Rick Perry has defended releasing an anti-gay ad in early caucus state Iowa.

In the 30-second ad, titled Strong, Perry says there is something wrong with America when gay troops can serve openly in the military but children cannot openly celebrate Christmas and accuses President Barack Obama of waging a war on religion.

During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Perry told host Chris Wallace that he would work to undo repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the recently ended policy that for 18 years banned gay and bisexual service members from serving openly.

When Wallace asked, “And after repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' are you saying that anyone who supports 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is anti-religious?” Perry insisted that the policy was working.

“[I]t was working. And for the commander-in-chief to use your military as a political tool while we are in combat in two different locations – at least two different locations around the world, in Iraq and Afghanistan – I think is just irresponsible.”

“I am commander-in-chief of 20,000 plus men and women. I served in the United States Air Force. I understand the issue.”

“And I don't think it's one that the president of the United States and Congress for that matter should be forcing upon the men and women of the military. I think it was bad public policy and I would change it.”

The ad has been lampooned by Stephen Colbert and GOP presidential rival Fred Karger. Parodies of the ad have overtaken the Internet.