Anita Perry says husband 'brutalized' for faith
October 13th, 2011
03:51 PM ET
11 years ago

Anita Perry says husband 'brutalized' for faith

(CNN) - Anita Perry stuck up for her husband Thursday, saying Texas Gov. Rick Perry was being "brutalized" by fellow conservatives for his Christian faith.

"It's been a rough month," Perry said in an emotional speech to voters in South Carolina Thursday. The speech was recorded by NBC News. "We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today."

Rick Perry has been sliding in national polls since mid-September, when he put in shaky performances at two GOP presidential debates and lost a closely watched straw poll in Florida that he was widely expected to win. Perry's appearance at Tuesday's GOP debate also garnered negative reviews.

The latest CNN Poll of Polls, released Thursday, shows 14% of Republican voters identifying Perry as their choice for nominee, behind former Godfathers' Pizza executive Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Those numbers reflect a sharp fall since early September, when a CNN/ORC International poll showed 30% of Republican voters picking Perry.

Anita Perry pointed the finger at fellow Republicans, who she said took issue with the governor's strong conservative Christian stance.

"We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party," Perry said. "So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith. He is the only true conservative – well, there are some conservatives. And they're there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose."

Perry grew teary when relating stories from her childhood, saying her father was a deacon at a local church and that she never missed Sunday school as a girl.

She said Perry relied on prayer when deciding whether or not to enter the GOP race.

"He felt like he needed to see that burning bush," Perry said. "I said he may not see that burning bush but other people are seeing it for you."

Perry's relationship with the influential evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress has come under scrutiny in the past week. Jeffress told reporters at the Values Voter Summit in Washington he believed Mormonism was a 'cult.' Two men running for the GOP presidential nomination are Mormons, Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Jeffress has endorsed Perry, and introduced him at the summit.

Also see:

CNN Poll of Polls: Romney & Cain battle for top spot

New nation poll shows Cain at top

Bachmann implies Cain plan could be devil's work

Filed under: 2012 • Religion • Rick Perry
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. sara

    Sun Baked and Toast! Her hair is like Straw. His hair looks better than hers. I wouldn't marry a man that spends more time in the mirror than I do. Yeap, we're Messing With Texas. Is this all they got. He prayed on running for the GOP nomination....he should've prayed for guidance and directions on right and wrong before putting innocents to death

    October 13, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. Penobscot

    I guess the Mormon/Blacks/Minorities bigotry boomerang hit Mr. and Mrs. KKK Perry right in the teeth. How do you like your own medicine Perry, you bigot?

    Stick a fork in Perry, he is a joke. Romney, the supposed weird one, is looking more sane every day. Thanks Perry.

    October 13, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. catmom

    Those on the right have spent the past three years and counting disrespecting and vilifying everything President Obama has ever said or done in his life. They questioned his citizenship and continue to question his religion. They have disrespected the First Lady like never before. They have disrespected the Democrats, the Vice President, their supporters, Hispanics, blacks, the poor, unemployed, uninsured, union workers and everyone else who doesn't go along with their narrow minded agenda. Republicans/conservatives/right wing/tea party/Obama haters have changed the way we treat the President and First Lady. I actually think though if a Republican gets back in office, they will demand that the President and First Lady be treated with the respect and dignity that befits the office and that they refuse to show President Obama and his wife. Bottom line, Mrs. Perry, Governor Perry, you, the Republican candidates for President and their spouses should receive the exact same treatment that our President and First Lady have been receiving.

    October 13, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Seizing the mantle of Victimhood is usually what happens after your bully tactics get thrown back in your face.

    October 13, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. Ronald

    Well, when you believe in a movement, dominionism, that says religion or the church should take over everything and tell everyone how to live their lives you deserve what you get. Then of course there is your lousy record in Texas, rise in unemployment since you have been in office, a third of Texans have no health insurance, one of the lowest states in education and education spending and most of the "jobs" you say your created was created with stimulus money. Loser!

    October 13, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. MysteryMoves

    Right-wing GOP Christians are the biggest whiners.

