The spin on the Perry-Romney crossfire
October 18th, 2011
10:49 PM ET
3 years ago

The spin on the Perry-Romney crossfire

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - So who won the war of words between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over illegal immigration, jobs and health care?

It depends on whom you ask.

Top advisers from both campaigns made their case post-debate in the Spin Room.

"I think Rick Perry had a strategy coming into this debate to kill Mitt, and he ended up killing himself. I say that based that on the audience reaction," said top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom.

"I think what they saw in Rick Perry was very desperate candidate, someone who revived a candidacy that is sinking beneath the waves. So he came armed with negative attacks and personal cheap shots that were booed by the audience at every turn," added Fehrnstorm.

But Ray Sullivan, Perry's communications director, said the Texas governor wasn't too aggressive in his attacks against Romney, adding that "I think the governor spoke from the heart."

"These debates are set up to be lively. This was a lively one. The governor is passionate about his record and passionate about calling folks every now and then on their records," added Sullivan.

Asked if Perry was presidential in his approach at the debate, Sullivan said "I think he was Rick Perry in his approach and that's a good thing for us."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. eric calderone

    Romney acts like a President? Guess some people have very, very low standards for a President. Romney is slick, says nothing in a lot of words, finds fault with everyone except himself, condescends, and whines like a little child. I don't care for the Republican field but I would take Gingrich, Perry, Huntsman or Santorum over Romney. As much as I abhor Obama, I would even prefer him over Romney.

    October 19, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. cuttingedge

    They keep fighting over small things, not discussing real issues and they keep arming democrats with bullets against them for future debates, whoever wins...

    October 19, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Poster Boy

    Perry's illegal immigrant attack on Romney was ridiculous. By his definition, anyone who buys fruit or vegetables at the store is guilty of the same thing... since over 15% of the migrant farm workers picking that fruit/vegis are in this country illegally. "What??!! you bought tomatoes picked by an illegal immigrant? You now have no standing to discuss illegal immigration. It doesn't matter that you didn't know and that you did everything you could do to prevent it."

    I'm not interested in a school-yard bully resorting to smear tactics to compensate for lack of intellect and track record. Not sure Romney's the answer, but Perry just confirmed he certainly is not.

    October 19, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. John

    None of the above. They are all clowns In the Republican Circus.

    October 19, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Johnson

    Romney is a disgrace. The Boston Globe just published the true facts about the Illegals and Romney knew, but didn't fire the company until the second time the company was exposed by the Globe. The company was also doing landscaping on the Estate of one of the Romney kids who couldn't go to Iraq because he was serving his country by helping Dad become President.

    October 19, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Jim the independent

    Romney has again demonstrated that he is the guy for the job. Perry really has no clue....and it shows. He stands there like an ogre with a completely lost look on his face. He can't even follow the basic concept of a debate. Obama would eat him for lunch in a debate. Perry is totally out of his league. No polish.....unable to sustain any type of a meaningful dialogue.....can't think on his feet.....a real buffoon.

    I can see Romney doing quite well with a debate with Obama. He is well prepared and well spoken. He has command of the issues and communicates his thoughts well.

    Romney can and WILL beat Obama!!!!!!! That is the bottom line.

    October 19, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. reaganw

    Perry! Perry! Perry! Looked good last night. He knows how to run a government the right way.

    October 19, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Bill

    All these candidates looks like clowns, no one has any idea how to help the country get going and finding ways to help people get jobs, they only worry about their pocket.

    October 19, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. DumbasRocks [R]s

    A point of order. Another, related Political Ticker story is about someone claiming that one of these presidential-wanna-be bozos actually **won** the debate.

    Please consider this question: just what are the criteria for "winning a [R] presidential debate"? Remember the important point: it is a **[R]** debate. From a [R] perspective, what wins such a debate?? Now, not being stupid enough to be a modern-day [R], I find it hard to fathom the nonsense that passes for critical thinking on the [R] side. For most of us debate patterns that display critical analysis and synthesis of facts would win the day...but that kind of reality-based dialogue is hardly what the everyday [R] Teahadist on-the-street wants to see and hear. Such critical thinking is even maligned in today's degenerate [R] party. Just look at what passes for "analysis" and for "news and commentary" on the rightwingers' beloved FuxNews!!!

    Again, just what does it take to win a [R] debate in the eyes of today's deluded [R] electorate? What does the word "win" mean in that context? Think about it.

    And these [R] cretins want to bring their special brand of maligancy to the US presidency once again? We haven't even recovered from their past FAILURE yet!!!!!

