Rick Perry shrugs off 1,700 deaths in Gaza: 'War is a horrible thing' so people die
Rick Perry (CNN)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Sunday suggested that 1,700 civilians who had died in Gaza -- including children -- were legitimate targets for Israelis because Hamas was using them as human "shields."

Last week, Perry called on the United States to provide "vigorous support" for Israel so CNN's Candy Crowley began her weekly Sunday show by inviting him to share his thoughts on the ongoing fighting in Gaza.

"When you look at 1,700-plus civilian deaths in Gaza -- the large majority of which are civilians we are told -- what is your thought about that, what is your reaction to that?" Crowley wondered.

"War is a horrible thing," Perry responded without emotion. "There are individuals who lose their lives in war."

"But when we have a fairly good understanding that Hamas is actually using their citizens as shields, at that particular point in time, it loses a lot of the the power, if you will, from my perspective," the Texas Republican continued. "When you look back at Hamas' statements that they will not be satisfied until Israel is wiped off the face of the Earth, then you start understanding the mentality a little bit better of a terrorist organization like Hamas."

Watch the video below from CNN's State of the Union, broadcast Aug. 3, 3014.