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. DJ

    And so starts the assassination campaign by the media to neuter any potential 2016 candidate.

    June 20, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Ken L

    "We're an incredibly diverse mosaic of a country," Perry continued. "A lot of these issues need to be decided at the state level."

    In other words, allow states to continue to discriminate against a certain class of people if 51% of the voters say it's OK. With that logic, slavery would have gone on for decades longer, and in some states women and some racial and religious minorities still might not be able to vote. It's BECAUSE we are such a diverse country that we need NATIONAL standards on certain issues.

    Perry didn't just now "step in it." His views have stunk for years.

    June 20, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Tom Bukowski

    To his base he's a hero. To the rest of the world, an idiot.

    June 20, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. Laura

    Broses, I hope you are just embelishing and actually understand that Texas cannot actually have more jobs than the rest of the United States combined. It's wonderful for the people of Texas if they have low unemployment, but what you said makes no sense at all, and is not possible in any way.

    June 20, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Drake

    Texas had plenty of jobs under Ann Richards (DEM) also. Perry has become very rich since he was elected way too many years ago.
    And despite what you read, there are MANY people from Texas including myself who think that Perry is the biggest idiot ever! And yes, we are embarrassed that the ignorant rednecks kept voting him back in office. Just knew when he started wearing those glasses that he was going to run for President. He's trying to look smart but it just isn't working at all!

    June 20, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. Sean Kurnow

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    When reading those words, the conservatives, Republicans, neo-cons and the Religious Right, exclaim: with the exception of Latinos, Black people, Asians, Jewish People, Native Americans, gay people, Arabs, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, poor people, people who make minimum wage or people who speak any language other than English. BUT, can we still have your votes at the next election?

    June 20, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. asdf

    Oops again. So much for the great white Texas hope.

    June 20, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Larry

    I am a life long conservative...Governor Perry is an embaraasment to our party, Texas, and the political climate as a whole. Seriously, what are the good reasons that Texas continually elects this man as thier representative leader?

    June 20, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Mark

    All I heard out of his mouth was, "save a pretzel for the gas jets."

    June 20, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. TheThinker

    A politician admitting he made an insensitive comment? I did not think this possible.

    changing the subject: still waiting on Jesse's retraction to "Silicon Valley high tech companies are racist"... it's been twenty years.

    June 20, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. Ron

    Trying to have it both ways.

    June 20, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Boo

    Not only did he step in it....he's full of it, too.

    June 20, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Gunderson

    Well, Holy Attention on Deck!,
    Old Gunderson glad see all you smart cookies paying attention! Uh. no, each state collecting and disbursing it's own money to pay for it's own social programs instead of the Federal Government won't pit one state against the other. We now have an 18 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt because the People passed the buck. We have Obama Care because the people passed the buck. We will soon return to the 1930's, because people passed the buck. But not to worry!! Your Nanny will take care of you!!! Aw, yes, I remember Anne Richards of Texas. Stuck her foot in her mouth. You know the rest of the story.

    June 20, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Bill

    Prominent Texas politicians "stepping in it," this is something new?

    June 20, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. Rachel

    I'm not sure because I've lived in TX too long but is this proper English "you need to be having a job"? Anyway, civil rights should not be decided at the state level. I agree that many laws belong at the state level but equality is not something you leave up to the states. And for obvious reasons.

    June 20, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. Malory Archer

    DJ
    And so starts the assassination campaign by the media to neuter any potential 2016 candidate.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If this guy is a sampling of what the reds plan to offer voters in 2016, then more power to the "media"!

    June 20, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Boris

    Stop stepping in it id iot. All of you politicians. Why cant you keep your mouth shut or think clearly before you talk.

    The majority of us are able to mind our tounge at work otherwise we'll get fired. Why cant you fools?

    June 20, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Bob

    I guess he didnt realize that he "stepped in it" until his staff told him that his opinion on that particular subject would not be conducive to getting people to vote for him...

    June 20, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Malory Archer

    TheThinker
    A politician admitting he made an insensitive comment? I did not think this possible.

    changing the subject: still waiting on Jesse's retraction to "Silicon Valley high tech companies are racist"... it's been twenty years.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Even the Silicon Valley tech companies have admitted they seem to have a racial disparity when it comes to hiring so please put your little strawman away.

    June 20, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. MoBlues

    Decision left to the states. Same old discrimination talk. Hey Ricky we fought a civil war over this kind of discrimination and you rednecks lost.

    June 20, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. georgestreeter3

    He knows all about genetic disorders. Mostly the ones that lower IQ.

    June 20, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. Mr. Richard Feder

    Not an assassination campaign when you're acting alone. More like a suicide.

    June 20, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. rs

    Jackson

    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!

    ________________

    Texas has more jobs than the rest of the US combined?

    Hardly.

    The population of Texas is 25 million people. Even if every last person in the state had a job, that would mean there are just over 25 million jobs in texas.

    Are you really expecting us to believe that the other 49 states combined don't have a total of 25 million jobs? If that was the case, the unemployment figures in this country would be over 80%.
    ____________________________
    Sorry- Texas also has exploding manure factories; oil train explosions; flammable water due to fracking (earthquakes too!); polluted air and more. None of that sounds like a good trade-off for jobs- especially when that assertion that "Texas has more jobs than the rest of the union"- simply not so.

    June 20, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. johnbiggscr

    'DJ
    And so starts the assassination campaign by the media to neuter any potential 2016 candidate.'

    I dont think anyone forced him to say what he said did they? How is it the media's fault if they report on what he said?

    June 20, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Pat

    Hey, Perry – civil rights can't vary from state to state.

    June 20, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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