When Rick Perry was introduced at the Values Voters Summit by Robert Jeffress, who has made all sorts of crazy and bigoted statements even about those of the wrong brand of Christianity, he refused to disclaim any of those statements. Until another brand of bigots got involved.
Catholic bigot Bill Donohue was furious over Jeffress’ statements about Catholicism and he let Perry know that he’d better get back in line and kiss a little butt. Perry dutifully did so.
When I got home, I received a phone call from Gov. Perry. Catholic activist Deal Hudson, who has a history of forging good relationships between Catholics and evangelicals, intervened in this matter and arranged for the phone call. Perry and I spoke candidly about the Jeffress incident, and about religion, in general. He spoke sincerely: nothing that Jeffress said about Catholicism represents his views.
I very much appreciate Gov. Perry’s interest in getting this issue behind him in a responsible manner. He succeeded. Case closed.
So it seems that Perry is just fine with his supporters spewing any kind of bigotry — against Muslims, gay people and pretty much everyone else — but not with them daring to insult Catholics.