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. Leigh

    He stepped in it all right...up to his face. AGAIN. Idiot.

    June 20, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Rudy NYC


    The Constitution already gives us the right to Life, Liberty, and the Persuit of happiness. Too bad some people still don't understand that.
    Too bad some people don't understand that The Constitution doesn't say that.

    June 20, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. Bill from GA

    Looking at this issue of Perry's comment strictly on a factual basis:

    Perry " was asked whether he thought homosexuality was a disorder "
    His response: " 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 "

    He did not even call it a disorder. So what part of his statement is false? Is 'homosexual' behavior genetic coding or not? (I don't really know myself, not sure if science has that figured out.) Perry then implies that if one has the genetic coding for homosexuality, one can still choose to live a non-homosexual lifestyle. Is anyone denying that?

    Perry is guilty of one thing: being politically incorrect.

    June 20, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. Mopery

    There were three things Rick Perry did wrong, the first thing was opening his mouth, the second thing was speaking his limited mind, the third was...uhm...WHOOPS!

    June 20, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. sifto

    Everyone has a right to their religious beliefs..perry needs to think before he speaks..these social issues should be left to states, not the national elections..leave religion out of the politics..and, also, the left should stop bullying christians about their marriage beliefs..no one cares if LGBT 'S get married..just dont force christians to think it is right...

    June 20, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. Anonymous

    As a Texan, I second Maria's comment, this obstructionist do-nothing can't leave office soon enough. His legacy can be that of perpetuating bad schools and letting his anti-government sentiment keep millions of Texans from having medical care, when we are the worst state in the union for uninsured. Unless those Clark Kent glasses he has put on are actually Google glasses to allow him to read a teleprompter, he really needs to go sit in corner and quit getting in the way. He is lucky that geology and geography have given the state jobs, because he certainly hasn't.

    June 20, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Michael F.

    It is UTTERLY ASTOUNDING that someone with this infantile world view has been elected to be the Governor of a state—even if it IS Texas...

    June 20, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Kip Oliver

    What he really meant to say is, "It dawned on me that what I said might cost me votes. So I'd much rather lie publically about how I feel because I really want those votes." I'm all for politicians saying whatever they think – that way I know who not to vote for. Trust me, Perry – those out there that would agree with you don't vote anyway.

    June 20, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Foregone Conclusion

    It seems like most every time Rick Perry opens his mouth what comes out of it is what he say he stepped into!

    June 20, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Ali Baba

    America loves Rick Perry!!

    We need him for President of the United States and Sarah Palin as our Vice President. Only they can deliver us from evil. We need to enforce Christian values on everyone. Should be mandatory in the Constitution.

    Go Tea Party! Go Rick and Sarah! Long live fighting Christians!

    June 20, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. rs

    Well, like the former Democratic Governor Schweitzer of Montana- it was a rough week for Governors and spontaneous speech- at least Perry apologized. The guy from Montana made it way worse making it a personal thing with Cantor.
    Ahhh, politicians.

    June 20, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Sheryl Mexic

    He not only stepped in it, he's full of it too. And he did really mean what he said. His history proves that.

    June 20, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Joe

    What exactly did he say wrong? We all have genetic inclinations for everything we do, and then we choose. Even the politically correct can realize that!

    June 20, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Charlie

    Texas, please keep this man. We are already have a stupid guy in the White House.

    June 20, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. AmericaMovingFoward

    Republicans need to learn to just never talk on social issues. Ever.

    June 20, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. MJ

    Well, step in or not, he seems to have done a pretty good job in Texas considering they are one of the most desirable (from a jobs, schools, housing, quality of life, and economic standpoint) states in the country–that should be a testament to conservative policy. There are a hell of a lot more people heading to Texas vs. California, New York, or Illinois.

    June 20, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. Thomas

    Rick Perry admitted to having the gay DNA , Yet he refrains from using it .

    Perry / Cruz 2016
    Together We Can !

    June 20, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. Den

    Interesting. Whats odd is that rumors about him have been circling for years here in Texas. We all have been waiting for him to come out for a long time now.

    June 20, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. Mike M.

    Perry isn't apologizing, he is intolerant of homosexuality and many other things and neither he nor the Tea Party Republicans have any interest in including those they hate. They have said time and again they would herd gays into pens or jail progressives and now extremists in Tea Party GOP have gone so far as to point guns at BLM police and now they have killed 2 policemen. These extremists are dangerous and I believe they are capable of saying or doing anything to remove every progressive from government so they can dismantle the Federal Government brick by brick.I would leave this country if the GOP retakes the Senate

    June 20, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Like Fat Men

    Sorry Rick Perry. It's too late. You have already stated how you feel and it cannot be taken back. I hope you never make it to Washington because this country would be in trouble with your 18th century views.

    June 20, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Vince

    I think Rick's comments were great. Every time Republicans get a little power on the national state, it's just a matter of time before something like this tumbles out of their mouths to remind people exactly who they are and what they believe. Keep it up Rick!

    June 20, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. littletingod

    Rick Perry has definitely taken the "I'm a total moron" crown away from George W. Bush. Please God! Release us from the Moronic Texas Governor Syndrome!

    June 20, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. J.S.

    During the 2012 primaries, he did the same thing and was called Broke-back Perry since he was wearing a coat very similar to the one the actors in the movie were wearing.

    June 20, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Al-NY,NY

    People just need to get a thicker skin and face the facts ? This nation is falling behind due to dems immoral beliefs and lack of good judgement on most things .Will this group realize what they have done and promoted ? Yes they will one day yes they will .

    please enlighten us what you mean by "immoral beliefs and lack of good judgement" Would that be cheating on your wife/husband (republicans do that as much if not more)? Preaching the word of God and then doing the exact opposite (the GOP has that one by about a 90-10% majority)? Having children out of wedlock or as a teen? Blathering on about helping people when all they're interested in is their rich majority? why poor people vote for the GOP is beyond me.

    June 20, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. psk

    Gay or not gay, same rights regardless of federal or state determination, with no discrimination, period. Perry is a one answer idiot that summarizes anything into a no federal and yes state opinion. At best Perry is a huge idiot on a state or federal definition. What an imbecil..

    June 20, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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