Perry: Politicians aren't perfect
June 15th, 2013
10:26 AM ET
5 years ago

Perry: Politicians aren't perfect

Washington (CNN) - Gov. Rick Perry of Texas made light at a major gathering of conservatives on Saturday of his sometimes rocky 2012 run for the White House.

"I've learned a little bit about humility particularly on national television," he quipped to laughter at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's annual conference, which is one of the largest gatherings of social conservatives.

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A few lines later in his faith-themed speech, Perry noted a critique of "St. Peter, whose mouth sometimes ran faster than his brain. Let me tell you, I can relate to Peter."

In a high-profile gaffe, Perry could not remember at a GOP primary debate the third of three federal agencies he planned to eliminate if elected. He later described it as a brain freeze and said in a CNN interview, "I bet there are a lot of Americans out there that would like to forget some agencies of government, too."

He made one on Saturday morning at this lower-profile event, confusing the country where four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, were killed last September 11.

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"Our administration won't make one phone call to save our men and women in embassies in Lebanon," he said, apparently referring to the attack in Benghazi, Libya, "but they'll monitor phone calls of 121 million Americans with one single judicial order. That bothers me."

But Perry, who has said he will announce this summer whether he will run for the governor again next year, with a decision on making a 2016 White House bid coming a bit later this year, told the half-full ballroom at a Washington hotel that nobody in politics is without flaws.

"The fact is God hadn't called the perfect to go into the arena of public service. He's called people just like you and just like me, nothing less than the example of our savior," he said.

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He was the first speaker at the final day of the conference and spoke to a half-empty ball room. Nearly the full roster of prospective 2016 presidential candidates accepted invitations to speak at the conference.

Perry criticized the federal government's collection of internet and phone records, spoke out against the national debt and made a veiled criticism of the Obama administration's gun control efforts.

"I fear the trampling of the Second Amendment and the discarding of the Tenth Amendment. Every word in the Bill of Rights guarantees our freedom and not a single vowel of that should be ignored," he said.

To the point of freedom, Perry noted that he had this week signed into law religious freedom legislation which some in Texas called the "Merry Christmas bill."

"I have no idea why this is even required in America today," he said. "Expressions of faith I happen to think are very positive in the American society that we live in today."

Perry was followed on stage by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. Former governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will close the conference Saturday afternoon.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. PJ

    "........Perry noted that he had this week signed into law religious freedom legislation which some in Texas called
    the 'Merry Christmas bill'.
    But apparently he didn't mention that he also vetoed 28 bills that had passed, including those that:

    "tightened ethics laws" requiring more openness from lawmakers on their finnances, the
    Lily Ledbetter bill, equal pay for women., and
    Prohibiting sales of surgary drinks in schools to try and alleviate obesity

    Yes sir, Merry Christmas ladies, children, and shady lawmakers.

    June 15, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. GI Joe

    Why? Was it illegal to say Merry Christmas in TX before that? I spent a night in Houston and 2 nights in El Paso on a trip cross-country around Christmas and everyone at restaurants and hotels was telling everyone else Merry Christmas (in both English and Spanish). Didn't know the Christmas Police could have locked us up. In fact I remember specifically telling one State Trooper Merry Christmas when I asked for directions somewhere.

    Who made it illegal before?

    June 15, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. The Other Campaign Strategist @ Amsterdam Ave & 115th

    Rick, you are far, FAR from perfect; that`s what apparently qualifies you to be a Governor of Texas. We have a higher standard elsewhere in America.

    Please don`t embarass yourself, your mama, or your party by running for President again.

    Your God forgives "the Sinful & Stupid" schtick may fit the low informational GOP BASE voter but the rest of America [including moderate, thinking Republicans] don`t care to hear it anymore. And as far as aligning yourself with a "Peter", may I suggest you invoke the "Peter Principle" which declares that attention hungry ego-manics like you will rise to the level of their own INCOMPETENCE. For you have certainly demonstrated that to be true. Leave National politics to the smart guy in the class.

    June 15, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    "Our administration won't make one phone call to save our men and women in embassies in Lebanon,"

    Ah, yes, more pandering to the ignorant Obama-haters. Besides being a lie, it's funny how silent Parry and all these right-wing dolts were when 13 Americans died in 54 attacks on US diplomatic missions DURING BUSH' PRESIDENCY.

    June 15, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. PJ

    @GI Joe:

    It isn't. They just wanted to ensure that schools could put up "Christmas" trees, not "holiday" trees, and that
    they could celebrate Christmas. Big deal, nobody cares, and those who want to say "Merry Christmas" do.
    They also say Feliz Navidad, Happy Hannukah, etc. BUT,
    Perry had to boost his "creds" before going to the Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting. Then he
    procedes to, as they said above, confuse Lebanon with Lybia.
    We have a real winner on our hands here.

    June 15, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    Parry and all these so-called "Christians" are all going to hell, in my book. They not only don't have an inkling of what Jesus taught (he was a Liberal – and famously said that what we do to the least among us, we do to him). They are pretty ignorant about the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom, too.

