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. John

    Mr. Perry could be heard saying, praise Jesus, and where in the world am I again?

    June 15, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Jack

    And he did not mention that he reduced the End-of-Course exam requirements from 15 to 5 for Texas high-schoolers.

    Making Texas dumber.....

    June 15, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Former GOP

    .Didn't this guy want hIs state to ......SECEEDE..........?

    June 15, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. some guy in New Hampshire

    Yes, politicians aren't perfect. Sometimes they're not very good at governing, either.

    June 15, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |

    Sorry, not buying it.

    We don't need another loon from Texas running this country into the ground both economically and diplomatically overseas.

    June 15, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. bill

    The GOP/Tea Party have successfully cornered the market on stupidity. It is a complete shame that Texas has suffered for so long under the inept and comical leadership of the GOP, first dubya and now perry. With the way the republicans have disenfranchised voters and re-drawn the voting districts in Texas, if palin established residency and ran for governor she would win in a landslide.

    June 15, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Bill from GA

    Perry was going to tell us three ways how Politicians aren't Perfect, but then he couldn't remember them.

    June 15, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Bill from GA

    " God hadn't called the perfect ", to which romney said: "He called me, but the voters wouldn't listen".

    Ann agreed.

    June 15, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. erivera63

    Who ever said you couldn't say Merry Christmas?

    June 15, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Thomas

    Five days after an explosion at a fertilizer plant leveled a wide swath of this town, Gov. Rick Perry tried to woo Illinois business officials by trumpeting his state’s low taxes and limited regulations. Asked about the disaster, Mr. Perry responded that more government intervention and increased spending on safety inspections would not have prevented what has become one of the nation’s worst industrial accidents in decades.

    What A Jerk !

    June 15, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Dr.N.P.

    Governor Rick Perry was Right about the social implications of HPV and Cervical Cancer.He was attacked by his own party members about a government injection.
    It took Michael Douglas to Publicize the connection of HPV and throat Cancer

    June 15, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Sal

    The guy is a jerk! 

    June 15, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. bigbendjc

    Gov. you mean oops? Was it three or four departments you wanted close? You should have followed Sister Sarah's example......write it on your hand!

    June 15, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Dan

    God called Perry into public office? Whay would god call a complete moron to public office. Maybe god likes guns. God must like watching his flock getting slaughtered by guns. Maybe god like pompous ignoramuses if he likes Perry.

    It's sad when people invoke god as the reason that they do things.

    June 15, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Jeff Cox

    Whatever you've learned about humility sure hasn't been put into practice, pal.

    Reminds me of the line from "Paper Moon", where Ryan O'Neal's character says to his daughter, "I have scruples. Do you know what scruples are?" She replies, "No, but if you've got 'em, they belong to somebody else!"

    June 15, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Steve - Dallas

    No, and our only governor is less perfect than most.

    June 15, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. Al Ford

    God called him into politics? And what if he became president and god called him to start judgement day?

    June 15, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Ralph Hagen

    They need to stay out of everyone's business. They make this law and that law and they always seem to interfere with everyones lives. They shove their views on everyone else which is something no government should be doing at all. Their there to make sure our government runs. That's it.

    June 15, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. waheid

    If anyone would know that politicians aren't perfect, Perry certainly would.

    June 15, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Mike

    Perry is a dolt. Period. Just vetoed bi-partisan ethics bills in Texas..

    June 15, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. CommonSense

    "Perry: Politicians aren't perfect"

    Whoa ... am I the only one who feels like my world has been turned upside down? I've gotta sit down ...

    June 15, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. stevetall

    Who better to comment on the imperfection of politicians than this guy? In fact, he could be the poster child for imperfection in general. It takes a lot of weird pressure to make someone into this kind of a person.

    June 15, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Thank you Captain Obvious!

    June 15, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Thinks2010

    Well, Perry is right. Politicians aren't perfect as he keeps proving again and again and again.

    June 15, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. omeany

    Thank you Captain Obvious!

    June 15, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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