    October 13, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. Chuk

    Welcome to the big time. This is the hot seat of leadership. If you can't take this, don't bother running because it's hotter up there; just ask President Obama who catches grief no matter what he does. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

    October 13, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. Terri

    Wow, I laughed my self silly. Perry is an imbecile and his wife is too...just what we need in the WH...again.

    October 13, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. Rick

    If I really want a christian president then I'll vote for the pope. As it is the GOP is loaded with idiot candidates. Over half of them don't believe in evolution!!! A president with this mentality scares me more than a serial killer would. I want a president who cares about America – so I guess that would wipe out any GOP candidate including the idiot from Texas. Why would anyone want to go back to the party that started all of this misery to begin with???? Only Texans know for sure.

    October 13, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Keith

    Whine whine whine... Can these neocons do nothing but whine and blame somebody else for their own worthlessness? This is like listening to Sister Sarah whining about "gotcha" questions like "what do you read?"

    The problem these neocons are having finding a candidate is blatantly obvious. They just need to start by looking in the mirror. They cheer-on and flag wave about some loony. Then their loony gets up on stage and demonstrates what a loony they are, and the polls come crashing down on them. So then the neocons are off cheering for the next loony to take the stage.

    Why you GOP supporters bother in the first place is a mystery to me. It's not like you get any say in choosing the GOP candidate. The big business owners of the GOP have already decided who they want, and their propaganda machine is making sure he's going to be the winner. Why do you think Ron Paul doesn't get any media coverage? Why do you think miss loonie toons Bachmann has been shunted to the side?

    The big business owners of the GOP wouldn't mind backing Perry since he'd be the perfect shill for them, but they've got it figured out he's too loony to win. The GOP owners have decided on Romney. He'll shill for them like a good GOP candidate is supposed to do, and he doesn't appear too loony for the general public to digest.

    Oh ya, you like Cain? Forget it. We're talking the GOP. The big business owners of the GOP are not going to roll the dice on a black GOP candidate. Way too many racists hiding in the ranks of the GOP. They don't want to risk losing those voters.

    October 13, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. UsaGod help us

    Am soo tired of this people hiding behind christianity and dont fellow what the bible teaches.. Ok wat did jesus said, he came for the poor, the sick and those society have rejected.. It doesnt mean jesus hates the rich people but he expected those who are fortunite to takecare of those who are less fortunite.. But wat happened at the debate, those so called christians want the poor and the sick to die, so they can save more wealth.. Empathy is dead

    October 13, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. Mike in NC

    Brutalized for being Christian??? LOL. Next thing you know they'll claim he's being persecuted for being a white, hetero, male.

    October 13, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Larry

    I couldn't care less about his faith. The ideas he brings to these debates are his problem and they are not what is needed to provide jobs and get people back to work. He is definitely not presidential timber.

    October 13, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. Jim

    "Perry is obviously the man for the presidency"

    What in hell have you been smoking, hillbilly?

    October 13, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Marj

    If you can't take the heat get the hell out the kitchen lady

    October 13, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Rick

    It has nothing to do with FAITH. It has more to do with being a nut case!

    October 13, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. badcyclist

    It always amuses me when the bullies try to play the victim card.

    October 13, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. Ethan

    Poor lady. She mistakes the recent wild fire in Bastrop as burning bush.

    October 13, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. yomamayo


    hard to believe there is sooo much hate out there. when did so many people become so mean?

    This world needs so much more grace and mercy...instead we drown in a sea of hate.

    October 13, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. gordyb

    This GOP presidential race is the best reality TV show on television. Who will lead the tribe next? The 999 pizza or as Michelle Bachman said the 666 devil will have his 15 minutes of fame before he becomes take out pizza. The fact is Perry makes W look bright and that is scary . Romney will most likely prevail as nominee. After all he belongs to a cult! Mrs Perry kind of ignored that little blast. Keep watching, it can only get better!!

    October 13, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. Donkey Party

    Would she prefer that he was brutalized over his Muslim faith? Or perhaps his birthplace? Welcome to the big leagues, sister.

    October 13, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  22. Dixie Independent voter

    I love all the comments. Hilarious!

    October 13, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
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