Rick Perry compares himself to Moses

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry smiles during a campaign stop at Lizard's Thicket, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, in Blythewood, S.C.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Rick Perry's no stranger to gaffes, but he has tried to turn it into an asset, making self-deprecating jokes about it on the campaign trail.

On Sunday, he found an ally in speech challenges that drew laughs from the audience of the South Carolina Faith and Freedom Coalition prayer breakfast: Moses.

"Moses, he tried to talk god out of making him go lead the people," Perry told the crowd of about 300. "He wasn't a good speaker. Now, from time to time I can relate to that."

Perry's speech, which got a standing ovation from the crowd, urged the members in the audience to vote their values and reject the media narrative about which candidate was best prepared to beat President Obama (a thinly veiled reference to front-runner Mitt Romney.

"I ask you to think about the kind of leader you want to preside over our nation," he said. "Who will be faithful to your values? Who will see the job of the president as that of a faithful servant of the American people and to the God that created us?"

Perry has reiterated the vote-your-values message on the stump as he seeks to establish himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. So far, though, polls show him in the single digits.

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    Rebecca Kaplan covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.