    The problem with Parry and these folks is simple: Their faith is so weak that they can't handle anyone not believing exactly as they do or not doing the exact same things to express their faith.

    If Parry's God is so great and all-powerful, why would this god need everyone to think and act and be the same? Didn't this god create a world of infinite variety? Didn't Mark say, "Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."

    *sigh* People like Parry are a pain in the rear ...

    June 15, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. m123

    What a pompous a hole.
    Politicians are little more than criminals on the permanent welfare state perpetuated by our two party system.
    The majority could not be hired for federal jobs because of their criminal history and tax dodging.
    But people, I mean sheeple, are dumb enough to believe anything

    June 15, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Canuck

    There's three things I can tell you about politicians – they are not perfect, they often lie and er, er, dang what was it now ...

    June 15, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Bob

    Aren't perfect? Of course not they don't care what the people who elected want and they are lairs and greedy.

    June 15, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Bob Burke

    "Politicians aren't perfect" – and Perry is the perfect example.

    June 15, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Skarphace

    The issue, Perry, was the reasoning behind you forgetting the three government agencies you planned to close as President. It wasn't that you merely forgot them, but you forgot why you wanted to close them. If you knew why you wanted to close them, then you wouldn't have forgotten the agencies themselves, at least not for as long as you did.

    The fact is that your proposal to close three government organizations was just a soundbite to you. You wanted the hypocrites at the Tea Party to think you were "small-government" minded, and therefore it didn't matter which agencies you said you wanted closed. The big problem with this is that you also did not know the affect of closing these three government agencies would have on the American people. This was not something you cared about, and that is the issue.

    June 15, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |

    Please Rick, run for President, if only for comic relief.

    Of the "Merry Christmas bill." Perry said, "I have no idea why this is even required in America today."

    Yeah, fool, no one else outside the state of Teabaggerstan knows why it's required either BECAUSE IT'S NOT. But, I can't wait for the Supreme Court test of it when an Islamic teacher introduces a few Texas school kids to RAMADAN. And, It WILL happen.

    Shalom all!

    June 15, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Veronica

    "St. Peter, whose mouth sometimes ran faster than his brain. Let me tell you, I can relate to Peter."

    Gee, he thinks?! I saw a bumper sticker last night that read: "Lord, deliver us from Obamacare!" I have this to say: "Lord deliver us from Perry!" And we really do!

    June 15, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Bazinga

    This guy is dangerous! I'm sure he'll joke his way to the white house, like the other texas idiot.

    June 15, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. Jocho Johnson

    Dick Perry is right, politicians aren't perfect, but at least they should have IQ's higher than 100

    June 15, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. amusedbyyou

    perry and palin must be fraternal twins

    June 15, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. works4me

    For the GOP you're perfect IF you're white, old and rich. That would be in whatever order they chose at the time!

    June 15, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. wjw33

    Faith and Freedom...everything the New Liberty Party represents!

    June 15, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. jordon harris

    No they're not perfect, but they are intentionally corrupt

    June 15, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. Perry is a fascist

    I hope Perry runs for governor again down here in Texas. Even us conservatives are tired of him. He's not so much of a conservative or a Christian as he is about the cult of Power. With the great Texas Economic Miracle (also known as Oil and Natural Gas), we Texans have seen the debate on the future of public education vs private education settled, for the next decade at least – any family with the means will send their children to private schools. And you'll pay tolls on the roads to drive your children to school and to get to your job. Yes, the Texas economic miracle could not fund roads – that burden, like so many others is passed on to the public to pay for out of their own pockets with what's left after private schooling. Thank you, Governor Perry, for divesting in our future. Run for Governor again, Sir, so that we can show you the door, and slam it shut on your dim-witted, but othewise skillful quest to bring Fascism to Texas. Perry can choke on a chicken wing.

    Conservatives in Texas want responsible leaders, who can balance today's challenges with pragmatic reality to move the ball fowrard at a sustainable pace. We are tired of Ricky Perry's good ole boy network form of govment that cultivates not much other than a center of power for Ricky. In other parts of the world, that is known as FASCISM. In short, we'd love to send Perry to Washington, just get him out of Austin, and get him out of Texas.

    June 15, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. marcrubner

    Not true. Politicians are perfect: Perfectly corrupt, selfishly motivated and insatiable for power. Show me an exception. That's what I thought...

    June 15, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Hawk in Texas

    Lets go Texas voters. lets get this nut out of office before he dumbs down a lot of those northern republicans he is trying to get to move to texas. 2014 – 2016 let's turn Texas Blue, Blue, Blue.

    June 15, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. lalverson

    I believe it was done so he could trump up more fear within the Christians. As it never was illegal in the first place. This just shows with governor Perry it's always politics before the people. Ladies don't need fair pay as in his mind they should all be in the kitchen making sammiches and obeying her husband like the good ole boys book says. Maybe he should run for pope or something.

    June 15, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. Pander Bear

    I thank God this man will never be President.

    June 15, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Jewelgirl

    He is an idiot!

    June 15, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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