Presidential candidate Rick Perry called this week’s Charleston Church shooting an “accident” in a recent interview — an apparent slip of the tongue, his spokesman said later.
Perry made the controversial remarks on Friday. Speaking to the conservative NewsmaxTV about the motivation for the Charleston shooting, he also said: “It seems to me – again, without having all the details about this one – that these individuals have been medicated. And there may be a real issue in this country, from the standpoint of these drugs, and how they’re used.”
A campaign spokesperson subsequently said the candidate had misspoken, saying: “From the context of his comments, it’s clear Governor Perry meant ‘incident’.”
On Saturday, Perry, who is in his seccond run at the white house, attended the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington, along with a number of Republican White House hopefuls. He told reporters: “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.
“That deranged individual didn’t just take lives of black Americans – he gunned down nine children of God.”
Perry continued: “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. And we cannot let hatred and violence break the ties that bind us together.”
As Yahoo points out, this isn’t the only time Perry has made a public political gaffe while running for the nation’s highest office. During the 2012 debate, Perry was unable to remember the third federal agency that he planned to eliminate if elected president.