Texas Gov. Rick Perry has acknowledged it was a mistake for him to compare alcoholism and homosexuality in an effort to explain his views.
Perry said Thursday at a forum hosted by The Christian Science Monitor that he "stepped right in it" after being asked during a trip to California last week if homosexuality is a disorder.
Perry said at the time that if he had the "genetic coding" to be an alcoholic, he still has the choice not to drink. He told the Commonwealth Club of California that he looks "at the homosexual issue as the same way."
The governor, a potential Republican candidate for president, explained Thursday that tolerance should be extended to all groups.
He says he should have kept focused on the importance of creating jobs.
Perry has been in the news lately for his comments on being "more Jewish than you think I am" and his desire to potentially move to California. Read up on that here.
USA Today reports that Perry says he’s “substantially better prepared” to be president in 2016 than he was during his failed run in 2012:
In a luncheon with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, the Texas Republican played down his age in 2016 (“66 is the new 46″), and played up his experience (“We’re watching this young. inexperienced president stumble from scandal to foreign policy debacle after debacle.”)
But Perry also acknowledged that experience and ideas alone aren’t enough, and that being a three-term governor of Texas doesn’t automatically qualify someone to be president.
“I‘m glad I ran in 2012 as frustrating and terrible and humbling as it was,” he said of his aborted presidential campaign, which was marked by debate gaffes and questions about his health. “It was painful. It was very humbling.”
His takeaway: “Preparation is the single most important lesson I learned in that process,” he said. “Don’t take that as a decision on whether I’m going to run for the presidency or not. But if I do, I will be prepared.”
More on Perry comparing homosexuality with alcoholism
During the California visit, Perry compared homosexuality with alcoholism, which generated headlines earlier this month. Perry was asked whether he thinks homosexuality is a disorder.
"Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," Perry said, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. "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."
During his appearance at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, he was asked about the Texas Republican Party’s decision to endorse counseling aimed at making gay people straight. Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy, has been banned for minors in California and New Jersey. The American Psychiatric Association opposes reparative or conversion therapy. Perry told the crowd he didn’t know whether the therapy works.
Video from KPIX-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco, shows part of his remarks: