(MUSCATINE, Iowa) — As the media await his next gaffe, Rick Perry admitted he often sends a prayer to the heavens so he won’t slip up and see another one of his mistakes on national TV.
“I prayed right before I walked over here that I wouldn’t make any mistakes that my friends in the media would be able to put on television,” Perry said Wednesday as he stared down the back row of reporters at a campaign event in Muscatine, Iowa, while the crowd laughed. “I pray a lot because I’m prone to make a lot of mistakes.”
Perry, a self-described “man of faith,” has barnstormed the state in the past seven days, selling his accomplishments as governor of Texas and his Christian values while promoting taking faith into the public arena. A voter at the packed, 150-person meet-and-greet at the Button Factory Woodfire Grill asked Perry, who was joined by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, where he stands on putting God back into America.
“God had never left,” said Perry to applause in the room. “He’s still here. He’s still available.”
Going tieless in a blue button-down shirt under a grey suit, Perry, who celebrated his 11th year as governor of Texas on Wednesday, was at ease, sprinkling jokes into the serious components of his stump speech. As he blasted government officials for showing more concern for Wall Street than Main Street, Perry assigned a new nickname to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“They should call it not necessarily Freddie and Fannie. I call it modern-day Bonnie and Clyde,” Perry quipped. “They are stealing from the people, is what’s going on.”
The first leg of Perry’s bus tour wraps up Thursday.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Euan McKirdy, Bryony Jones and Barry Neild, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN