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. Rudy NYC

    If what Perry says is true, then how come he has trouble overcoming that genetic misfire that causes him to gaffe.

    June 20, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. scarf

    HE was man enough to admit it and not run from it.

    He said he stepped in it. He didn't say it was a mistake.

    not ONE of you in here are successful in politics, yes think you know all about it.Try walking in Perry's shoe before making such dumb comments

    June 20, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. scarf

    not ONE of you in here are successful in politics, yes think you know all about it.Try walking in Perry's shoe before making such dumb comments
    He's asking for our votes. We have not just a right, but a responsibility to listen to what he says and determine if he's worthy of our vote or not.

    June 20, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. xRedfoxx

    Rick Perry is too liberal to be our president. We need someone that has some backbone and that quit's back-peddaling on every issue. Somone who will stand up for decency, morality, and the USA and quit apologizing for it.

    June 20, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Tangled Web

    GOP note to all members :

    Don't talk about social issues till after we get elected.
    Then we pass all of the laws we want.

    PS: To Rick Perry,
    Texas Supreme Court just struck down anti gay legislation,
    can you veto this ?

    June 20, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Bilbo

    Just once I'd like one of these guys to hold a press conference after something like this, stand up to the mic and say "I just want to clarify my remarks from yesterday..to be clear...I meant EXACTLY what I said. Have a nice day"

    June 20, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Weebles Wobble

    Isnt Rick Perry dating Rick Santorum ?

    June 20, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Harrys Putter

    I can smell the stench from here.

    June 20, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Rich

    How does one choose to be gay? I'm not gay, but I never remember making the decision not to be gay. I guess I was BORN stright. Just like people are BORN gay. I'm trying to remember the day when I decided whether I would live my life as a stright or gay man. People don't do that. An if you think they do then ur dumb.

    June 20, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Mexican Texas is the name given by Texas history scholars to Texas during the period between 1821 and 1836, when Texas was an integral part of Mexico. You need a better Governor, he is a mental case, doesn't like Gays, Minorities,
    Latinoa/Blacks, Homeless people, etc, etc, And, need a History class,. Not my choice for president, no way. The danger is his own image when he looks in the mirror. Mr. KKK.

    June 20, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. BeverlyNC

    Perry is always stepping over the line. He is as much of a leader as W. but maybe one brain cell smarter. Perry always shooting off his mouth is the sign he is no leader. We can't have men like him anywhere near foreign policy.

    June 20, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Guess who

    Wow the backlash when ppl don't agree with status quo. If he doesn't agree with it he doesn't have to. This is still America right? He spoke his mind because the press insisted on asking the same dumb question!

    June 20, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. claudius1964

    Wow..... a politician none the less...... a lost cause no matter how you look at it.

    June 20, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. claudius1964

    How does a politician look good? Everything is permissable in the eyes of the people.

    June 20, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. BD70

    No not Perry again...noooooooooo!

    June 20, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Miss Myrtle

    Dearies, recently had a terrifying nightmare about the Love Child of Mr. Perry and Ms. Palin. Governor Perry's comments here remind me about why his good o'le boy, aw shucks, kick the dirt demeanor hides a much darker thought process. His knuckles must get awfully raw from all that dragging...

    June 20, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Peter Phalam

    People gay men cannot help having four prior lifetimes as a women before coming into a male body and Lesbian woman cannot help that they have had four male lifetimes prior to becoming a woman again

    June 20, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Alluh

    He's got Forrest Gump IQ

    June 20, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. goo6er

    Perry – and several commenters here – think gayness is an impulse upon which they can choose to act or not act, like an alcoholic choosing not to take a drink.

    That makes as much sense as saying a white person can choose to be or not be white.

    June 20, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Forget that he said he stepped in it. He is a big part of the "IT"

    June 20, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. bajadelmar

    He is "IT".

    June 20, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. BeRational

    Politician's who gay bash usually end up being gay themselves.

    June 20, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. john pickett

    Of course he stepped in it Most of Texas is full of it

    June 20, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. notogop

    Rick Perry is a tool and a broken one at that.

    June 20, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Americans can relate to morons like him. Not so much with geniuses like the Clintons and Obama

    June 20, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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