Perry Anti-gay Iowa Ad Ruffles Campaign Feathers

Saturday, 10 Dec 2011 10:23 AM

By Gary Cohen

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Rick Perry's anti-gay TV ad running in Iowa is stirring things up within the Republican party and his own campaign staff, according to several media reports.

perry gay adIn the ad, the Texas Governor starts by saying he's not ashamed to be a Christian but then claims you don't have to be in church every Sunday to know there's something wrong in the country when gays can serve openly in the United States military but kids "can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school."

Perry's chief pollster Tony Fabrizio was against running the ad but he was overruled by others in the campaign.

Fabrizio said it was "nuts" to run the ad, in an email to Nelson Warfield, a Perry media producer who created the ad.

His ad says he would end President Barack Obama's "war on religion" if he gets to serve in the White House.

Perry also says in the ad he would end "liberal attacks on our religious heritage."

Some members of Perry's campaign staff have ties to pro-gay rights conservative groups and the ad is not sitting well with them.

Perry's communications director Ray Sullivan admits there's some internal tension among some staffers but describes it as a normal "tactics debate" in the Perry campaign.

And it's not sitting well with members of Congress.

Texas Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes said this week on National Public Radio that Perry's ad is an attack on gay members of the United States military.

Reyes believes Perry owes all members of the military an apology, "for distastefully using them as a political prop."

"There's no law requiring people to conceal their sexual orientation to keep their job," Reyes says.

He adds that the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy was "inconsistant with our nation's ideals of fairness. equality and justice and that is why I voted to repeal it."

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