The Republican governor of Texas made the controversial comparison at an event in San Francisco last week. But he sought to clarify it Thursday during a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, using the opportunity to emphasize the need for the GOP to focus on economic issues.
“I got asked about an issue, and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country, and get back to talking about, whether you’re gay or straight you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses I want to be involved with,’ instead of getting — which I did, I readily admit, I stepped right in it,” he said.
Perry, long a staunch social conservative, is weighing another presidential bid in 2016 after his unsuccessful run last time. He warned Thursday that the Republican Party shouldn’t allow itself to be divided over social issues.
“If you really are going to be the party that’s going to talk to everyone, we say, ‘Listen you may not agree with all of my positions, but giving you and your family and your loved ones the opportunity to get a better life, if we create a climate in this country where you’re going to have a job, and a good job, and a good paying job’ — if we’ll do that, then I think we’ll be successful,” Perry said.