Watch CBSN Live

Log Cabin Republicans rip Rick Perry ad

The Log Cabin Republicans, a gay Republican group, on Wednesday criticized a new ad from Rick Perry in which the Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate suggests "there's something wrong" when gays can serve openly in the military but kids "can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school."

"Our nation was built upon individual liberty and individual responsibility, and open service by gay and lesbian servicemembers is directly in line with the vision of our Founding Fathers," said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans. "It is wrong for Governor Perry to assume being a person of faith does not afford one to support equality."

Perry's new ad, seemingly designed to appeal to far-right conservatives, includes a call by the candidate to end "Obama's war on religion." In it, Perry, clad in a barn coat, tells the camera, "I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school."

Perry, who hosted a religious revival called "The Response" shortly before beginning his campaign, also vowed in the ad to "fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage." In response to the spot, the Log Cabin Republicans also said it wanted to remind Perry that he "is running to be Commander-in-Chief, not Theocrat-in-Chief."

Perry is spending more than $1 million to run ads between now and the Jan. 3 caucuses in Iowa, where evangelicals make up a significant portion of the GOP electorate. The Texas governor, who entered the race as a favorite but who is polling in the single digits nationally after a series of stumbles, is hoping to revive his campaign with a paid-media driven surge in the Hawkeye state, where his standing was 11 percent in this week's CBS News/New York Times poll.

Full CBS News coverage: Rick Perry