(CNN) – Gov. Rick Perry admitted he fumbled the ball when he recently compared homosexuality to alcoholism.
"I stepped right in it," the Texas Republican said Thursday at an event sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, which also aired on C-SPAN.
The potential presidential candidate, who was unsuccessful in his 2012 White House bid, didn't necessarily distance himself from the comments or apologize, but said he'd rather be talking about other issues.
"We need to be a really respectful and tolerant country to everybody...Whether you're gay or straight, you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses that I want to be involved with," he said.
"We're an incredibly diverse mosaic of a country," Perry continued. "A lot of these issues need to be decided at the state level."
Christie: Perry is 'wrong' on homosexuality-alcoholism comparison
The day before, on Wednesday, Perry stood by the comments on CNN's "Crossfire" when he was asked by co-host Stephanie Cutter whether he believes homosexuality is a disease.
"I think my position has been fairly clear on that for a substantial period of time," Perry said, pivoting quickly to the economy.
The focus should be on American jobs, Perry said, "and that is not on these social issues."
"I think the social issues should be decided state-by-state rather than being something in Washington, D.C. to try to make one-size-fits-all."
At a speech last week in San Francisco, the longtime Republican governor – who ran for the White House in 2012 and is considering another bid in 2016 – was asked whether he thought homosexuality was a disorder.
"I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that – and I look at the homosexual issue the same way," Perry said during that event, immediately sparking backlash from Democrats and gay rights organizations.
CNN's Ashley Killough and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.
Americans can relate to morons like him. Not so much with geniuses like the Clintons and Obama
Perry stepped in it and now he wants to step all over us!
For all of you Texans with negative comments and thinking about moving out of the state. Do the rest of us native Texans a favor and leave. We don't need your kind here. I hear N.Y. is looking for people of your caliber.
Isnt Rick Perry dating Rick Santorum ?
I hear they plan a wedding. They've rented a very large closet for the reception!
"We need to be a really respectful and tolerant country to everybody."
Seriously? Is this seriously coming out of the same mouth that passed a law requiring doctors to compulsorily rape their patients with an ultrasound wand before authorizing incest rape victims to abort?
If he's wants to get away with saying that, and have anyone take him for sincere, he needs to do it with an ultrasound wand inside him against his will.
Dumb and dumber all in the same person.
He needs to say that with an ultrasound wand inside him against his will.
Why be bothered by stepping in it, when you are already full of it?
Talk about standing behind a door when brains were being distributed...Perry is a prime example. FYI – Ricky as the song goes. "They were born that way".
Oh sure, "really respectful and tolerant", because comparing someone's choice of beloveds to alcoholism is so very very respectful and tolerant.
And pssssst, gov: those glasses DO NOT make you resemble someone of even average intelligence, much less sufficient intelligence to run anything important. The dumbness just shines through.
Philosophical quandary how can you step in it if you are it?:
And people wanted to elect this genius as President? Texas deserves him!
still an ididot
Not Presidential material.
Not Governor material.
Not Community Leader material either...
RIck Perry was just trying to explain away how he got caught during a frat party in college smoking a pole.
True story bro!
This guy will never be president. Why? 1. He is an idiot. 2. He says really stupid things. 3. Ooops I forgot....
Perry would be a terrible president. Flip Flopping on every issue and making terrible statements about humanity. Really? He must have the genetics to be an alcoholic!
No Rick... the words you are looking for are " I'm full of it!"
I did not know Sarah Palin had a brother that lived in Texas and he is the governor.
Gov Rick is the most consistent political moron on the planet. And for the other moron calling himself True Texan – ARGO!
They are both probably struggles he thinks he can deal with on his own. Being GOP makes it too embarrassing to admit who he is to himself.
Gov. Good Hair Perry - opens mouth and inserts both feet!
Perry is an idiot of the same mold as the ditz Palin. Opinions on social issues matter....
The problem with that comparison is that, as an alcoholic, you are hurting yourself and probably others. Being gay won’t hurt anyone.
Texas is so horrible and full of small-minded, hateful people. I wish they WOULD leave the US