Appearing at the Values Voter Summit Friday in Washington, D.C., Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, who has presided over 234 executions during his time as governor of Texas, declared "every human being is entitled to life."
"There are millions of Americans that are born into less than ideal circumstances," Perry told the conservative crowd. "Maybe they were born into poverty, born without a parent, but as a society, we must stand for the principle that every life is worth living regardless of the circumstance."
"As Americans, we must affirm the value of life. Not just in our Declaration of Independence, but in the ways that we live. For some candidates, pro-life is an election year slogan to follow the prevailing political winds. To me, it's about the absolute principle that every human being is entitled to life. All human life -- all human life is made in the image of our creator."
The candidate added that he was proud of his record as governor, including signing a budget that defunded Planned Parenthood.
While introducing the governor Friday, Dallas pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress hailed Perry as "a genuine follower of Jesus Christ." Jeffress has said that fellow candidate is not qualified to be president because "Mormonism is a cult."
After the speech, Jeffress told Talking Points Memo that Perry had welcomed his endorsement.