2012 Election | News | Rick Perry

Rick Perry Can't Handle Evidence in Epic Fail of Abstinence Question: VIDEO


Evangelical beliefs trump logic most of the time for Rick Perry, particularly in this jaw-dropping clip of his inability to answer a question about the disconnect between abstinence education and teen pregnancy rates.

Writes Steve Benen at Washington Monthly:

The problem here isn’t just that Perry has the wrong answer. The more meaningful problem is that Perry doesn’t seem to know how to even formulate an answer. He starts with a proposition in his mind (abstinence-only education is effective), and when confronted with evidence that the proposition appears false (high teen-pregnancy rates), the governor simply hangs onto his belief, untroubled by evidence. As Jon Chait put it, Perry seems to struggle “even to think in empirical terms.”


(unreasonable faith via reddit)

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  1. Don't confuse the poor man with "Facts". He doesn't even support a book he himself published just a few months ago, so I imagine his views will change soon enough.

    He sounds so much like GWB that I hope that voters will be reminded of the incompetence of the previous Texas experiment and not elect this fundamentalist extremist to anything.

    Posted by: Chadd | Aug 23, 2011 8:49:26 AM

  2. Denial is a hell of a drug, and Perry is clearly ODing.

    Posted by: new-new | Aug 23, 2011 8:58:46 AM

  3. Sounds just like another recent Republican president . . .

    Posted by: MT | Aug 23, 2011 9:01:58 AM

  4. Well, in a sense he's right. Abstinence works, which is what he kept repeating. Abstinence education doesn't work, which is what the host kept repeating. If the education worked and actually created a culture of abstinence, Perry would be right - he just wasn't answering the question being asked.

    Posted by: Dan | Aug 23, 2011 9:02:03 AM

  5. He looks and sounds DUMBER than Dubbya!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 23, 2011 9:05:00 AM

  6. When was this recorded?

    Posted by: Robin | Aug 23, 2011 9:11:37 AM

  7. I don't know of any sex education program which doesn't include abstinence. But to spend taxpayer money on an abstinence only program that is not working is absurd and irresponsible. But Mr. Perry seems so caught up in his religious belief system that he cannot see the facts.

    Reminds me of the anti same sex marriage people who make lots of accusations about dangers from same sex marriage despite all evidence to the contrary.

    Posted by: john patrick | Aug 23, 2011 9:14:11 AM

  8. this man makes g.w. look like a rhodes scholar. we really can't have another dumbass texas governor as president. especially who thinks god told him to run.

    Posted by: walter | Aug 23, 2011 9:46:30 AM

  9. My god, he's dumb. Does he have family connections like Bush, or has he gotten so far on his looks?

    Texas spent three million dollars on ferreting out kids on steroids, and they found all of seven users in the whole state. That's $428,571 per steroid user, and he thinks that's a good comparable for what they're doing with abstinence education.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Aug 23, 2011 10:02:45 AM

  10. John Patrick is correct there is NOT ONE single sex education program that doesn't teach that abstinence is 100% full proof to prevent pregnancy and STD's. Abstinence only programs ONLY teach that, they offer nothing in educating people on how to reduce pregnancy and STD infection if you are engaging in sexual activity, and that is why the teen pregnancy rate is high.

    Posted by: The Iron Orchard | Aug 23, 2011 10:32:28 AM

  11. Romney sucks, BUT in a worse case scenario situation America could survive a Romney presidency.

    America would never survive a Perry, Pallin, or Bachman presidency

    Posted by: say what | Aug 23, 2011 10:35:58 AM

  12. That's the whole problem, he's being asked to think and respond rationally. Not his strongest suit.

    Posted by: Rich | Aug 23, 2011 10:38:28 AM

  13. Welcome to the Rick Perry's world. This is classic Perry when confronted with something he can't explain. He typically gets a "deer in headlights" look then drops into some convoluted explanation that doesn't answer the question, throwing a few Perryisms or folksy phrases in to throw you off and get a chuckle from the audience.

    Perry may not be a master at facts but he's a pretty good debater and salesman. Peggy Fikac pointed out how teflon Perry can be on issues in an article in the San Antonio Express-News (http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/politics/article/Reports-unlikely-to-harm-Perry-2136658.php).

    BTW, the interviewer is Evan Smith, former editor of Texas Monthly and the editor of the online Texas Tribune (www.texastribune.org). If you really want to get deeper into Perry and the issues of Texas I highly recommend it.

    With A-List Dallas and a Perry candidacy it looks like the nation may get it's fill of shallow, plastic Texans.

    Posted by: RBearSAT | Aug 23, 2011 10:39:48 AM

  14. Wow. Just, wow.

    Posted by: TJ | Aug 23, 2011 10:58:30 AM

  15. Am I the only one who just hears "George W." allllllllll over again?

    Posted by: NVAgBoi | Aug 23, 2011 11:02:28 AM

  16. They're both right because they're not talking about the same thing. Wing Nut/GOP/cons think of abstinence as a (non-)sex act; everyone else hears the word 'abstinence' and knows it's a discussion of a social construct and, in the extreme, public policy. Smith (and his amused audience) are smart enough to know this, but Perry is not. Perry is incredulous and dumbfounded that anyone doubts "don't stick it in" prevents pregnancy, but everyone else present/watching knows the discussion isn't about individual action but public policy. Abstinence education doesn't work as public policy because most young people aren't abstinent.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Aug 23, 2011 11:10:49 AM

  17. This is typical of people who believe in the unbelievable. Let's face it, if you can believe, without any evidence whatsoever, that the Christian "supreme being" created the earth and the universe and divinely inspired a book with ancient concepts and superstitions, then you can believe that ineffective abstinence education is effective. . . you can believe that black is really white, and you can believe that hurricane Katrina was caused by "the gay". Believers already believe the impossible in their religious beliefs, so what's to stop them believing the impossible in the real world? What's to stop them from believing things that are simply not possible and NOT believing in things that are factual and real!?
    These people are simply incapable of discerning the difference between a fact and a gut/reactive feeling. They are simply that stupid, and they have invaded the American polity.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Aug 23, 2011 11:16:21 AM

  18. forgive me for saying this, but this is what i've found to be the biggest difference between the US and CANADA - there is something about the way the US culture has taught people to have "a right to their opinion" that is confusing millions with an inability to distinguish OPINIONS from FACTS.

    I say this as a canuck who's lived in the USA for four years. I've never seen so many politicians, pundits and civilians rambling on about "their opinions", despite the fact that their chosen opinions can in fact be PROVEN FALSE.

    Someone has an opinion. You prove to them that their chosen opinion is in fact incorrect - empirical evidence negates their opinion. What do they do? They then start rambling about their RIGHT to their opinion. Uh, your right to be wrong?

    There is a missing focus on logic in teaching, discernment in the intellectual process.....something. Something big. We keep seeing this down here - someone continuing to spout a factually-disproven "opinion" in order to drum up support from others who (whether by ignorance or WILLFUL ignorance) also choose to believe and repeat the same lie.

    OPINIONS are given more weight than FACTS in the USA, and something needs to be done about it. It's THE reason that the USA is more than 20 years behind Canada in terms of LGBT Equality. People need to wake up and do something about this.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 23, 2011 11:19:46 AM

  19. Voice of W + Jesus Freak + Lizard = Rick Perry.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 23, 2011 11:22:29 AM

  20. Is anyone really surprised about Perry's failure in rational thought processes, considering the transcript of his grades that was recently revealed?

    Posted by: RJ | Aug 23, 2011 11:45:31 AM

  21. Republicans don't understand emperical evidence? What else is new here? They all still think Trickle Down Economics works....

    Posted by: Ugh! | Aug 23, 2011 12:14:55 PM

  22. Abstinence works. Abstinence only education does not work. They are both correct, but neither one is speaking about the same thing. A classic political word-game with semantics used to propagate propaganda. In other words, a little side-stepping.

    Posted by: Beau | Aug 23, 2011 12:34:11 PM

  23. It's a fact that people generally don't respond well when their core beliefs are challenged. All people. It exposes the risk that one will be perceived as incompetent, so defending the belief is a way of tempering the situation. It also maintains allegiance with like-minded cohorts.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 23, 2011 1:15:41 PM

  24. Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and her husband, Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, Rick Santorum, etc etc etc. All those Evangelibrains are like Ahmadinedjad in Iran or Chavez in Venezuela: Absolutely immune to scientific and statistical evidence, they prefer to choose their evangelical lifestyle as an objective reality they are ready to impose to everybody even with force. Evangelibrains are dangerous for society.

    Posted by: Roman Bolliger | Aug 23, 2011 2:45:08 PM

  25. ‎"Science adjusts its views based on what's observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved." This video is a perfect example of the quote.

    Posted by: Matt | Aug 23, 2011 4:54:59 PM

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