Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he won't dispute his wife's assertion he's been "brutalized and beaten up and chewed up" in the presidential campaign.
Perry was asked about remarks that Anita Perry made during a talk she gave Thursday at North Greenville University, where she complained about a "rough month."
Perry said "family members generally take these campaigns harder than anyone else," saying he'll "stand by my wife."
After initially soaring to the top of the polls when he got into the race in August, Perry has seen his prospects diminish recently amid controversy over his performance in debates and statements he's made on policy issues, such as immigration.
In comments recorded by NBC, Mrs. Perry said, "We are being brutalized by our opponents and by our own party." And she lamented the "rough month" that the family has experienced.
In her remarks, she said her husband decided to get into the 2012 Republican presidential sweepstakes because it was a calling from God.
Of the criticism he's received, she said: "So much of that is, I think they look at him because of his faith. He is the only true conservative. ... Well, there are more true conservatives, and they're there for good reason."
Asked on ABC's "Good Morning America" about his wife's comments, Perry replied, "Well, I do have one of the finest women in the world that I could be married to, and she is passionate."
"She said, `He's the most conservative candidate in the race,' and `He's a Christian.' And I can't argue with either of those facts."
But Perry didn't directly address the statements his wife made about the family being treated shabbily in the news media and by his campaign opponents.
Perry had a speech scheduled later Friday in Pittsburgh, where he was to lay out his proposal for a new energy policy that he says would create 1.2 million jobs.