Anita Perry says husband 'brutalized' for faith
October 13th, 2011
03:51 PM ET
10 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. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Anita, if you think God is so important to your husband's candidacy, why didn't God make your husband a better person?

    October 13, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Indy

    Take two asprins,walk a mile in Michelle Obamas shoes then call us with the results Mrs Perry

    October 13, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Green Collar Worker

    That burning bush he saw was his whole state on fire. Maybe he shouldn't have fired all of those firefighters?

    October 13, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. Irrma in North Carolina

    Mrs Perry: Though shall not kill(especially inocent people) He didnt care just so he gets the record for putting to death inocent people. What religion do you believe in. There is a guy up above who will take care of your husband.

    October 13, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. fbmarky

    I'm sick of hearing about these idiot's devoutness. If you love god, he knows it and you don't have to keep shouting it. What I want to hear is, how is he going to fix the bridges and roads that are falling apart? How is he going to keep our airlines and food and air and water supply safe and clean? How is he going to put people to work? How is he going to end the wars and bring our service men and women home safely? How is he going to fix this corrupt congress? Instead, we get nothing but godspeak and bad haircuts.

    October 13, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Rev Mkell,

    If she thinks this is bad she should think about if that twit got a elected, cause then the whole world would start pick'n on him!

    October 13, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Texas Slim

    He carries a gun when jogging. He can take care of himself. (Probably shoot himself in the foot though.)

    October 13, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Thad

    Once again when someone speaks the truth his friend takes the damage. I might not like Rick Perry or his views but this kinda of crap being hurled at him and his family is sick. Go to youtube and see what mprmons believe not the wild stories. The fact that their founder was a racist whiteman who believed blacks were cursed. Mr. Romney and Mr. huntsman need to make me see how they can believe a racisit religion and be President of the United States.

    October 13, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    I doubt Mrs. Perry is ready for the national spotlight anymore than her husband is. How sad that some folks spend so much time giving full reign to their ego's, and are so willing to toss common sense out the window for the sake of promoting their own self image.

    October 13, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. BK

    No. Being forbidden from oppressing other faiths is not 'being brutalized'.

    October 13, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. westward

    Oh, get outta here, lady! What, are you channeling Jimmy Swaggert for political gain? No, no, and NO! Your husband and you chose to be in the public eye – that comes with every thing you are getting. Can't stand the heat – get the heck out of the kitchen. Buck up or get off the stage.

    October 13, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. SaintM

    When you have to ask your wife to defend you publicly–you are a failure. Just a note, if you're gonna parade your wife in front of cameras, please have them do a more paint and body work before assaulting our eyes with her image.
    Let me guess, Rick Perry hogs up all the conditioner at your house and there's none left for you.

    Rick is evil beyond measure, and you, my dear lady, are the bride of Frankenstein.

    October 13, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |

    Big bad Texas cowboy, needs his wife to save him from the slings and arrows. Show some backbone coward-boy.

    October 13, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. logic in LA

    Yes Anita- your husband is being "brutalized" right now. not because he claims to be a Christian ( actions speak louder than labels) but because he is arrogant, out of touch with real America, and treasonous ( can we say secession?)
    He is not what America needs or wants as a leader. He may be OK in a state where "D-fense"is the state motto, but in the America of over 284,000,000 "other" Americans- we expect more common sense.

    October 13, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. diridi

    GOP is junk...o.k, nonsense...

    October 13, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Erik

    Idiots seldom differ, and, so, Anita and Rick make a good pair – just keep them out of the White House. Perry could have completely disagreed with Jeffress's comments, but Perry has repeatedly chosen not to do so.

    October 13, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. mikeb

    His religion has nothing to do with his decline in the polls. His debate performances have shown the Republican base that the guy is a blithering idiot.

    October 13, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. Woman In California

    Look at that hairdo?

    Honey, were you PROUD your husband executed over 200 people (some innocent) all in the name of Christianity.

    October 13, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Dan in Atlanta

    Perry can stop being "brutalized" (Perry's wife's word for it) by shutting up about his religion, and by telling his pastor friends to obey the IRS exempt-non-profit law and stop politicking in the name of God.

    October 13, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Jake

    oh please! so get out of politics! if you can't handle heat from your fellow conservatives, how the hell are you going to lead a nation!?

    October 13, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Former Republican, but never again!

    He was brutalized for being an idiot!

    October 13, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Pravaa

    What a bunch of BS!!!! No one said presidential campaigns will be a ride into the Texas sunset. They are brutal and it is more than evident from the debates that Perry is not prepared with quick meaningful rebuttals against anyone. And what is with this whole thing of seeing the burning bush and all? Religion has its place in everyone's life but if you are not sure what meaningful changes you can bring to a country's public policy and are here only for God's mission.... time to get out and become a pastor or something else.

    October 13, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Greg

    Mrs.Perry has it slightly wrong. We don't brutalize him for his faith. We dislike him for using it as a political tool. I have nothing against his faith, despite not sharing it. I have a real problem with co-opting the conservative ideology in the name of your religion. Christianity is fine and good, and I'm glad you have a moral compass, but it has no place in political dialogue. Run on your ideas, your policies, and your convictions, not your faith. If you bring it into the arena, don't be mad when it is used against you. To be honest, I'm a little disappointed in ALL of the candidates for even participating in the values voter summit. I understand they felt they needed to, but I really don't see the point in pandering to them. If they have true conservative ideals, they won't care about your faith, they'll care about your policies.

    October 13, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. stu

    she should be glad she's not Mormon...

    October 13, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. RINO Bil

    I belive that Mitt Romney has been brutalized by conservatives because of his faith. Rick Perry has been called out because he is dogmatic if not plain stupid. Creationism is NOT a science and climate change IS being affected by humans despite what Rick's bought opinions by 1% of climate scientists claim.

    Grow up, both of you, and stop whining.

    October 13, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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