ADDISON, Texas — Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry opened his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination Thursday, pledging to “end an era of failed leadership” and hoping this campaign will go better than his last one.
Perry announced his candidacy in a humid airport hangar in the company of fellow veterans and a hulking C-130 the cargo plane, like one he flew for the Air Force. He is one of the few veterans in a bustling Republican field short on military experience.
With Perry in the contest and confirmation earlier Thursday that former Florida Jeb Bush will run, 11 major candidates now are vying for the GOP and still more are expected to join.
For Perry, it’s a re-do of a his embarrassing flameout in 2012.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s LGBT civil rights organization, released a video Thursday highlighting Perry, in his own words, using harmful rhetoric to oppose LGBT equality. Perry has consistently opposed LGBT equality, from marriage to non-discrimination protections.
“If Rick Perry wants to genuinely show that he’s matured into a serious candidate after his embarrassing failure in 2012, he could start by expressing support for marriage equality and signaling that he will not work to undermine or overturn a Supreme Court ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs.
“If Rick Perry truly wants to be taken seriously as a candidate, he needs to re-evaluate his opposition to LGBT equality in a country where six in ten voters support same-sex marriage,” said Winterhof,
In a notorious television ad in 2012, Perry objected to the fact that “Gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.” The ad failed to jumpstart his sinking campaign.
In 2014, he compared being LGBT to alcoholism, saying “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”