The hell, fire and brimstone Rick Perry who ran for president in 2012 foreboding a "war on religion" in a controversial campaign ad is putting religious rhetoric on the back burner in his 2016 bid, according to Real Clear Politics.
"I think the ad was a reflection of what I felt like at that particular point in time," Perry told Real Clear Politics over the weekend, which published a story about the challenge Perry faces in "squaring his past campaign with his present one."
Since 2010, Perry has attended Austin’s 3,000-member megachurch Lake Hills Church, according to the Christian Post,
which reported last year that Perry, who was raised a Methodist, had been baptized in the church.
The Austin Statesman
in 2010 described Lake Hills Church as a "stadiumlike auditorium for a sanctuary, a rock band with a surround-sound stereo system and PowerPoint presentations that display Bible passages to accompany sermons."
In the last election, Perry came out strong against same-sex marriage and said the Obama administration’s decision to end the "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" policy of gays in the military amounted to a war on religion.
But in a recent speech in Washington, D.C., at the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition —
a venue Real Clear Politics noted is often used as a "proving ground for Republican candidates hoping to appeal to the religious right" —
Perry never mentioned religion. The move is evidence of Perry’s political shift, the site surmises.
When asked about it afterward, Perry "suggested" he had no plans to try and amend the Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
"My record on traditional marriage is very clear," Perry said. "I don’t know how long it’s been since we’ve changed the Constitution of the United States. So, I work with the reality that that is a very, very long process.
Perry maintains that his faith and convictions are every bit as strong as they have ever been but that he’s choosing to focus his campaign elsewhere.
"There’s nothing that’s changed in my belief cycle," Perry told Real Clear Politics. "I happen to think marriage is between one man and one woman, and I do think that there’s some real challenges with trying to change socially the structure of our military."
"I think a more appropriate focus for those of us that are running for the presidency of the United States is to remind people that the next president of the United States could appoint up to three people on the Supreme Court."
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