Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Thursday criticized Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) comments connecting union protesters with Islamic State terrorists as a “mistake.”
The former governor and potential 2016 GOP presidential contender went on the offensive in an interview with MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt after Walker made the comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“These are Americans,” Perry told Hunt. “You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship between them and the unions is inappropriate.”
But Perry also showed some sympathy for the Wisconsin governor. He told Hunt it was a “mistake” for Walker to make a connection between the Islamic State and unions, not unlike his own infamous missteps in the 2012 Republican presidential primary debates.
“Scott’s a good man, he’s got a good message out there and he’s an energetic guy and he’s a new face on the block – and if you’ll recall in 2011, I was a new face on the block for about 3 hours,” he said, as quoted by MSNBC. “Making mistakes – nobody’s perfect – and how you deal with that and how you get over that very quickly is going to be important for him.”
On Thursday night, Walker told the audience during a Q&A session at CPAC: “If I can take on a 100,000 protesters, I can do the same” with terrorists. He later scrambled to explain that he wasn’t making a direct comparison between public unions and the Islamic State terror group.