Perry made the comment earlier in the day while discussing the church massacre with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg. Perry used the word “accident” while slamming President Barack Obama’s renewed call for new gun control measures in the wake of the shooting, which left nine people dead.
“This is the MO of this administration. Anytime there is an accident like this — 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 said.
Reached for comment, a Perry communications adviser wrote in an email that Perry clearly meant to say “incident” and not “accident.”
“When watching the entire interview, it’s clear from the context of his comments that Governor Perry meant incident,” said the adviser, Lexi Stemple.
On the topic of gun control itself, Perry told Malzberg that it is too early to think about a “knee-jerk” public policy reaction to the killings. However, he suggested gun control would not prevent future massacres.
“That’s always the knee-jerk reaction: … that if we can just take the guns out of the hands of everyone in this country, these types of things won’t happen again. As long as evil and cowardice are alive in this world — and I suggest it has been and will be — there will be people [committing violence],” he said. “We don’t have all the facts and I’m not ready to point to any particular policy.”
At least one other GOP presidential contender has also criticised Obama’s Thursday reaction to the Charleston church slayings, which left nine people dead Wednesday night. Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is mulling a White House bid, said the president’s gun comments were “shameful” so soon after the attack.
Watch the full interview below. (Perry discusses Charleston at about 7 minutes into the clip.)
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