June 20th, 2014
09:53 AM ET
3 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. Neocon13

    To get the GOP nomination, you have to say crazy stuff – the crazier the better, But RP also says stupid stuff (I cant remember the 3rd federal agency i would eliminate..) Which is why he will never get taken seriously even by the GOP>

    June 20, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. icurheinie

    We're all born with "some degree" of gayness. Some are born 1% gay, some are 99% gay. Therefore nobody is either 'straight or gay'. We are what we ultimately decide to be, we are humans therefore there must be a human decision behind everything we do. Sexual preference is ultimately a choice, a decision. A decision easier for some than others and a decision that should be respected.

    June 20, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Broses

    Like him or not, Governor Perry is the reason why texas has more jobs than the entire US combined. He has been the Texas gov. for 14 years so no one else can get credit for that but him and his business friendly policies. Texas is the place to be because of him. Actually, he did no backpedaling. He re-stated the fact that **all* should be tolerant – including the left – and he acknowledged that the interviewer tricked him into talking about dumb social issues when the focus should be the economy. Hes right!

    June 20, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. greenaxe

    Just talk, talk, talk....thinking optional. Perry has proven the fool he is time after time.
    How does a dolt like this ever become a governor???

    June 20, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. American Worker

    A politician can believe whatever they want.

    However, they must be held accountable when doing the duties of their elected post.

    It must be required that they be inclusive and impartial in their responsibility to mitigate the actions of the careless, inconsiderate, malicious, and anti-functional.

    No government should be used to impose the Social Doctrine of Sectarian, Secular, or ? Elitist.

    Any elected official that does not honor their oaths to be inclusive and impartial should be removed from office.

    June 20, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. ritmocojo

    Much like his ex-boss and Texan(wannabe) GWB, "Stepped in it" in Iraq maybe?

    June 20, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. amanda

    Alcoholism is not a disease either by the way. If you put the bottle down, you are cured. You can't set cancer aside and stop using it. Stupid comparisons on all accounts.

    June 20, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    The trouble with Rick Perry is he opens his mouth first then thinks about what he said. Imagine him as President.
    Ugh.

    June 20, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. maggie

    The interviewer "tricked' him? What, did he have a shiny object to distract him or offer him magic beans? Tricked him? And this guy wants to be POTUS? Think maybe Putin could "trick" him? LOL

    June 20, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. ritmocojo

    "Just talk, talk, talk....thinking optional. Perry has proven the fool he is time after time.
    How does a dolt like this ever become a governor???"

    Run for Goobernor of Texas. Just look at the other yahoos that hale from that red state; Loouie Gohmert, Joe McCarthy 2.0 Ted Crux[sic]. to mention only a couple.

    June 20, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. kingregis

    god, those glasses almost make him look smart!

    June 20, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Gundy, learn to pick your battles. Perry used stim money to balance his budgets retroactively, and grew public sector jobs in TX at twice the rate of private sector jobs until the stim money ran out: he then laid those teachers and other workers off, many of whom moved to TX to take those jobs. He brags about TX having such a strong economy, but it hinges on getting people to move in from out of state because TX ranks in the bottom 5 in virtually every category that counts in terms of quality of life. BTW, Harry Truman did tell the truth, and the GOP hated him for it. As far the shovel ready jobs are concerned, I've got a few words for you: Keystone Pipeline, something that might give us a whopping 500 jobs if we are lucky, transporting Canadian crude to China. Your arguments, if they can be called that, are based in your fantasies, yet again.

    June 20, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Curt

    Just because he says things that seem ignorant, doesn't mean you have to vote for him.

    June 20, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. ritmocojo

    "What if Rick Perry is right?"

    The sun will start rising from the west.

    June 20, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. Harry Baxter

    "Broses

    Like him or not, Governor Perry is the reason why texas has more jobs than the entire US combined. He has been the Texas gov. for 14 years so no one else can get credit for that but him and his business friendly policies. Texas is the place to be because of him. Actually, he did no backpedaling. He re-stated the fact that **all* should be tolerant – including the left – and he acknowledged that the interviewer tricked him into talking about dumb social issues when the focus should be the economy. Hes right!"

    Or of course, it could be that he brought in a lot of low wage, no benefits jobs, but you won't hear him say that!

    June 20, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Chris Wiegard

    How is this an apology? perry said that he had "stepped in it." that is not an apology. That is not even an admission that he was wrong. it is simply an admission that his statement gained him some enemies. the distinction is important. Perry's attitude is basically "I am sorry that you did not agree with my wonderful wisdom, so next time I may not address this topic in public. But my views are unchanged."

    June 20, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Tired of idiots

    Governor Perry doesn't seem to do anything more than open his mouth. THINK? No evidence of real thinking can be found.

    June 20, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Brickell Princess

    Gov. Rick Perry is so concerned with homosexuals that I am starting to realize that he is trying to come out of the closet himself. That's usually how it starts with deeply closeted homosexual men. They talk and talk about it, about others, until one day they come to terms with the fact that they are attracted to the same sex and they come out.

    June 20, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Texas Anne

    Rick Perry says: "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."

    Oh brilliant, Rick. That way we can pit people in one state against people in another state. Why not just divide segments of the population apart like the Shiites & Sunnis– because that's where you're headed when you start setting different sets of rules like that. The result will not be good.

    Texas is becoming an embarrassment thanks to close minded bigoted dullards like Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, etc.

    June 20, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. ok but then again

    The statement was "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," how is that bigoted. Many heterosexual manogamos couples have a desire to cheat on their spouse but make the decision not to do so daily. So how is crediting homosexual people with the cpaacity to make a decision aobut their actions rather than acting only on desire is in any way insulting or bigoted. LGBT promots that there is no decision in being LGBT simply a genitic nature of being LGTB. He only says some genetic codes lean toward alchol abuse and allows that some could lean toward LGBT. His statement actually reflects his belief in a level of integrity in all people regardless of any belief regarding their personal situation. He didnt say the two things were the same but rather credited the individuals abbility to chose to, or not to, participate in a behavior. The biggioted element here is to slandar of this man based on personal distaste without any attempt to understand what he actually said. His statement gives more credit to the integrity of the people of the LGBT community than most here are giving him him in return.

    June 20, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. not really news

    Remember when Palin kept talking about putting lipstick on a pig? Well when I see the new and improved look that the Perry staff have given their candidate I have to laugh. Do they really think those glasses will make him smarter?

    June 20, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Kevin Quail

    Stepped in it? I think he ate it.

    June 20, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. John Paul

    Perry is so incredibly bad for Texas and our nation, that he makes George W. Bush look reasonably intelligent. I truly did not think that would ever be possible. "W" holds the dubious distinction of being "the worst president in the history of the republic" and Perry makes him look tolerable. That, in and of itself, is very frightening.

    June 20, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. t3chn0ph0b3

    What an idjit. Seriously.

    June 20, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    amanda

    Alcoholism is not a disease either by the way. If you put the bottle down, you are cured. You can't set cancer aside and stop using it. Stupid comparisons on all accounts.
    ----------
    Ummmmmmmmmmm... no. If you're an alcoholic, you're an alcoholic for life. Abstinance from alcohol mans you're "in recovery"... but you will always be an alcoholic.

    June 20, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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