Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) dodged questions about Iraq during a Wednesday appearance on CNN's Crossfire, suggesting that disclosing his opinions may risk U.S. security.
Host Stephanie Cutter asked Perry whether he supports U.S. air strikes in Iraq to counter the al-Qaeda-inspired insurgency.
"We don't have to actually signal all the things that we're going to do," Perry said, joking that the next U.S. move shouldn't be the front page headline in The Wall Street Journal. "I think that is a major diplomatic problem, of signaling what we're going to be doing."
Perry said there are "a number of ways" the U.S. can overtly or covertly affect Iraq, but disclosing the next move shouldn't be one of them.
Cutter edged into Perry's explanation to point out that commentary from a state governor on a television program doesn't exactly disclose the U.S. military's next move in Iraq.
"No offense to you governor, but I don't think the terrorist groups in Iraq are looking to what we are saying here on this show for signals of what the U.S. government's going to do," she said.
"No offense to you, but I think they're more sophisticated than you might think they are," Perry responded, missing Cutter's point.
By the end of the show, Perry loosened when he was again asked whether he supports U.S. air strikes in Iraq.
"The bottom line on this one is they need to leave this to the commanders in the field," Perry said. "Let's just say there's a big ISIS transition convoy coming in and we could take that out. Then there might be a use of an air strike at that particular time. But just air strikes for the sake of air strikes, probably not."