The Governor of Texas Rick Perry, has admitted that he “stepped right in it”, when he compared homosexuals to alcoholics, saying he should have talked about employment instead.

Perry arose controversy last week, when he made the comparison at an event in San Fransicso.

He had said: “Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that.

“I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”

After appearing to stand by his comments in a CNN interview, Perry has now said he thinks he made a mistake even discussing the topic, and that he should have been more “respectful”.

At the Christian Science Monitor event, Perry said: “I got asked about an issue, and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country, to everybody, and get back to talking about – whether you’re gay or straight – you need to be having a job and those are the focuses I want to be involved with,’ instead … I readily admit, I stepped right in it.”

Perry attempted to back away from the comparison last week, claiming he got “deflected” onto a “contentious issue”.

He had previously received admonishment from New Jersey governor Chris Christie and newly-out actress Ellen Page