June 20th, 2014
09:53 AM ET
6 months ago

Texas governor: I stepped in it

(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.


Filed under: 2016 • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (499 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Gunderson

    The Constitution already gives us the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness. Too bad some people still don't understand that.
    ---------------------------
    No, it doesn't. You're wrong. If you think you're right, please cite the place where those words can be found.

    June 20, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Mr. Bobo

    Perry is a fool, and I am a Republican.

    June 20, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. Ol' Yeller

    "People just need to get a thicker skin and face the facts ?"

    Chris-E... you wouldn't recognize a 'fact' if it hit you in your pie hole. The 'fact ' your next line refers to 'morals' shows you do not know the difference between a belief and a 'fact'.
    People like you said the same thing when African Americans fought for (and continue to fight for) their rights as American citizens. The 'fact' your own beliefs don't coincide with someone's Constitutional rights does not mean the 'nation is falling behind'... it just means YOU and your ilk are attempting to deny one section of Americans their civil rights.
    Now that... is a 'fact'.

    June 20, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. SteveInMN

    Rick Perry - like most of his homies in The Republiban – a human pushmi-pullyu.

    June 20, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Patriot 2016

    How many times is Rick Perry going to have to apologize or excuse himself for doing or saying something incredibly stupid? He seems to have to make these apologies constantly. Let's face it, this guy is slightly less intelligent than a brick, and he's not worthy of consideration for president or vice-president.

    June 20, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. BradB99

    Here's the even greater irony: The governor said, "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," However, Texas has no statewide law that bans discrimination in the workplace for gay folks. So while he may say that whether you're gay or straight, you need to have a job, the reality is that in Texas, you could be working for a company for 20 years, do an excellent job, happen to be gay, and a new manager comes in and says, "I don't like gay people, you're fired" and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. It's still perfectly legal.

    June 20, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Robert N. constant

    Only in the Republican Party could this man's political aspirations be taken seriously.

    June 20, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. migraine

    Why do we keep hearing that social issues should be decided at the state level? Its Perry and his ilk that keep bringing things up, the state level response only comes after they "step in it".

    June 20, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Silence DoGood

    @Gunderson
    Well Gov,
    At least you didn't say you would cut the deficit in half at the end of your first term! And you didn't say, If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan, period. You didn't say, there are shovel ready jobs out there. But if telling falsehoods are in style you are in line to be president! After all, Harry Truman was no prize, and he became president!
    ----------–
    That's good. If you don't have a actual argument to make, just cover your eyes and change the subject.
    Hey, how about that birth certificate?

    June 20, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. SteveInMN

    If The Republiban had had its way - slavery would have been decided at the state level. (And don't bore me with party NAMES at the time - Lincoln was today's Democrat, and the South's views were those of today's Republiban– read up on it).

    June 20, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. HenryMiller

    "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."

    The only sensible thing Perry has said in long time.

    June 20, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. smith

    So we have a Dem and a GOP making stupid comments that offend people. What`s new here? Also, one more reason to become an Independent.

    June 20, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Clint H

    Most people don't know but Texas is actually 3rd on the most indebted state. At a debt of $485B and growing, I've got to say someone later on down the road will have to pay it down.

    June 20, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. JohnRJohnson

    No, Rick. You didn't step in "it". You are "it".

    June 20, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. SCS

    Marta: can't wait to get rid of him? why, so a replacement can legalize marijuana, late term abortion and implement $15/hr minimum wage? you can dislike his social positions, but you cannot deny he's maintained the strongest state economy in the union. fact.

    June 20, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Steve

    Yes, I want this man as my president.....NOT

    June 20, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. RyanTexan

    We still don't know if it's a genetic condition, hormone problem, a choice, or a product of environment.
    SO everyone seems to have an opinion, but this disorder needs to be studied so we can find a treatment or cure.

    June 20, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. S.B. Stein

    This is another case of an elected official having foot-in-mouth disease. Perry is also showing is lack of understanding since there has been no connection or similarity between the two things. This is another good example of why this man shouldn't get anywhere close to the White House except as a guest or visitor.

    June 20, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Ryan

    To the person above who commented that republicans don't have the brain of a "nat"

    I believe you are referring to a "gnat"... They must not teach spelling with the common core you learned, either.

    June 20, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Silence DoGood

    article: 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.
    ----------–
    What if I declare radical religious conservatism a disease, a blight on civilization?
    Could I make them go for psychological retraining or get shots to make them better?
    Of course I am joking but these radical religious groups in all their High Holiness might want to put themselves in another person shoes now and again.

    June 20, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. El Stone

    Rick didn't step in "it." He's been living in "it" for the last 20 years. In fact, I think he is "it."

    June 20, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. Terry b

    Another deranged republican. That seems to plague the GOP.

    June 20, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Anonymous

    He seems to "step in it" quite a bit. Once again, you do not get a second chance to make a first impression. The GOP clown car rolls onward.

    June 20, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. jrsgta

    Wow image going to one of those GOP fundraisers. bet the GOP talks like that daily,thats why they have so many ooops. its every day talking

    June 20, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. rs

    Gunderson

    Well Gov,
    At least you didn't say you would cut the deficit in half at the end of your first term!
    _____________________
    You do realize the deficit has been cut in half, right?

    June 20, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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