Rick Perry Agrees With Wife, He Has Been Brutalized for Christian Faith

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I spoke to a feisty Rick Perry this morning who said he agreed with his wife’s comments that his campaign has been “brutalized” because of his Christianity and Perry came out of the gates attacking Herman Cain’s now famous 9-9-9 plan.

“I’ll stand by my wife. I think she’s right on both cases. My understanding is that she said I’m the most conservative candidate in the race and ‘he’s a Christian.’ So I haven’t got anything I can add to that and she’s hit me on my mark both times there,” Perry said on “GMA.”

While campaigning for her husband in South Carolina Anita Perry said “We are being brutalized by our opponents and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him because of his faith. He’s the only true conservative. Well, there are some conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons.”

But while the Perrys claim unfair treatment because of religion, their opponents argue that’s exactly what Perry supporter Robert Jeffress has done.

Shortly after endorsing the Texas Governor, Pastor Jeffress’ told reporters that Mormonism – the religion of two other presidential candidates – is a “cult.”

“I have a lot of people that endorse me but I don’t endorse what they say or what they believe for that matter and that’s the case on this one. I can’t control those individuals who go out and say something who may be for me in a race,” Perry said.

“Look, I’m not going to say that he can’t say what he wants to say. The issue is, are we going to tell people what they can say and I’m not going to be one of those. This is a country where we truly have freedom of expression. And they are going to be people who say things about me, probably going to be people that say things about President Obama that are offensive to him and his family,” he said. “But those folks who say those things are going to be the ones that you need to be asking the questions to.”

Today Perry, who has dropped significantly in the polls, will release the first part of his economic plan. He’ll argue that if we tap into our own resources such as “opening up those federal lands and water,” cutting back on regulations and rebuilding the Environmental Protection Agency, we can create 1.2 million new jobs.

His economic plan will go up against Mitt Romney’s 59 point proposal and Herman Cain’s now famous “9-9-9? plan. But Perry, who has been close to mum on Cain’s plan, today criticized his opponent.

Anita Perry said 9-9-9 made her want to “call 9-1-1? – and the governor said that’s “pretty close to hitting the spot.”

“That other nine is a nine percent increase on our senior citizens, on their social security tax. Once this really gets looked at, sounds pretty cool to just say 9-9-9, but at the end of the day it is a big tax increase on some people out there that vote, that care, and I think it’s going to be tough sledding for 9-9-9,” he said.

Perry said Americans are looking for a president who “really knows how to create jobs, not somebody who has a catchy slogan.”

–George Stephanopoulos