June 20th, 2014
09:53 AM ET
7 years ago

Texas governor: I stepped in it

(CNN) - Gov. Rick Perry admitted he fumbled the ball when he recently compared homosexuality to alcoholism.

"I stepped right in it," the Texas Republican said Thursday at an event sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, which also aired on C-SPAN.

The potential presidential candidate, who was unsuccessful in his 2012 White House bid, didn't necessarily distance himself from the comments or apologize, but said he'd rather be talking about other issues.

"We need to be a really respectful and tolerant country to everybody...Whether you're gay or straight, you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses that I want to be involved with," he said.

"We're an incredibly diverse mosaic of a country," Perry continued. "A lot of these issues need to be decided at the state level."

Christie: Perry is 'wrong' on homosexuality-alcoholism comparison

The day before, on Wednesday, Perry stood by the comments on CNN's "Crossfire" when he was asked by co-host Stephanie Cutter whether he believes homosexuality is a disease.

"I think my position has been fairly clear on that for a substantial period of time," Perry said, pivoting quickly to the economy.

The focus should be on American jobs, Perry said, "and that is not on these social issues."

"I think the social issues should be decided state-by-state rather than being something in Washington, D.C. to try to make one-size-fits-all."

At a speech last week in San Francisco, the longtime Republican governor – who ran for the White House in 2012 and is considering another bid in 2016 – was asked whether he thought homosexuality was a disorder.

"I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that – and I look at the homosexual issue the same way," Perry said during that event, immediately sparking backlash from Democrats and gay rights organizations.

CNN's Ashley Killough and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2016 • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (499 Responses)
  1. mfh

    Cant take back what you say, especially on the Gay (non-issue). For a minority, a tiny minority, they sure are special. Not

    June 20, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. ket

    Perry caint hep it he's a Texan!

    June 20, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. 2L

    Rick – we knew that before you did

    June 20, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. ShawnDH

    DJ whined: "And so starts the assassination campaign by the media to neuter any potential 2016 candidate."

    It's the meeeeeeedia's fault the man is a buffoon. Sure.

    June 20, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Aaron

    The worst part about living in Texas is that people just kept electing him. It's embarassing.

    June 20, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. YoMamasMama

    Two or three of him on the GOP list of Prez wannabes will ensure a Dem-filled Oval Office for another four years.

    June 20, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Chetak Sharma

    Does this idiotic Aggie seriously expect any American to vote for him as President (excluding other idiots like him)

    June 20, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. Luigi

    Old motormouth slids in cow sh!t again. Imagine him as pres? Worse that Dan Quayle would have been.

    June 20, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. jimatmad

    Based on his hair, he's a shoo-in.

    Everything below that is distinctly unpresidential.

    June 20, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. Robert Schoales

    You said what you really feel. Be honest about it. We all know what you think.

    June 20, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. Jim

    Gov. Perry does many things well, but he's an embarrassment to Texas; I used to think having him as Governor was the nadir of American politics ... then I moved to Oklahoma!

    June 20, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Drew

    All I here is that a vocal minority of people in the United States have been telling people how they should think, and if they don't they will drag your name through the mud until you publicly change your opinion and kiss the ring of the PC Kings. Perry was explaining how he felt about the subject honestly. He wasn't saying that he wanted to send gay people back into the closets he just has an opinion. I guess its only OK to have an opinion if the vocal minority agrees with that said opinion otherwise they and CNN will try to end your career.

    June 20, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Marion

    "We're an incredibly diverse mosaic of a country," Perry continued. "A lot of these issues need to be decided at the state level."

    Please, Perry, Texas.....secede from the union already and make a fool of yourself "on your own".

    June 20, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. Abron

    So he didn't apologize for what he said at all. He's just mad we heard it. Why would we want the states to decide these things? My state legislature once spent three months debating the state insect. They just made a monumental decision, too: our state exercise is the jumping jack. State govts are a joke.

    June 20, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. No Perry

    Another possible frontrunner for the Republicans along with Mitt who has said no way. They should just congratulate Hillary on her win now.

    June 20, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. stewart

    sounds like he will be the GOP nominee. Good luck to you Mr Perry and your tea nut friends

    June 20, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    sly says:
    June 20, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm
    Governor Perry stated today that “therapy can heal black people and make them white”.

    His comments were immediately applauded by the conservative Republicans, as they think they’ll get more votes that way.

    Oh lord....
    I'm going to have to say thanks but no thanks....

    June 20, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. Tommy in Wilton

    Hah hah hah!

    This guy running for president again-LOL!

    June 20, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. formertexan

    If only those new horn-rimmed glasses could keep his mouth shut.....

    June 20, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. daeh ttub

    It's going to take a little more than those eyeglasses to fix the stupid.

    June 20, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. behaviorquest

    The entire Republican Party and their Tea Party has stepped in it up to their shins and just can't get clean. They won't win a National election for decades.

    June 20, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. anon

    I don't know why we keep paying attention to the likes of Perry and Palin, their comments are at best divisive, at worst discriminatory and bigoted.

    June 20, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Andrew

    I think its pretty funny how he talks about issues like jobs being fixed at the State level. I live in Austin and work as a Respiratory Therapist and right now my State License is in jeopardy because the State is trying to deregulate the field. It doesn't stop there because they are actually trying to deregulate dozens of other types of jobs too. For instance nutritionist and hair stylist. If he think he so great about tackling these types of issues I wonder why the State he's in control of are willing to risk so many peoples careers. It makes me mad when politicians try and talk with the common man because so many of them are just plan out of touch with reality. If this guy wants respect then he should keep his about non relevant issues to himself and focus more on on what he and every other mouth piece in Washington always talk about but never seem actually get anything done. Its time for politicians to work together and start accomplishing real world goals for this country.

    June 20, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. Jason

    He IS right, though...although, as a conservative – I do not agree with him. MOST people hold LIBERAL and yes, CONSERVATIVE values....I hold ALL CAPS! I scream in silence~ 🙂

    June 20, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. bear

    Dan's comment about jobs did not mention the huge number of them are Federal Jobs, Texas has more probably than anywhere in the country. Examples are Military,Nasa,Border Patrol,and many other categories not bad for a group that says they do not want anything to do with the Government aAs far as Governor Perry remember "you can't teach ignorance.

    June 20, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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