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. Lenny Pincus

    My gosh, why do these so called Christians rely on the victimhood move whenever the going gets rough? Has she ever spoken out against the abuse other political wives are forced to endure? Naw, I'd say every time she drove by the entrance to her hubby's shooting ranch, she thought the sign was funny.

    October 13, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. LittleBearCB

    Sorry to those who this may offend, but Jeffers comments was like the "Pot calling the kettle black.." Most 'Evangelical religions' are so removed from the apostolic succession, they too are considered 'cults...'

    October 13, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Keith, US Citizen living in Canada

    I think Bush...oops, I mean Perry should follow General Douglas MacArthur and just fade away.

    October 13, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Carrie

    Oh brother. If he can't take the heat he should have stayed out of it. What did they expect? He literally asked for it. Go away.

    October 13, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Cindy

    Oh boo-hoo. If you can't even stand a little campaign heat, how do you think you're right to run the country. Nice move sending out your wife to garner sympathy, you smuck.

    October 13, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. joe

    when things go as sarahpaplin does..blame anyone but this case blame america becuse her husband is a fool and then say it all is because he is a good christian.. u are.going to hell perry family...see ya there

    October 13, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    Do you really want to listen to this kind of whining for four years?

    October 13, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. obandon

    Oh Boo Hoo. Get out of the race if you are so thin skinned!

    October 13, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Roland

    He prayed to God about whether he should try and become president, and god said "yep". I don't know what makes me more nervious... that Perry talks to imaginary friends, or that there might actually be a god out there that wants us to have crappy president.

    October 13, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. MythsGone

    Let me see if I understand this. Mrs. Perry is claiming that her white Christian male husband is being brutalized by his own party dominated by white Christian males because he is Christian?? I'm very sad about his situation. Maybe he should convert to Judaism and announce that he's gay. The GOP-ers would rally behind him.

    October 13, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Judianne

    If Perry needs to 'see a burning bush' someone should give him a map to Bastrop ... hell, the whole daman State of Texas is suffering severe drought and is burning! That should be enough of a 'sign' to the Perry's ...

    October 13, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Semper Fidelis

    Perry is obviously the man for the presidency. Obama's camp threatened to pill out all the stops to discredit him.

    If they don't think a contender is a threat, they leave them alone – like Cain [another inexperienced Pbama]and Romney [beware the Mormon 'thing' has done it's work]

    # Perry WAS the strongest. He's been nobbled. If he wasn't good they'd have ignored him

    # Obama is a so-called Christian [when it suits him!] But Liberals managed to overlook that.

    # Obama was the favourite acolyte and star pupil of Rev J Wr1ght for 20 years [ An American hater AND a rabid Jew hater ] but Liberals managed to overlook that.

    But Perry is a Christian – so you're hollering to have him exorcised!!!!!!!! If you re-vote Obama – I'll throw a party at the Dorchester Hotel to celebrate America's deliberate and intentional Suicide.

    October 13, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Two Thumbs Down

    Well, my religion demands that I mock and humiliate idiots like Rick Perry, and expose them for the fools they are. So don't call me a bigot for practicing my religious beliefs or I will accuse you of religious persecution. Nitwit.

    October 13, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. pyrrho

    God called the conservatives to run for president but Perry is the only one that got special call from God? I guess now days to be elligible to be president you have to be even more than just a born again christian – you have to receive a special calling from God. I just got a special call from God – I think I'll run for president. Woops here come the guys in the white jackets.

    October 13, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Ed Burke

    What the hell is wrong with these religious fundamentalists. Nobody else cares what religion they practice as long as they're not trying to impose their beliefs on others, either through the legislative process or at the point of a sword.

    October 13, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Emilio Dumphuque

    Sure got some great comments here! I can't top 'em! Enjoy!

    October 13, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. beevee

    Perry sounds like a cry baby. Hiding behind his wife to get back to the top of the list of the GOP candidates. The guy is not neither smart nor intellectual and not good enough.

    October 13, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. LouieD

    Awww, poor, poor Rick Perry! That evil "lib-rul" media and his fellow Republicans aren't being nice to him anymore! It goes without saying that it's because of his religion; it can't possibly be because of his racism, his lack of charisma, or his batcrap insanity!

    October 13, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. skyjmpr

    So let's see... the man (Perry) jumps up and thumps his chest about his "personal relationship God", leads a 'pray in' gathering in a football stadium sponsored by a growing and extreme branch of charismatic Pentecostalism (New Apostolic Reformation... and if you've read up on them, they are some scary folks... even for fundamentalists), and then complains about 'persecution for his religious beliefs'. Hold on a moment... YOU are the one who brought it up in the first place. And frankly, I'd prefer an agnostic secularist as the head man anyway. Religon is perhaps one of the greatest sources of misery in the history of mankind, and certainly is no basis for rational decision making.

    October 13, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. Shannon

    Poor Rick Perry, he's finding out that most Americans outside of the Tea Baggers don't like bigoted racists as their candidate.

    October 13, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. Reverend Horton

    well we know she doesn't have the brains in the family either..

    October 13, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. Pat in il

    He might go to a certain church, but his character isn't that of a genuine Christian. Character is what we are all looking for in a candidate. By the way, who is persecuting who here.....he is the one who has no problem dissing a Mormon. Sorry Mrs. Perry, but he has other problems, too, and that is why he isn't on top.

    October 13, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. DenInNooYawk

    So is she saying we should excuse his faults because he's an extreme right-wing christian? Who is she to say this anyway, shouldn't she be in a burqa?

    October 13, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. one voice

    He should be brutalized for taking the boots to the working middle class and the poor.

    October 13, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  25. IP

    How could he not see a burning bush? I thought the whole state of Texas was on fire a couple months ago?

    October 13, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
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