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. mani varghese

    congradulations gov Perry. you made your opinion right. win or loose is not the issue. truth is always truth.

    June 20, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. TinFLA

    Is there any potential republican candidate that isn't a moron. I guess this applies to the democrats also.

    June 20, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Chuk

    This guy is one of those undisciplined people who want to be president. It isn't as easy as they think. Being president is different from being the governor of a state like Texas. The reason is you can get away with a lot of things you can't get away with as president. That is because as governor of a red state, it's OK to make red-neck statements and get away with it. Due to lack of discipline, Perry is the kind of person who'd shoot first and ask questions later. As president, that won't work: you can't launch nuclear missiles and fix it with an "oops" moment.

    June 20, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. GH

    Funny, I always thought the biggest alcoholics in this country were Southern rednecks.
    Typical personality trait of the GOP to criticize others for the very behaviors they themselves indulge in.

    June 20, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. herchato

    If we left the social issues to the states there would be some states that would go back to segregation, water fountains for colored, restrooms for colored, pole tax, no rights for gays, no minimum wage, no rights for workers, no voting for women........

    June 20, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. qsmurf

    For those of you whining about how intolerant we are of bigotry, just remember that it is a point of pride for us to be intolerant of intolerance.

    And conservatives have seemingly cornered the market on bigotry and intolerance, so you really have no room to be pointing fingers at others who are more and more demanding that this entire ridiculous ideology be driven back into the hole from which it ever emerged!

    June 20, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. clouseau2

    Unfortunately for Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, running for President means you have to talk a lot, and then you say dumb and offensive things. If they could just keep their mouths shut and we would just vote on their hair, they could easily win the election.

    June 20, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. yerkiddinright

    Ricky, your whole political career can be summed up in one word – Oops. You're unelectable. Go away and let the adults talk.

    June 20, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. grist

    It is not intolerant to be intolerant of intolerance.

    June 20, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. sifto

    The intolerant left..at it again...

    June 20, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Areason4reason

    Say what you want, but at least he admitted he was wrong... That's a million times better than what republicans have done in the past.

    June 20, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Somebody

    The PC police are offended. Guess now they have to try and shame this guy for having a view that is different from theirs. I agree with his comments. Don't think that I should be made to feel ashamed for believing something that is true. If anything, people condoning this kind of disgusting homosexual behavior should be ashamed.

    June 20, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Hawa

    Oh goodness, he is running again. Hope he's been spending his time learning foreign policy and history!

    June 20, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. John

    He has a right to his opinion whether you like it or not. If you don't like it, TOO BAD!!!!!

    June 20, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Jim

    Perry said something stupid? Shocking!!

    June 20, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. dwe

    @JDalco Thank You.

    June 20, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Rick Perry said something dumb....OK. We get it. Unacceptale. We've been used to hearing dumb, evading, back-peddling responses for the past 6 years and longer He's a polictican. They say dumb things. They are not off the hook for saying them. He's not electable on the national stage and we all know it. Let him stay in TX and continue to say dumb things. For those who think "dumb" is from one party, I give you VP Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Sarah Palin and Rick Perry. Even playing field. Its just a matter of the levels of and severity of dumbness. Capiche'?

    June 20, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Ace

    He not only stepped I it, it came out of his mouth.

    June 20, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. ART

    OOPS, He really needs to change those cowboy boots

    June 20, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. Silence DoGood

    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.
    I know what you mean about 1907. On December 8, 1907 "Upon the death of Oscar II, he is succeeded by his son Gustaf V as king of Sweden." – Wikipedia. It is the only way I think I can respond to your ponderous and random typing.

    June 20, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Dan

    He said what he thinks. Most people in the world try alcohol. Some imbibe, some drink very little, some not at all. Very, very few people in the world "try" homosexuality. Homosexuality is not a "temptation", you are either gay, or you are straight.

    June 20, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. Moderate Sean


    Well Gov,
    At least you didn't say you would cut the deficit in half at the end of your first term! And you didn't say, If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan, period. You didn't say, there are shovel ready jobs out there. But if telling falsehoods are in style you are in line to be president! After all, Harry Truman was no prize, and he became president!
    June 20, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |

    Hey Gunderson, totally deflecting Perry's goofball comments doesn't make them, one, go away; or two, any less offensive!! Try, as hard as it is, to stay on topic.

    June 20, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Brian

    I totally disagree with him and I don't think he's very bright. But I respect a guy who owns up to his mistake.

    June 20, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. wasup

    What if Rick Perry is right?

    June 20, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. HooHah

    Flip Flopper!! Flip Flop Flip Flop.

    June 20, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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