Perry: Fast and Furious is 'Nixonian'
June 24th, 2012
11:40 AM ET
10 years ago

Perry: Fast and Furious is 'Nixonian'

(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Sunday labeled President Barack Obama's claim of executive privilege over Operation Fast and Furious as "Nixonian," suggesting the scandal is worse than Watergate.

"You have a president who is using his executive privilege to keep that information from Congress. If that's not Nixonian, then I don't know what is," Perry said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

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The Republican governor and former presidential candidate portrayed the botched gun-running operation as more serious than the 1970s Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of former President Richard Nixon.

"We've had over 300 Mexican nationals killed directly attributable to this Fast and Furious operation, where they brought those guns into Mexico. A former Marine and a Border Patrol agent by the name of Brian Terry lost his life," Perry said. "With Watergate you had a second-rate burglary."

Obama asserted executive privilege last week over Justice Department documents surrounding the Fast and Furious probe by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The House is expected to vote next week to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives launched the operation out of Arizona to track weapon purchases by Mexican drug cartels. However, it lost track of more than 1,000 firearms that the agency had allowed straw buyers to carry across the border, and two of the lost weapons turned up at the scene of the 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

- CNN's Tom Cohen contributed to this report.

Filed under: President Obama • Rick Perry
soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    I am not a Republican, but Governor Perry "hit the nail on the head." Thank you sir! When are Mr. Obama and HIS administration going to come "clean"?! Doesn't Mr. Obama know that the "buck" stops at the office of the president?! Or, has HE been so busy lying, campaigning and dividing the American populace that HE forgot who has been president for almost the last four years?!

    What is next for this president?! Martial law???!!!

    June 25, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  2. olcranky

    Hmmmm, Issa has admitted there's no evidence the Obama administration did anything wrong, this is after they reviewed the huge amount of info the admission turned over, they're asking for full access to go on a phishing trip, F&F started under BushCO and, if I recall correctly, the GOP was adamant not only that BushCO had the right to assert executive privilege they supported the notion that, if a sitting POTUS did something, it wasn't illegal (speaking of Nixonian).

    June 25, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  3. Ben Hogan

    Barack Obama = Fail Stop blaming Bush for everthing

    June 25, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  4. don

    This man has no grasp of history. Or anything else for that matter

    June 25, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  5. angryersmell

    Who started Fast and Furious again? I haven't seen much mention of that...

    June 25, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  6. The GOP needs to pack up and leave

    Keep screaming at the rain, GOP. The American people are well aware that's all your protests are.

    June 25, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  7. WS

    If this Fast and Furious controversy had occurred in the exact same way but with a Republican AG and President, there is NO doubt that the media would have already been reporting it as a scandal on the scale of Watergate. And the fact is there is NO difference between the current actions of Holder and Obama and those of Richard Nixon in his coverup of the Watergate break-ins. Liberals are such abject hypocrites...

    June 25, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Perry's ludicrous statements clearly show it's time for a new governor for Texas.

    June 25, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  9. J,V.Hodgson

    Bush II invoked executiive privilege on a similar DOJ investigation and invoked it quite a lot.
    Executive privilege's purpose is to protect the President, some bloggers dont seem to accept this original purpose.
    The nixonian bit is pure sound bite grabbing and irrelevant.
    The problem was Issa's sub poena was to all encompasing and went beyond what was needed. Holder tried to amend it Issa rejected and chose to make that contempt of congress.... which will fail.

    June 25, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  10. Justin

    Riddle me this.... Why would a Mexican drug cartel thug that just murdered ANYONE leave the weapons at the scene???? There is no fear of being caught with the murder weapon since they OWN the police and judicial systems in Mexico. By the way, does anyone REALLY think the only guns in Mexico got there because of "fast and furious"????

    June 25, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  11. Governor 47th in Job Growth

    What was Bush hiding the six times he used EP?
    Guns don't kill people. People don't kill people. The govt. should issue everyone (including infants) a sidearm and an assualt rifle since guns don't kill people.
    Let's all listen to the guy who encouraged window breaking.
    Yee haw.

    June 25, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  12. Chris

    As much as I dislike Perry he makes a good point here.

    June 25, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  13. Dale

    Yawn. This is the Republicans stated goal #1 :"Make Obama a one-term president." Not economy. Not jobs. Not terrorism. Their stated goal makes the Republican's very motivations suspect here. It is a slander campaign. At worst, F&F is a botched attempt to fight the drug cartels and nothing more.

