct his image, makes a statement that authenticates that he is, in fact, an airhead?

    June 25, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. DenInNooYawk

    He's angling for a run in 2017. Okay...nobody tell him it's 2016–it'll be hilarious...

    June 25, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  6. sarahpalinscaresthehelloutofme1

    Nixonian? Fast and Furious was started by the Bush administration, not by Obama. And btw, Bush claimed executive privilege six times–this was the first and only time Obama has. So if Obama is Nixonian for continuing a Bush program–and for claiming executive privilege once–does Perry think W is Nixonian?

    June 25, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. streetdude66

    "If thats not Nixonian I dont know what is". You dont know what it is, Sonny-Bubba.

    June 25, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Iris

    I was never a big fan of the Republicans, but always respected them as a whole. However, this entire Fast and Furious situation, along with ALL the other empty scare tactics and stunts, has left me with no respect at all for them.I hope one day my stance changes, because they are a viable part of the success of the U.S. I prefer to disagree with them, yet still respect their argument, and/or message. Right now, that is impossible.

    June 25, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  9. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    Nothing is more pathetic than a former "rising star" within the GOP, thinking he/she is still relevant.

    Perry/Palin 2016!

    June 25, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. Doug from Seattle

    I hear the accusations. I hear the characterizations. I hear the outrage.

    What I don't hear is the evidence justifying any of it! Where's the BEEF!!!!

    I am so sick and tired of the republican party's witch hunts that go nowhere while costing taxpayers countless millions!

    June 25, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. Mary

    Nixonian? The foundation for FF was made by the Bush administration, not by Obama. To governor Perry, Bush claimed executive privilege six times and this is the first time Obama has claimed executive privelege.

    June 25, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Billy davis

    These same folks that scream whenever President Obama goes the bathroom are amazingly silent on finding WMD's, Torturing prisoners, firing US Attorney's and how the Bush Administration lacked oversight. The crook from Texas dare accuse someone of being dishonest, laughable...

    June 25, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. Robere

    Doesn't President Clinton hold the all time record for executive privilege? Why not Clintonian?

    June 25, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Hap

    I agree with Rick for once, he doesn't know what Nixonian means. Let's make George Bush and Bill Clinton turn all their papers in from when they exercised it, we might at least see Chaney go to jail. Obstuctionists must go for the country to move forward, reverse is not an option.

    June 25, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Brad

    First Obama claims he wasn't involved. Now he apparently is. American citizens have died and the White House wants to hush everything up. What is Obama hiding?

    June 25, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. Pete

    On this Issa stunt there's a way to shut up these hypocritical republicans for good,subpoena the original architects of operation Gunrunner,Linebacker meaning Bush,Cheney,AGGonzales and the initial ATF agents,then question them.After indictments go out to several leading republicans,Issa will most certainly shut down this politically motivated witchhunt.It'll be a black mark they'll never live down politically possibly ending Issa and all connected careers in politics,also possibly initiating civil lawsuits against them as well.With Bushs botched operation only recovering a meager 12% of the total guns that went over the border these republicans also have some answering to do,not just for Terrys death,but including possibly Issa and others who are using this to feed their egos that may have been initially involved in getting this operation off the ground,as Issa being an exmilitary official using his expertise to help create this botched operation,but as usual with republicans ,they fail to take responsibility for their failures numbering too much to list...

    June 25, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. Indy

    Billy davis

    Obama does not believe in torturing terrorists, he just puts them on his "kill" list and sends out the drones. Much more humane.

    June 25, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. Busted

    This is why it is so easy to rip on republicans these days, it is truly the party of Newt. I always thought guns didn't kill people but people kill people. If that's true, then why is Obama responisble for these deaths?

    June 25, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. homardy

    Perry is only advancing the new position of the Republican party that the F&F "scandal" is on the order of Watergate, the most negatively influential scandal in the history of American Politics. Stay tuned as this Watergate comparison will be flogged by Republican surrogates for as long as they think it might damage Obama's electoral chances. It matters little that the comparison is not valid. Truth is always the first casualty in war and politics.

    June 25, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. Stephen in VA

    I'm sure all the times Bush claimed executive privilege, Perry screamed about it. That I can't find any reference to his statements online is just more evidence of the massive liberal conspiracy against all things Republican.

    Good thing I"m posting this online instead of trying to say it in person. Can't say it with a straight face.

    June 25, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. anoel2005

    Obama stepped in it this time....

    The Union of Border agents will be suing the DOJ because they say it's a "slap in the face" to be hiding these documents.

    June 25, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Susan

    Great CNN, you did your job as info spreaders, you reported what he actually said. Now, how about doing your job as reporters and including actual facts about executive privilege and Fast and Furious so people can evaluate Perry's statements on their own?

    June 25, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. Che Bravo!

    Perry got the word "Nixonian" from McConnell. He's too daft to actually invent a word. The problem for the GOP is that this is no way near Watergate and just illustrates how desperate the Republicans are to see Obama fail.

    June 25, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. drod

    Oops-he-did-it-again-Perry like Palin and the other Republican clowns desperately trying to be relevent.

    June 25, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. drod

    Perry is another reason why Republicans are no longer being taken seriously by the American People. The other reasons are Bush, Romney, Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, Bachman, Cain, Palin, Boehner, McConnell etc. etc. etc

    June 25, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
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