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. Steve, New York City

    @ Chris-E...al

    Are you for real? This nation is falling behind because everyone in one political party thinks the same way? I certainly don't support all of the Democrats objectives, but if some in the GOP had it their way (not all but some), they'd replace high school science curriculums with classes on "speaking in tongues," "hunting and fishing" or "why five year olds deserve concealed weapons licenses."

    Whenever I hear people speak in absolutes (all Democrats do X, all Republicans think Y, "You're either with us or against us") the comment is usually coming from a particularly stupid person that cannot think beyond simple black and white concepts.

    June 20, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. bill dunn

    He's all for creating jobs, as long as they are minimum wage/

    June 20, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Madtown

    Which of his handlers got to him this time?

    June 20, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Bill

    Oops!!!did it again.............

    June 20, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. JDalco

    When will we wake up and realize that both sides make these screw ups and both sides use these screw ups to distract us from the real issues and voting in people that could fix them so we end up feeling good that we stopped candidate X for his comments but we still have a screwed up economy, and country that no one is fixing.

    June 20, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota:
    My friend what's going on in your state?
    I pray you're safe and far from the inundations.

    June 20, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. Roscoe Chait

    Perry has so many wacky ideas about gays that I think he probably is gay and is trying to explain himself.

    June 20, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. KBNJ

    The guy said what he believes, and he's factually accurate. The intolerance on parade in these comments is coming from the very people who DEMAND everyone else be tolerant of THEM, but they don't seem to have the capacity to be tolerant of others' thoughts and beliefs.

    June 20, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Be Sane

    What Rick and the Republican so best, step in it. Keep it up guys, the only way you'll see the White House is through the iron fence.

    June 20, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. spudnik56


    June 20, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. bluedogboy

    I still think he's an idiot and not smart enough to hold the job he has, but I'll give him credit for admitting he said something stupid.

    June 20, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Typical

    This guy is a frickin idiot. He can't give a straightforward answer anymore because he's started getting backlash. He didn't have a problem making the statement in the first place, but now he's back peddling. He doesn't actually think he didn't or said anything wrong, he just doesn't like the response he has received.

    Own the bigot that you are Perry! I'd at least have a little bit more respect for you then.

    This guy is a JOKE.

    June 20, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. Gunderson

    Silence DoGood say all social issues should be decided state by state! Holy Conservative! Old Gunderson don't believe it! DoGood up for state rights. All money for all social programs need to be decided in the states. Why you ask? I can give you 18 Trillion reasons. Er, Rudy NYC. great Recession no start in 2007. Maybe more like 1907 with good intentions and happy days. Big mistake, no? OK. Last great recession start with Chris Dodd and Barney Frank and A HOUSE FOR EVERYBODY WITH NO MEANS TO PAY FOR IT !! When you figure out there no Free Lunch. I think you "Step" in it.

    June 20, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Jon

    So he said something that offends some people. Who cares? Is this guy only allowed to have his own point of view if it's approved by the PC police? It's amazing how completely intolerant the people who shout the loudest for social tolerance have become.

    June 20, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Jim

    Come on! This guy isn't presidential material!

    June 20, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. bobo

    I really don't care..... Just control the dam border!!!

    June 20, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. ComeOn2013

    he is entitled to his opinion. he has held that opinion for his entire career and was still elected governor of the largest state in the country. so, that says something! god bless him.

    June 20, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. sby1977

    Where is the story CNN about the HUGE wave of illegals entering Texas?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    June 20, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. SkepticalOne

    Governor Goodhair is an idiot so it is no surprise when he says dumb things. His PR team has one of the toughest jobs in the world. If there weren't so many delusional thumpers out there, it would be impossible.

    June 20, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. Think!

    I love the "this issue should left to the states" argument. Sorry, but no. This is a civil rights issue. Should we have left slavery a states' right issue? NO. Should we have left desegration and "separate but equal" a states' rights issue? NO. It's time to put this "issue" to rest. Marriage equality is coming. Get over it!

    June 20, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. tarura

    I guess, the "civil rights" of freaks are more important for CNN

    than an invasion of illegal children aliens flooding our country

    June 20, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I don't understand the issue here. He states a "belief", which is his own.... Hasn't everyone been saying that you are born Gay? That it is in your DNA? They say the same thing about alcoholics. So what did he say that was so wrong?

    June 20, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. cynthia

    I believe he has a right to believe whatever he wants and I will defend his right to do that BUT I do think Government (Rick Perry the Governer) should stay out of spiritual decisions.. let people choose their own beliefs and let them believe what they want, but do not LEGISLATE those beliefs. Keep it all separate. I may not agree with the homosexual lifestyle, but I choose not to live that way for MYSELF. I do not tell my neighbor how to live.

    June 20, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Qi

    Wow. This guy makes W look bright.

    June 20, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. Scott

    So does being a Democrat mean that you're automatically a supporter of the gay agenda?

    June 20, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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