Rick Perry, the 15-year governor of Texas, is backtracking this week after an oral accident – the presidential hopeful flubbed, calling the shooting that left nine people dead at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston South Carolina last week an “accident.” Campaign managers quickly said Perry meant “incident,” but not before social media backlash ramped up with harsh criticisms.
Writes CNN: “Rick Perry condemned the Charleston church shooting Saturday as ‘an absolute heinous hate crime,’ one day after a spokesman said the Republican presidential candidate misspoke when he called the massacre an ‘accident.’”
In speaking to Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg Friday and bashing the Obama administration, Perry said: “This is the M.O. of this administration anytime there is a accident like this. You know, the president’s clear. He doesn’t like for Americans to have guns, and so he uses every opportunity, this being another one, to basically go parrot that message.”
Perry quickly corrected himself, calling the shooting a “heinous hate crime” and using the incident as a platform to comment on gun control.
“I think we all come here today with heavy hearts for those individuals in Charleston – those Charleston Christians – who were gunned down in an absolute heinous hate crime inside of their place of worship,” the former Texas governor Saturday. “That deranged individual didn’t just take lives of black Americans – he gunned down nine children of God.”
“There is something more basic to our humanity than the color of our skin, our ethnic heritage, our nationality. It’s that we’re all made in the image of a loving God,” Perry continued. “And we cannot let hatred and violence break the ties that bind us together… I think it is healthy for us as a nation to have conversations and defend our positions whatever they may be. I do have an issue that the knee-jerk from the left is always, ‘We’re going to take people’s guns away from them,’ when in fact there may be a host of contributing factors here.”
In the Newsmax interview, Perry said the shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, may have been medicated, bending the conversation to speak of his outreach to veterans.
“I know for a fact, being a substantial supporter of our military and our veterans, that the Veterans Administration, for instance, is handing out these opioids in massive amounts,” Perry said. “And then people question, ‘Well then why can’t these young individuals get work?’ or ‘Why is the suicide rate so high?’”
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