Perry: Fast and Furious is 'Nixonian'
June 24th, 2012
11:40 AM ET
2 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. Ray E. (Georgia)

    President Nixon went to China and the Soviet Union on a quest for peace. Obama went on an Apology Tour. Didn't 5 more Big Banks just get their Credit Rating downgraded? Maybe Nixon opening up China was a big mistake, or maybe not. November looms.

    June 24, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. JCal

    Yes, this is true. Perhaps I am older here, but that is EXACTLY the way Nixon handled things. He was very secretive, and played the "executive privilege" card all the time. It took months for the Watergate scandal to be recognized because the While House involvement was so shrouded in secrecy and "executive privilege" that no one knew what had gone on. Then the balloon burst and everyone found out, but it took many months to get to that point.

    June 24, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Issionian !

    Darrel Issa and Rick Perry look good together .

    Kindergartners for firepower .

    June 24, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. BeverlyNC

    The Republican Party in Congress should be held in contempt for betraying the American People with their plot of obstruction of ALL legislation for jobs, infrastructure, economic recovery, education, the DREAM Act in 2010 for a permanent immigration solution Romney is lying that never existed, veteran healthcare improvements, housing market renewals and every other People program brought before the Party of NO the past 3 years. They set a filibuster record for the most in Congress in our history. All just to try to have America fail to hurt President Obama. They didn't care they were destroying families. Republicans are traitors of the People and ALL need to be voted out come November so President Obama can have a real leadership Congress who knows its job is to serve the PEOPLE and not take bribes from coporations and desert the nation. No more Issa. No more Boehner. No more McConnell. No more Cantor. Definitely no joke of Romney.

    June 24, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. rickfro

    Let's see. Fast and Furious started in 2006. If I'm not mistaken, that was before President Obama took office.

    June 24, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Phil

    Proof positive on this board TV can be a dangerous thing, vidiots all over this board. come on folks no company would employ people who created an economic meltdown with 20 to 30 years on the Job. How long have Issa, Cantor, Reid, rtc all been around. Send a message and vote all these clowns with multiple years pre 2008 on both sides. Don't blame a new CEO when his you strap him with the same CFO, COO and Board. Obama has tried and the RNC obstructs but if you think Mitt the flip flopper, Will Cain on CNN your money just said he thinks he Romney will be pri stimulus and will flop
    on that. Even his supporters know he will do anything to get this job err sorry pay anything to get this job

    June 24, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Mamaline

    This rebuttal is for two of kind. You need to check your facts. The Bush administration started "Fast and Furious". When the Obama administration four out about it..meaning Eric Holder he put a stop to it. Issac and the Republicans are on a witch hunt. They need to be talking about how to get people jobs. They don't have a clue because they haven't written anything to get jobs started.

    June 24, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. DENNA

    Shut up, Rick. You have zero to say about anything. No one cares what you think anymore, nor did they ever, really.

    June 24, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. NVa Native

    Such foolish comments from so many right wing fruitcakes. Like after all the lies and list of fake outrage why would anyone believe another fabricated outrage?
    The GOP will be held accountable in Nov 2012 for their endless lies.

    June 24, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Nah, this wasn't Rumsfeld-Cheney. This was Alberto Gonzalez all the way. Remember him? The most corrupt AG since John Mitchell and Ed Meese? The guy who tried to get John Ashcroft to sign a statement from his hospital bed allowing "enhanced interrogation" techniques. The guy who authored most of the PATRIOT Act and just waited for a chance to propose it (thanks to OBL).

    June 24, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Jaun in El Paso

    Obama knew all about this opperation. Otherwise there would be no need for EXPRV. Obama is covering his own butt on this one. He is no better than Nixon and should be impeached!

    June 24, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Tejasmojo

    How were they tracking the flow of guns in THIS operation? That's the point, they were not, there was no ATTEMPT to track unless you call picking up the gun after a crime (a murder) as tracking?? That makes the instigators/approvers of THIS operation an accessory to a crime. That makes the instigators/approvers (someone in the justice department) an accessory to murderS. In my mind and I believe a lot of peoples minds across the country that is why this needs to be pursued and that is why this is even more important than Watergate.

    June 24, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. MarkHudson

    Rick Perry is right when he says Obama is using Nixonian tactics to keep the truth from the American people.

    June 24, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    @TruthMatters: "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."

    When did I claim Fast and Furious was a good idea? Unlike the righties, Democrats don't demand monolithic adherence with the penalty of excommunication if we don't agree with our party leaders.

    My point about Fast and Furious is the Repub's obvious attempts to do anything to smear Holder and President Obama, without regard for what the truth really is in the matter. Which is why Issa hasn't called any witnesses from the ATF Phoenix field office who were running the program and why Issa doesn't want to look at all the other documentation Holder has offered.

    If truth really "matters" to you, you would be sharing my complaints.

    June 24, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Isn't the term "Nixonian" another way of saying Republican?

    Nixon was the one who stated that a big lie repeated often enough by people in power appears to become the truth. See the Republican Primaries for that one.

    I find it refreshing to see all of the right wing comments claiming Obama is just like such and such crooked politician and then having those politicians turn out to be high ranking Republicans from the past. If you are wanting to compare a current President with crooked past administrations and you have to keep pointing to your own party, perhaps you are in the wrong party.

    June 24, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Cynthia L.

    Oh yeah,..Perry. Please, please tell us that story about jogging with a gun and really imbellish the part about killing a coyote, so we all can be impressed.
    Darrell Issa has refused to let any of the ATF officers testify in this trial. All reference to it's inception and subsequent implementation by the previous administration is not allowed. Until then, it's a witch hunt and us thinking and reasoning people know it.

    June 24, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. rla

    Any connection to Bush has been withdrawn by the DOJ (correcting errors0– This was bothched and the consequences are horrible and the left seems to have selective morality.... If this was a republican there would be a lynch mob led by the tabloid media.

    June 24, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. PatSJ

    Such a brilliantly intelligent comment. Oh, by the way Gov. Perry, how many Mexican nationals and US citizens have been killed by the other hundreds of thousands of guns being walked across the border? Care to guess? How about asking the NRA?

    June 24, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. PatSJ

    This is not Watergate, it is not even close. This is payback for Eric Holder's refusal to bow to the voter-blocking, illegal immigrant-baiting laws being passed in some states.

    June 24, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. SFRich

    Rick Perry weighs in on Fast 'n' Furious... calling it Nixonian.

    Isn't that special. Rick has such a way with words.

    June 24, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. once upon a horse

    so I guess I am supposed to trust a party that supports a lunatic that told people to "throw bricks through Democrats windows" after the healthcare law was signed. And then comes up with some cockanammy theory that this was all a plan for Obama to come take your guns away if he gets a second term. The paranoid NRA ALWAYS thinks that any Democrat POTUS is going to take everyones' guns away knowing full well that is practically impossible. Why do they say Obama is going to do this? Because so far he has NOT done it even though he signed into law that you can take your guns into national parks now. I listen to the clip of that NRA leader fronm C-PAC and he really came across as a paranoid nutjob. Yety some want that party back in office. Go figure......

    June 24, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Steve Schoner

    Another GOP "Wwtch Hunt" What more can one expect from the extreme right wing GOP Party? And in an election year, too, all to take the Electorate minds off of the real issues that are taking America down.

    June 24, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. John

    "If that's not Nixonian, I don't know what is."
    You don't know what Nixonian is.

    June 24, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. rnld

    Perry came off as ignorant in the GOP debates and continues today.

    June 24, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. Bristol

    In GOP speak, isn't "Nixonian" a compliment?

    June 24, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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