Perry: Obama administration over-reacting to Marine controversy
January 15th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Perry: Obama administration over-reacting to Marine controversy

(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Sunday that Marines videotaped urinating on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan made a "dumb" mistake, but should not face criminal prosecution.

In an interview Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," the Republican presidential candidate said the Obama administration over-reacted to the incident by talking about possible criminal charges and speaking with what he called "disdain" about the U.S. military.

According to Perry, famous military figures including U.S. Gen. George Patton acted similarly in a war environment.

"When you're 18 or 19, you do dumb things. These kids made a mistake, there's not any doubt about it," Perry told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Perry said the Marines involved should be reprimanded and "appropriately punished," but added that "the idea that this administration would go after these young people for a criminal act, I think it is over the top."

However, Republican Sen. John McCain, who has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, said Sunday he has no problems with the current administration's handling of the incident.

"A full and complete investigation is entirely appropriate," the former 2008 GOP presidential nominee said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Perry also kept up his criticism of frontrunner Mitt Romney's experience as a venture capitalist, saying the issue needed to be raised now rather than later.

Perry has previously described Romney's company, Bain Capital, as corporate "vultures" who looted North Carolina companies.

While using less combative language Sunday, Perry reiterated his accusation that Bain Capital "came in and basically shut down" a Georgetown steel mill, taking away "a lot of money in management fees."

President Barack Obama's campaign will certainly raise the issue if Romney gets the Republican nomination, Perry noted.

"The issue's not going away," he said. "Now's the time to talk about it, not in September and October."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • John McCain • President Obama • Rick Perry • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. ALPHA

    I agree with Gov. Perry. These young men made a bad decission, however they should NOT receive huge criminal punishment. As he said, they are 18-19 years old.

    January 15, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  2. JLR

    This incident happened on the eve of peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Perry is an absolute idiot–no other term for it.

    January 15, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    Rick Perry you can’t win so step a side

    January 15, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  4. lyn

    Gov.Perry how would you like someone to pee on you, it is wrong so stop blaming others. This is for Mr. Scot I will help you make up your mind on who to vote for, our President Barack Obama 2012. Thank you.

    January 15, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  5. Kenny K

    Perry was a service man, and he knows the code of conduct and consequence of its violation. He should state what the code requires before blaming the president.

    January 15, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Hey – this is from the man that pee's on the citizens of Texas every day. What would he know.

    The behavior goes against our principals. PERIOD. Why were they so stupid as to videotape it? Must be from Texas.

    January 15, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Dee Watts

    Exactly! The fact that he doesn't understand that is why Perry should not be president. It's not about the Marines, it's about the perception and the fragile relationship between the U.S. and Arab nations. The Marines should have known that part of their job description is to put country first, and work to maintain and enhance a peaceful relationship between the groups. The troops are not only soldiers, but they are walking billboards for the U.S. How they behave reflects directly on us. The administration is NOT overreacting!

    January 15, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. Puddin

    Had this happened to our American boys, I wonder what we would to do? (I bet I know).

    January 15, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. Chad

    Funny, but the Taliban didn't think it so barbaric when they crashed commercial airline jets into our twin towers, killing over 3000 innocent men, women and children in the name of Islam. I commend those Marines for what they did. What could be respectable about the dead body of a terrorist group member? They urinated on the body of someone who would have killed them. Let's not make this into another Vietnam.

    January 15, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. emrsonbiggins

    I hate to agree with Perry on anything, but... They are young, and probably hate the Taliban fighters, as they should. It was unprofessional and the timing of the release was very unfortunate. At least they did not hack off the heads, like the barbarians they are fighting do. The dumbest thing was to take a video of the incident. Young people everywhere: Take Note! If you make a video of ANYTHING, it will someday most likely be on display to the whole world. DON'T BE STUPID!!!

    January 15, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  11. one voice

    What should we give them Rick, a Purple Heart?

    January 15, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. Mike

    If the investigation proves what seems to have happened, the soldiers involved should face criminal charges under the military's code of justice.

    What I find annoying, is that most Americans would be going ballistic if the same thing happened to our soldiers. We made entire movies over the treatment of our downed soldiers in Black Hawk Down. We would have every right to be angry. The fact is, these men were no different than the Somalis were that day. They engaged in behavior that was not only immoral, but provides propoganda to aid the enemy.

    Im not suggesting capital punishment. No one is. They should face charges that must include dishonorable discharge and whatever else is prudent under military code. They embarassed not only themselves, but their country and their fellow soldiers.

    January 15, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. Joe Town

    As a Veteran, I can see that it is quite apparent that Perry has never served in the Armed Forces. There is a code of honor in all of the services, especially the Corps. These Marine's did do a stupid thing, HOWEVER the least that should be done to them is a Dishonorable Discharge. There is more to warfare that just killing someone. There is a respect on the battlefield, EVEN if your opponent is the Taliban or another enemy. Unfortunately some of today's soldiers have lost sight of the HONOR of being a soldier.

    \\ JT

    January 15, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. Anonymous

    You all make me sick what about all the people they have cut their heads off you know what them kids made a mistake war is hell and that is what you get in war....Every war that has been fought their has been stuff like this going on these kids have been drilled in their head to kill no matter what and you want them to come back home and be normal after what they have seen and been thru seeing their best friend blown apart so if i was you i would think twice before i condem these kids...and a for as Obama if you vote for him again you can forget about this country the middle class don't have a chance and everyone is going to be on goverment aid and that is what he wants.........

    January 15, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    When Patton did things like this, there was no way to get it sent around the world so quickly and easily. We are trying to make the case that we are a country that follows the rules which this didn't demonstrate. We also need to show that we don't hate Muslims and this proves that we have no respect for the dead. This just inflames the hate against us. For me, this is another remark that shows that Perry doesn't get foreign policy and diplomacy. That is dangerous for the leader not to understand.

    January 15, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. NH Grandma

    Perry just proved you he's not Presidential, not that we needed any more proof, thanks.

    January 15, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. Midwestmatt

    Chad- Al Queda planned and executed 9/11, not the Taliban. Nice try, though.

    These men should simply be drummed out and quickly. They dishonored their service by doing something so foolish.

    Was it a criminal act? I don't know enough about the military's code of honor to comment on that but I do know when something is so egregiously stupid that you get "fired" for doing it.

    January 15, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. Seattle Sue

    After this statement from Perry, you have to really question his morals. Or is this act something that any God fearing christian would do?

    January 15, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. Franny

    Rick Perry was in the Military, but he has no problem with urinating on anyone. Texans have been allowing it for over ten years. To be fair, not all Texans are as dumb as Governor Perry. We here in Texas would be more than happy to get rid of him, but not at the risk of our Country! Regardless, after the fleecing we Texans have taken to pay for his running? I'm pretty sure his political days are over with!

    January 15, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. ST

    I disagree with Perry. Though they are at the young age, but they knew what they were doing was wrong. Or because of their ages(as Perry claims), were they playing?

    January 15, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  21. Jack

    If Taliban were photographed urinating on American dead soldiers what would Perry's reaction be?

    January 15, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. MWM

    As a military retiree I too have been insulted by the actions of these marines who have violated all codes of military honor. Anyone who would excuse such behavior and ignore the ramifications has no concept of international relations and has no place in high office.

    January 15, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |