Huffpost Politics

Rick Perry Apologizes For Calling Opponents Of In-State Tuition For Undocumented Immigrants Heartless

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RICK PERRY IN STATE TUITION
Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Republican presidential debate airing on CNN, October 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Seven GOP contenders are taking part in the debate, which is sponsored by the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas and held in the Venetian Hotel's Sands Expo and Convention Center. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is still apologizing for his comment during a Sept. 22 Republican presidential debate that opponents of in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants do not "have a heart."

Perry appeared on Iowa's WHO Radio Friday. "I made a huge error by using that word," he reportedly said. A caller told him that Perry had lost his vote with the comment.

In the September debate, Perry stood by his decision to sign a bill that allowed undocumented immigrants who are Texas residents to obtain in-state tuition rates. "If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no reason than they've been brought there, by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart," he said. "I still support it greatly."

On the same day that Perry's communications director said that the governor did not regret his remarks, Perry sounded apologetic in a Sept. 28 Newsmax interview. He said he "probably chose a poor word to explain that," adding that he was "probably a bit over-passionate" in calling his opponents heartless, and that "it was inappropriate."

In an Oct. 25 interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, Perry said, "I agree with you that I used the wrong word there."

In defending the in-state tuition bill, Perry has repeatedly pointed out that the he signed the 2001 bill with only four dissenting votes in the Texas legislature.

Perry garnered 7 percent of support in Iowa in the Des Moines Register poll released Saturday.

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