    June 25, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  14. Patty - Illinois

    Of course using executive privilege causes people to be suspicious about the real motive behind its use. However, not much outcry from Republicans when George W. Bush used it to save Cheney's behind more than once during his term, as well as for other problems he was juggling. Various previous presidents from both parties have used it during their terms. The hardest part for most people to take is the self-righteousness Republicans display when it is a Democrat.

    June 25, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  15. NRA

    People kill people. Guns don't – NRA

    June 25, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  16. v_mag

    Gov. Perry failed his elementary school unit on irony.

    June 25, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  17. Mike in NH

    Perry finallly displays his intelligence. Yes Fast and Furious will turn out to be worse than Watergate and Contragate.

    June 25, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  18. Wynter

    Oh Puhleeze. Now they are walking out Perry to try to give this issue legs?
    The facts are that Rep. Issa has no proof of wrongdoing on the part of Holder or anyone for that fact in the Obama Administration. Period. Nothing.
    What he does have is a lot of low level and mid level mistakes on the part of people in the field. And let's not forget that this whole "gun walking" plan was devised during the Bush era. During the Obama administration no one has been connected to "gun walking" period.
    People keep reading too many conspiracy novels. It's real life people! It's boring and it's purely election year game playing by the GOP.
    Get over yourself, Issa.

    June 25, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  19. Bob

    Nixonian or Draconian is mox nix. Drug cartels couldn't care less about what the U.S. calls it. They're intent on on bringing their trade and terror over the U.S. border. Cartel expansionism is no secret. Stopping it where it starts should be the top priority in the North American Hemisphere. We can only guess who is supporting these expanding drug cartels. Illegal immigrants, world wide, seem to have formed their path into the U.S. through Mexico. Whatever it takes to stem the flow of "illegal" has got to be done!

    June 25, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  20. Name J Patrick

    The American public should be outraged that such a mockery is being made of the entire government. It's a shameful thing when a president over reaches the power they have been given to the extent that they betray the trust of the people. The logical response to this is impeachment, even if it is uncomfortable to the populace to admit that they need to step in and hold those accountable that have betrayed that office. The morals and ethics of the nation should demand the self respect at the core of any call of Impeachment.

    June 25, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  21. Chumlee

    Perry needs to close his mouth – whenever he opens it he puts both feet in it! And how many times has "executive privilege" been used by President Obama? One time.

    Do you research Perry – go away and keep you mouth shut!

    June 25, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  22. llatpoh

    America is waking up... despite the mainstream media's focused agenda to create a pro-Obama narrative... the truth will always prevail... Obama is a disaster... if he had run on his TRUE platform he would never have been elected in 2008... His divisive platform is UNPRESIDENTIAL.
    Obama is ONE and DONE

    June 25, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  23. Reality

    This is not a Political Party Issue. The real issue is finding the truth on the program and on any cover up. It is not a fishing expedition when we don't even know the answers to who approved it. Who knew about it and when? Why were the guns not tracked? Why haven't those responsible been fired or severely disciplined? Holder has changed his answers to when he knew about it several times. If there is nothing to hide, then there is no reason to hold back all the documents requested. Brian Terry's family deserves the truth. Obama took the stage to demand justice for Trayvon Martin, where is the same consideration for Brian Terry?

    June 25, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  24. luvUamerica

    I think that is what the President had said, the buck stops at his door. But the Tea Party House Republicans will not be content with what is given to them. This is not going to stop until they have put someone in jail. What happened here is minor compared to the Valerie Plame outing by Dick Cheney. They will not find any fault with what Holder did. They will charge him though with lying to Congress or something like that. They know, if they spend another 50 million dollars like the Whitewater thing, they will trip up somebody.

    Republcians will never change, and what Dick Perry is saying is nothing but dirt Republican politics.

    June 25, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  25. Joi Gibson

    It is my understanding no one from the ATF has been brought in for these hearings. Why not? Seems to me if Darrell Issa really wants to find out what went wrong, how about questioning the actual folks/agency who initiated this fiasco to begin with? Congressman Issa is out to make the President and his administration look bad. He pretty much stated as much when he became chairman of this committee. As far as I am concerned, Congressman Issa has no credibility.


    June 25, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
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