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Rick Perry 'brutalized' by own party over his faith, says wife

Rick Perry’s wife says her husband is being “brutalized” by Democratic opponents, the media and members of his own party on account of his Christian faith.

“[Rick] truly felt like he was called to do this. We still feel called to do this,” Anita Perry said Thursday in a speech at North Greenville University in South Carolina, referring to the Txas governor's decision to run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.

MSNBC first reported the comments. 

Anita Perry then said the Texas governor has come under criticism in the GOP primary fight because of his faith.

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“We are being brutalized by our opponents and by our party. So much of that is, I think they look at him because of his faith,” Perry said. “He is the only true conservative. Well, there are some other conservatives, and they are there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too. But I truly feel that we are here for that purpose.”

Perry became tearful while recounting how her family sought spiritual guidance in the run-up the Texas governor’s announced candidacy. She said her husband was hesitant to run because he hadn’t seen a direct sign from God.

“God was already speaking to me, but [Rick] didn’t want to hear it,” she said. “I said listen, you may not see the burning bush, but there are people seeing that burning bush for you. So he really took it to heart, he prayed about it.”

In August, Perry drew criticism from some liberal groups for his participation in The Response, a Christian prayer gathering held at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. More recently, Perry distanced himself from remarks made by Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress, who called Mormonism “a cult” in his introduction of Perry at the Value Voters Summit last weekend in Washington, D.C.