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June 25, 2012

Perry accuses Obama of being 'Nixonian'

Texas Governor Rick Perry likened President Barack Obama to Nixon. (UPI/Mike Theiler)

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry accused President Obama of being like former President Richard Nixon in his handling of the "Fast and Furious" controversy.

The White House has asserted executive privilege over some of the documents Republicans want U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to turn over as part of an investigation into a botched Justice Department operation meant to track gun-trafficking between the United States and Mexico that resulted in the deaths of at least two people.

Perry, on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday, compared the scandal involving the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives failed weapons tracking operation to the Watergate political burglary and coverup that sank Nixon's presidency.

"This is almost Nixonian, if not absolutely Nixon," he said. "I mean, with Watergate, you had a second-rate burglary. And now you have a president who is using his executive privilege to keep [information about the weapons transfer] from Congress. If that's not Nixonian, then I don't know what it is."

Perry said he wants Obama to be transparent on the issue.

"I mean what is so important -- what are they hiding?" he said.

A U.S. House oversight committee alleges the Justice Department may have sought to mislead the committee over the operation that began during the administration of former President George W. Bush to combat Mexican drug cartels.

Suspected weapons smugglers were allowed to buy weapons with a goal of tracking the weapons when they were transferred to higher-level traffickers and key Mexican cartel figures. Agents, however, lost track of several hundred of the weapons. Some of the guns later turned up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico.

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