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. Friskitt

    Repubs had to come up with something, since the birther movement is dying.
    When it comes out the missing guns where lost under the Bush administration,
    things will get interesting.

    June 24, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Gov OOPS found someone that could type for him.

    June 24, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    This was a Arizona operation that did NOT inform Holder.

    June 24, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. H.R.

    Bush started this fiasco. Now they blame Obama for it. Typical Tea/Republican irrational thinking.

    June 24, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. strangerq

    You have a president who is using his executive privilege to keep that information from Congress....

    ^ The point of executive privilege is to prevent abuse of power by attempting to blackmail the President, as seen in the past by GOP Senators such as Joe McCarthy.

    The same applies to the President – neither President nor Congress can simply demand that the other branch turn over documents to each other.

    This is why Watergate occurred – Nixon broke into a democratic party headquarters to STEAL confidential records in an attempt to trash his political enemies.

    He couldn't just demand the records because there is no legal reason for anyone to give them to him.

    Same with Dan ISA.

    No one expects Rick Perry to understand this though cause he's one dumb cowboy.

    June 24, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. TruthMatters

    You only cite half of the fiasco – wide receiver. Botched operation, terrible idea and then terminated. Then under you Saint Obama, Fast and Furious started with the same, rancid idea of "gun walking". Fast and Furious is/was a gun walking operation just like wide Receiver. Fast and Furious Started under Obama in 2009. The only thing Obama can blame Bush for on Fast and Furious is for the stupid idea. Now, Obama cites "executive privilege" to cover his Attorney General's trail, who knew about Fast and Furious while it was ongoing. You should quit thinking that Obama makes no mistakes... Wide Receiver was Dumb operation, The Obama administration was Idiotic in trying to do "Wide Receiver II" == Fast and Furious.

    June 24, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Nixon is a Republican hero – up there with Lord Reagan, and now they're trying to insult Obama by calling him Nixonian. What a joke!

    June 24, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. strangerq

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

    ^ Undercover ops are dangerous, and many US agents lose their lives in duty, and not mostly from this one bad sting op.

    Meanwhile the GOP's WMD war in Iraq was based on GOP lies and killed 4000 American troops.

    Yet you support the GOP starting wars by lying to the American people and getting our troops killed.

    June 24, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. sssbre

    perry , who i am not sure is actually literate, maybe should have looked up that the fast and furious program began under the cheney-rumsfeld presidency. if there is a coverup here – its obama covering up george bush's stinky mess and protecting the office of the presidency.

    June 24, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. GBfromOhio

    Rick Perry became irrelevant even more quickly than Sarah Palin.

    June 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. thinkergal

    Perry needs to get over himself and face the fact that he doesn't play too well on a national stage. Even Texas has become somewhat disenchanted with their governor. Soon he can go back to his hunting camp, prop his cowboy boots on the coffee table, and drown himself in bourbon.

    June 24, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Sagebrush Shorty

    At least Nixon had the decency to resign.

    June 24, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |

    The unhinged GOBP witchunt has no teeth since Bush started the operation. Issa said that they have no proof .

    June 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. steven harnack

    Bush used executive privelege over and over and over again, even over such things as the Army lying about the Pat Tillman death. Tell me, where were all of these critics then? I'll tell you! They were claiming that it was his right as President!

    June 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Americans gave Rick Perry a pass once, when he made a total fool out of himself during the debates that sent him packing back to Texas, now he's back talking like a first rate guaranteed fool. I guess Darrell Issa needs to send Perry a personalized message that he has publically advised that President Obama hasn't committed any wrong doings and tell him to shut up and stop embarrassing himself and Texas.

    June 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. georgewashington

    You, would know being a Republican.

    June 24, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. marctheduck

    I don't know if it's Nixonian, but somebody was killed. And the operation, at the very least, was amateurish. Worse is the attempted cover-up and stonewalling by Eric Holder (that part is Nixonian, as is the Executive Privilege ploy). But biggest of all is the lie Obama told up front when he said this would be the most transparent administration ever. It's far from that. More like one of the most calculating and secretive.

    June 24, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Reggie from LA

    I think in this case, I'll just consider the source. Now according to Issa, the project was conceived in the Bush administration, but was considered flawed and buried. Interesting that it was such a failure and yet was resurrected and used in the next administration. Somethin' ain't right here...I mean other than Perry and his conclusions. His could be expected.

    June 24, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. MrJaz

    Yes, I get it... Obama's action (Fast and Furious) is an odd one. But the GOP can't complain because this is what they did many times during the Bush administration.

    June 24, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. sjlucas

    I guess Gov Perry is just as clueless about history as he is other things. The key difference here is that were was evidence that President Nixon and others in the White House had knowledge of illegal activity. Even Chairman Issa today admits there is no such evidence in this case. The fact is, the GOP is pounding on this because the NRA is major funder and coordinator of all things involving the conservative movement. Congress can take the focus away and spends millions of dollars (aren't these people supposed to be concerned about deficit spending) on "investigations" when they need to be focusing on legislation to address problems like the economy/creating jobs, building better infrastructure, addressing the immigration crisis, and so forth. BTW – where's their health care alternative? I guess the "dog will eat their homework" on that one too because they are too busy wasting taxpayer dollars on politically-motivated "investigations". Having Congress investigate wrongdoing is like asking the Catholic Church to preside over Jerry Sandusky's trial.

    June 24, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. An American

    If that's not Nixonian, then I don't know what is,...
    Well Rick, judging from your primary don't know much about anything...ooops...

    June 24, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Jacqui

    And you wonder why he was an "also ran" for the Presidential candidate position for the Republican party.

    June 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. James PDX

    1st of all, saying the people killed by these guns is directly attributable to this blunder is a huge stretch. With the massive amount of murders by these cartels over even just the last few years, it's clear they have lots and lots of guns and would have killed who they killed regardless.

    2nd of all, I don't recall Rick Perry having anything negative to say during the many times that his Texas buddy, George Bush, declared executive privilege. I hate hypocrites as much as I hate politicians.

    June 24, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. BeverlyNC

    No this was a "Bushism" started in 2006 that AG Holder stopped as soon as he found out about it. The ATF is a whole separate agency that reports into the Justice System and has hundreds of operations going on all the time. Once it was brought to Holder's attention he halted it. He also turned over all the original documents requested by witch hunter Issa but when Issa could find no wrong-doing on Holder's behalf, Issa began asking for more and more and more documents that had nothing to do with the ATF "Fast and Furious" program – things like Holder's emails. Holder said NO and so now to save face and make a further fool of himself Issa is calling Holder in "contempt". The person who should be held in contempt is Issa. He is a political hack dying to find scandal where there is none. CA needs to make sure he is jobless come November because he is no leader and a total embarrassment and corrupt hack.

    June 24, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. R1983

    Rick, we take nothing you say serious, we found out just how much you know, or don't know early this year and that were
    you know nothing. Stay in Texas because you just put your foot in your mouth again. OOPS!!!

    June 24, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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