Perry: Wife Misspoke About Abortion

Photograph by Eric Gay/AP Photo

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, right, and his wife, Anita, arrive for his state of the state address in the house chambers at the state capitol, on, Jan. 29, 2013, in Austin, Texas.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry today owned up to an “oops” moment that wasn’t even his.

His wife, Anita, misspoke when she told a journalist that  abortion is a woman’s right, Perry, 63, a Republican who opposes terminating pregnancies, told a crowd in Smithville, New Jersey.

“From time to time we’ll stick the wrong word in the wrong place, and you pounce upon it,” Perry told reporters at a campaign event for U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan, a 57-year-old Republican from Bogota. Lonegan faces Democrat Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, in the Oct. 16 special election to fill the seat left vacant after the June death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Anita Perry made her remark Sept. 28 during an interview at the Texas Tribune Festival at the University of Texas in Austin, according to the newspaper.

“That could be a woman’s right, just like it’s a man’s right if he wants to have some kind of procedure,” Perry was quoted as telling editor-in-chief Evan Smith.

Texas is the largest and most populous among the 13 states that ban abortion beyond 20 weeks’ gestation. In June, state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth, filibustered for 11 hours to prevent a vote on that ban. It passed during a  special session convened by Perry, who signed the bill July 18.

Perry failed in his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and his decision not to seek another governor’s term has led to speculation that he’ll run again in 2016. He told reporters today that he is traveling around the country “talking about blue-state versus red-state policies and which one of those work best for the people of their states and for the people of this country.”

During a televised debate Nov. 9, 2011, in Rochester, Michigan, Perry said he would eliminate the U.S. Departments of Education and Commerce, and couldn’t remember his third target.

“I can’t,” he said then. “Sorry. Oops.”

Later he looked at his notes and said, “By the way, it was the Department of Energy I was talking about.”

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