Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Correction: Gov. Rick Perry Deserves a D, Not an F


The good news is the Perry campaign is reading  The bad news is they believe I misrepresented Gov. Perry in giving him an ‘F’ for failing to speak at all about Indiana.

So let me correct the record: I missed this tweet on the morning of March 31 from Gov. Perry:

This is in addition to a statement from Perry’s spokesman that I cited, that The Washington Post describes as supporting the Indiana law, but which actually says states should make their own decisions:

“Governor Perry has always fought to expand religious freedoms, which is why Texas became a beacon for liberty during his leadership. He believes it’s up to the states and their leaders to determine what’s in the best interests of their citizens,” he said.

Perry did not appear on any broadcasts or make any major statements, though his campaign does offer this April 2 radio interview as evidence of his willingness to defend Indiana in the midst of its mainstream media pummeling:

In the nine minute interview, he says only this about the Indiana crisis:

[T]rying to draw, you know, this hard line between people and pitting people against people in this country is what some in the political world would like to do, and the fact is these states, I think there are twenty states now that have passed freedom of religion laws, as has the federal government that Bill Clinton signed it into law, I think back in the early ‘90s—‘93 if my memory serves me correct. And I agree that the states should have the right to protect peoples’ freedom and obviously discrimination is not acceptable in any form or fashion, and these states do in fact put those types of protections into place. And while that’s going on, you have these attacks—I gave a major speech in London last fall, about the rabid anti-Semitism, the anti-western values attack that’s going on in some of the major European countries, when we see people slaughtered because of a cartoon against Mohammed in France. I mean, that—that’s what we really need to be focused—I mean, the idea that we need to be diverted away from giving real focus to what’s going on in the world, and in the United States, I might add: When you have ISIS that’s coming in here to recruit young people to go do Jihad around the world. So, I think you’re spot on Jeff, from the standpoint of—we have true challenges in this country, and I think we’re getting distracted away. It’s an important issue from the standpoint of discrimination is not acceptable in any form or fashion in this country, but when you see Coptic Christians being led down to a beach in Libya and beheaded, we may have our focus in a little bit of a different—well a place that’s not as important in the world affairs.

Like Gov. Christie, Gov. Perry stood up for his good friend Mike Pence, and for the principle of religious liberty generally, if briefly, before switching the subject to the persecution of Coptic Christians, away from the widespread hateful description of traditional believers by powerful corporate leaders willing to economically punish Indiana.  Days later, Perry has still declined to defend the right of Christian bakers, florists, and other wedding vendors to make a living in the land that gave the world the idea of Religious Liberty.  I will be generous and upgrade him from an F, to a gentleman’s D, alongside Gov. Christie.

Maggie Gallagher is editor of

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.

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