    October 19, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Lynne

    Perry sure looks like he is going punch Mitt in that photo!!!! hehehe

    I must say, if this is the best the Republican part can put forth to "make sure President Obama is a one term President" they really don't seem to be putting their best foot forward!

    October 19, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Bob R, Maryland

    As an independent voter, I was very happy to get such deep insight into those wannabes. I learned not a one has a clue about a realistic job plan and their ignortance about the 99Percenter heros is simply astounding. But they will know about them come November 2012.

    October 19, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Sequoia

    The only "winner" of this mess was President Barack Obama, the only rational, informed, moderate thinker in the race.

    October 19, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. StevensB

    The way things are going in these debates and the way R's worship the 2nd amendment , next time there will be gunfire !!!! Now that is a pay per view I'd go for !!!!!! This may be one of the few times where the pre convention in fighting may lead to disarray for the general election ..... weird tax plans that don't seem to make sense , religious bigotry among the " faithful " , pandering to fringe T party types , jeezzzzz , it's beginning to look like an Ed Wood movie gone bad !!!!!!!

    October 19, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Mindie from Indie

    None of these GOP clowns have what it takes to be President. And Obama has something NONE of these jokers have – POTUS Experience.

    October 19, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. HH

    Cheney is prepping Romney to be another George "W" Bush. Is this really what the country
    wants and needs?

    October 19, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. GSW Minnesota

    They all lost. This is the most unimpressive collection of candidates from one party that I have ever seen. Having said that, the only one who appears rational and presidential enough for the job is Romney. The rest would embarrass us on the world stage worse than "W" did all those years. It is time, by the way, for the fringe candidates to get out of the race. They have no chance. Why waste more money? Isn't this the fiscally conservative group? :)

    October 19, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Maria

    Perry= Big bully, rock thrower, no substance
    Mitt = Big Pretender, record exposed, his angry petulant, true colors finally revealed
    Bachmann= Tax lawyer with no plan to reduce taxes, just 500 adopted children,so she should be prez
    Gingrige= Knowledgeable, cagy so he had his usual bomb throwing contained
    Cain= From 9.99 pizza to fruit basket but stayed calm and collected
    Paul= Has some great ideas but talks like a crazy
    Santorum= Some good points but has extremist views "Sex has no place in the military", always looks angry

    October 19, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. carolae

    After disgracing themselves in front of millions of viewers, I wouldn't vote for these 2 if I were paid. They acted immature and viewed their dislikes not in a professional way. Do we want to have the likes of them running this country???? Obama may have made mistakes but I would rather have him in the White House another 4 years as opposed to these two jerks.

    October 19, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. MontanaTrace

    Put a fork in Perry. His demeanor is abrasive. His responses are not on task.

    Anyone of them is better than Obama. With jobs and the economy of our debt, I have to vote for Romney.

    October 19, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Gary

    Romney seems to talk plenty but not a lot of substance and for Perry he was just "desperate" and i believe his six shooter back fired on him x 2, he should do the michael jackson moon walk off the stage and go back to texas.. I believe the winner was newt if there were any winners with all the finger pointing and blame.., and michelle seemed to talk down the president, but what "she" do as pres..? Can the GOP start over, these guys should consider working for God Fathers..

    October 19, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. doug

    Dr. Paul was clearly the winner of the debate. He had his best showing yet and nobody can refute anything he has ever said as a politician, even last night on stage. If you want someone who WILL beat Obama, go with Paul. Plenty of Democrats upset with Obama will vote for Ron Paul if he is the Republican candidate. Sadly, they wont get to vote for him in the primary in closed primary states. Vote RON PAUL 2012!!

    October 19, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. THETERP

    Removing the illegal immigrants will solve most of the problems. Most jobs will returns to American citizens and some immigrants (LEGAL) will be needed, but it will great reduce our unemployment.
    And this will also help the health care problem as we Americans in one way or another are paying for their health care which is affecting companies/individuals from carrying insurance plans.

    October 19, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Jim the independent

    I find it interesting how many Obama Kool-Aid drinkers here seem to think that the republican debate showed so much combat between them that they came across like school kids.
    They do not seem to want to remember the many slugfests between Hillary and Obama.
    Obama is going to lose this election. People have had enough. Just look at his approval. He was simply not ready to be president....plain and simple. The American people not get it.
    I am an independent and tend to look at things pragmatically rather than from a political party perspective. Obama has been a failure. We need a new president. It is that simple.
    Romney is the best choice I see out there! I feel confident that he is the best man for the job.

    October 19, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. pachecosita

    Scary bunch...President Obama 2012

    October 19, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. Andy Botwin

    Scary, isn't it? One of these two men will probably be the next president. Just close your eyes, hold your nose, and vote!

    October 19, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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