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. cjb

    Gov Perry is the best governor who protects the citizens of Texas. God Bless Governor Perry!

    June 20, 2014 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. Glasses don't make you smart

    Rick Perry: open mouth, insert foot price tag: $0 Pair of glasses to fool the GOP you're smart: Priceless.

    June 20, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. Quixote

    He did not step in it. He is it.

    Is he really so delusional that he thinks he has a shot at even winning the tea bag party ( the party formerly known as republican) primary?

    June 20, 2014 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. RDA

    Rick doesn't just step in it....He lives in it. PLEASE let him be the GOP nominee for 2016! Another easy win for the Dems....

    June 20, 2014 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Blue Stated

    I always love how Republicans say exactly what they want to say to prop themselves up and throw red meat to their base, then try to walk it back for everyone else. In this case, it wasn't even quite a walk back, more of a two-step shuffle. What a dufus. He is probably just as ignorant about alcoholism as he is about being gay – and just as much as he is about everything else he ever tries to talk about. How could a fool like this possibly be the governor of one of our largest states? Disgrace.

    June 20, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. jr

    Dumb comment, yes. But at least he truthfully says what he thinks. You know, right or wrong what you have. Unlike other politicians who make a career out of looking you in the eye and lying.

    June 20, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  7. WHAT!?!

    I don't claim either party, but I am from Texas originally and have lived in different regions of the country. Texas, historically, the most stable economy in the U.S. All Perry did was stand by his theory on the issue, whether it is right or wrong, he is not changing his mind. So, he answered the question.

    June 20, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  8. Big Tex

    As funny as Perry may appear, he is having the last laugh. New Jobs in Texas-> Going up; Business and People fleeing California -> Going up. Texans may be dumb; but they did not suffer like the rest of the country with double digit housing price declines and unemployment. Perry may be stupid and clueless about social issues, but he sure know how to run a state.

    June 20, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. Smegacool

    Here in Texas...we're just thankful that we're not getting all the Governor that we're paying for.

    June 20, 2014 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. Dee

    I am from Texas, and I did not vote for Perry or Bush, any election, period. With that said, I am glad to read and re-read that Perry wants to focus on jobs. I wish he would get one that would not substantially undermine people who are not just like him.

    June 20, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  11. Bogeysmama

    He may come across as ignorant, but he's very smart. Maybe he's use to people in Texas knowing him and his style but I agree this carefree approach is not going to help him in the running for the white house. We don't know who is advisory staff is but they are doing a lousy job.

    June 20, 2014 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |

    You didn't step in IT Rick ...You ARE IT!!!

    June 20, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. KT

    The only reason stupid republicans keep winning in Texas is because the African-American and Haspanic races don't think local elections matter. My first vote was when Clinton ran for president. After Bush rigged the election in his favor, I've been voting for every election there is. Once the rest of my race and the Haspanic race wake up and start voting in local elections, stupidity will be removed from office.

    June 20, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. KT

    What makes it even worst is that these people who vote them in office, vote against there own interest and don't even know it. Or they are just that mean and hatefull that they don't care. Republican are some self-centered, hatefull demons.

    June 20, 2014 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. oneSTARman

    He not only STEPPED in It – He is FULL of It

    June 20, 2014 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. juanmoretime

    That's all right "governor good hair", the price we pay here in Texas for wearing cowboy boots, is that sooner or later you are going to "step in it". For those who say, "Texans are stupid", nothing could be furhter from the truth, it's "Texas republicans are stupid".

    June 20, 2014 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. oneSTARman

    Rick Perry – The guy who got elected Governor
    because the Texas voters were so Drunk they thought he was George Bush

    June 20, 2014 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. Mill Creek Bill

    What do you expect from Governor Good Hair?

    June 20, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  19. cowboy

    I don't know who you people think you are. You're too ignorant to see, blatantly, a nonsensical article by an author(s) crafted using parts of quotes, some being their own (no quotes). Here you are, commenting on a piece of garbage with absolutely no substantive evidence. We're living here in Texas laughing at you calling US stupid. Get this: we are a much better people than you. None of you stand a glimmer of a chance against us. The most interesting fact is: we know you know that.

    June 20, 2014 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. ItSoNlYmE

    Gee Rick, you're just now realizing this? You stepped in it a LONG time ago (anyone remember "Oops!"?).

    June 20, 2014 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Sure leave personal rights up to the states....

    And how fast would slavery be reinstated and all the confederate flag waving secessionists storm the White House to take their country back?

    Back to "White Only" drinking fountains and restrooms. No thanks.

    June 20, 2014 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. Sane Person

    You didn't step in it, you live in it.

    June 20, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. Jrh1524

    I'm upset that he backpedalled. Where's his self dignity? Where's his manhood?

    June 20, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  24. scottie j

    The potential presidential candidate? That's scary.

    June 20, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. CS_Madison

    Apparently the glasses only make him look smarter.

    June 20, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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