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. Embarrassed Republican

    This guy's run in 2012 and possible future run in 2016 is all based on job creation in Texas.
    He also say repeatedly how the stimulus package failed.
    But the fact is the over 60% of the jobs created in Texas while he has been the Governor, were created with stimulus money. Texas is 3rd in states that received stimulus money.

    June 20, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. CM

    More jobs in Texas than the rest of the US combined? What are you smoking?

    June 20, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. Tychi

    Perry looks so smart with those glasses on. You can not tell a book by it's cover; but in this case you look inside and all of the pages are blank.

    June 20, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Joseph

    We can finally say that there is ONE honest politician in the USA.

    June 20, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    The problem with a state-by-state solution is that it has the effect of balkanizing this country even more than it already is. Either we believe in equality and justice for all, or we don't. No one is demanding that people " become gay", even though the ignorant seem to believe that is at the core of this. Its about treating people with dignity and respect, and comparing gays to alcoholics is irresponsible, to say the least. The state-by-state answer is the answer of someone who does not want to do the heavy lifting on something.

    June 20, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. gee

    This man is ignorant and disgusting. It is unbelievable that he is a governor.

    June 20, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Not Gay But Compassionate

    Gov Perry – PSST, you're a STATE governor. Shouldn't you be making that decision for your STATE?

    June 20, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    How does this imbecile remain in public office? Oh yeah, he's a Republican.

    June 20, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. ritmocojo

    The glasses: What is up with that? Are we to believe he's wearing a 'Superman' suit underneath his clothes as well and will step into a phone booth and come out as such? He'd probably fly into the first building he'd come across, or get tangled in some high lines.

    June 20, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Jackson

    Like him or not, Governor Perry is the reason why texas has more jobs than the entire US combined. He has been the Texas gov. for 14 years so no one else can get credit for that but him and his business friendly policies. Texas is the place to be because of him. Actually, he did no backpedaling. He re-stated the fact that **all* should be tolerant – including the left – and he acknowledged that the interviewer tricked him into talking about dumb social issues when the focus should be the economy. Hes right!


    Texas has more jobs than the rest of the US combined?


    The population of Texas is 25 million people. Even if every last person in the state had a job, that would mean there are just over 25 million jobs in texas.

    Are you really expecting us to believe that the other 49 states combined don't have a total of 25 million jobs? If that was the case, the unemployment figures in this country would be over 80%.

    June 20, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Thomas

    "Oh brilliant, Rick. That way we can pit people in one state against people in another state. Why not just divide segments of the population apart like the Shiites & Sunnis– because that's where you're headed when you start setting different sets of rules like that. The result will not be good."
    Huh?? First a "one-size-fits-all is not good approach for a country of this size and this much diversity. Two, have you ever heard of "Vote with yoru feet". This is not a new concept, so quit acting like Gov. Perry just thought of this. I've lived in New York State for 3 of my 56 years on this Earth. No thank you.

    June 20, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. Jackson

    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 .


    Dems immoral beliefs?

    So I guess when Republicans have extra-marital affairs or get caught in ethics scandals, that is GOOD for the country?

    You're beyond delusional.

    June 20, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama



    Well Gov,
    At least you didn't say you would cut the deficit in half at the end of your first term!
    You do realize the deficit has been cut in half, right?
    Irrelevant! Irrelevant!
    Facts are completely foreign and irrelevant to these people rs.

    June 20, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Andy

    Okay, Rick, well, I was born with a genetic disposition to bigotry but I don't indulge that either 🙂

    June 20, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Silence DoGood

    What if Rick Perry is right?
    He may very well be. And that should guide his own personal life decisions.
    But keep that out of MY Government.

    June 20, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC


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

    I Flipped It For You.
    After listening to the flip side of your remark, can you hear the shear volume of ignorance that it shows?

    June 20, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Steve

    It was the alcoholics he offended.

    June 20, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Luc

    GOP again shooting themselves in the foot again. Love it.

    June 20, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Jackson

    Marta: can't wait to get rid of him? why, so a replacement can legalize marijuana, late term abortion and implement $15/hr minimum wage? you can dislike his social positions, but you cannot deny he's maintained the strongest state economy in the union. fact.


    Fact? According to who?????

    Dallas news reports a study from the Bureau of Economic Analysis that shows that Texas was 8th nationally.

    So, that is their fact. Where does your "fact" come from?

    June 20, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Clint

    Typical Rick Perry.

    June 20, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Thatguy371

    He's 'in it'. He stepped 'in it' long ago and never stepped 'out of' it. Hilarious he talks tolerance when intolerance is programmed into him so deep he'll never realize how to not be that way. And he's guv of one of the worst states for intolerance... and he COULD be an example of how to be tolerant.

    June 20, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Sid Prejean

    Just me talking, but if one more apologist for one more goofy Republican complains about being "tricked" into answering a question, I shall just gag.

    June 20, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    You know, I have finally figured it out. "Gaydar" does not rhyme with "Gator".

    June 20, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. Greg

    These ill-advised comments only get pulled back after there is push back. He's like flatulence in the wind.

    June 20, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. SERIOUSLY???

    It takes a real man to admit a mistake. It takes a liberal to lie, deflect, dodge.

    June 20, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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