The spin on the Perry-Romney crossfire
October 18th, 2011
10:49 PM ET
7 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. Hippy Grand Master Hope

    Whomever wins, we lose.

    October 19, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. mkmpp

    What a bunch of losers. Bachmann and Paul are certifiably crazy and like Cain, Bachmann can't speak English very well. Perry is unsure of himself and desperate. Romney is the master of reinventing himself. Newt is smart, but is hamstrung by his ideology. None of them offers anything new to fix the economy other than to hire themselves to be President.

    October 19, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Bill

    I love seeing these clowns rip each other up. Obama must be enjoying the spectacle. Meanwhile, he will fundraising like crazy and will have a war chest that no one can come close too. True, money does not guarantee that you win an election, but it provides resources for a ground game in all 50 states. These goofs will be arguing with each other until next March.

    October 19, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Amazed

    Is this the best you got?? If so, Repubs, save your money and just keep buying Congressmen so you can insure endless gridlock in the U.S. gov. I love all these "private" job-creators who rely mostly on tax payer dollars to finance their "private" enterprises. Wake up Americans!!!

    October 19, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. sue

    They need to make these Debates into a Reality Show......the Republicans will lose again because they are pandering to the Tea Party, and to the far right wingers out there.....they need to get back to the Grand Old Party they used to be and include the more moderate and less conservative in their party, thats the only way they will win over the independent voters. These canidates are more concerned about putting on a show instead of solving the problems of this country, they are so bogged down in trying to make Obama a 1 term President that they are putting Obama back in the White House for another term......So far from what I have seen and heard from these canidates I will be voting for Obama in 2012

    October 19, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Tired of the nonsense

    I don't know what's scarier - the fact these individuals are so deluded that they think they're president material or the fact there are people out there in America who think these individuals are president material.

    It's time for the GOP to tear itself down and start over.

    October 19, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    I am embarrassed for the Grand Old Party ... for CNN proudly advertising and promoting these debates ... for the ideologues who are once again trying to push these candidates onto an already suffering economy and as yet are still unwilling to help tide the suffering their own voodoo economics caused ... and for the millions who watched, thinking they were finally going to be able to get answers to questions that affect their daily lives, but instead got another dose of Republican talking point compassion - Jerry Springer style.

    October 19, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    While everyone of the candidates have their flaws HERE's MY TAKE:
    a)Romney 2.0-best skills,most appealing to crucial Independents
    b)Perry-Soft on immigration, low on Presidential composure
    c)Cain:No political exp., 9-9-9 plan too radical
    d)Gingrich-Most experienced, but highly polarizing
    e)Bachmann-Less on substance, far right
    f)Paul-Too dangerous for US security & very radical views
    g)Rick Santorum-Not much base or exp.


    October 19, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Pravaa

    What is worrying is Romney has no patience for criticism at all. He cannot stand testy questions irrespective if they are general people or candidates. Don't know if he can handle international press conferences.

    October 19, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. De

    @BinFL–If Obama is going to lambast Perry then you should be estatic. My thoughts are this, If Romney is the nominee, when he and Obama get finished beating each other up the country will see what Most GOP primary voters already know and that is that there really isn't much of a difference between the two and really, there isn't! Many voters will simply stay home and Obama will probably win another term.
    Now if you compare how well Texas is doing under Perry and how well the country is doing under Obama, there is no comparison and at the end of the day, the voters will vote for someone with a record of positive results and turning things around! Perry has that record and Texas is the best and most comprehensive example! At the end of the day, it is the track record that's going to count!! Oh you and I share something in common, we both are independents!

    October 19, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Mike

    The debate had a clear winner-–PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA.

    October 19, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. James PDX

    You can claim all you want that Obama has made mistakes. But you can't claim that any of these clowns would do a better job. Obama in 2012 (by default). Looks like we'll get the lesser of 2 evils yet again. Why did we decide to allow and stick with a 2 party system again? Stupidity? Sheopledom? So sad.

    October 19, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Tim D.

    Here is the solution to illegal aliens entering from Mexico. Hire the illegals to build the fence. Offer them a better wage than they are getting now in the farming industry. They will come out in droves to work. When the fence is completed, take their picture and fingerprints and toss them back on the Mexico side then hit the switch.

    October 19, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. calevitt

    Who won? The Democrats! Thanks Republicans for throwing each other under the bus.

    October 19, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. AlaskaPalin

    Its arrogant to say that when one of these candidates become president it will reflect negatively on America. If liberals say they are 'clowns' and then one becomes president then its probably fair to say that the american people saw the liberal candidate as an even bigger clown (with respect to our leaders and singling out none- stop the name calling). Its better to be termed a 'clown' by liberals than by most americans.

    October 19, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Sniffit

    "What is worrying is Romney has no patience for criticism at all. He cannot stand testy questions irrespective if they are general people or candidates. Don't know if he can handle international press conferences."

    Putin, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Natanyahu, the list goes on and on...they would eat Mittens for breakfast and pass him within an hour.

    October 19, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Carl Legere

    i lived in plano texas, for a yr,and a half, I watched 12 lane hyway,being built by mexicans, homes being built by mexican yard work ,i did not see any whites working, on these jobs ,why ?cheep labor!! Mr perry dont want to close ,the borders, there are lines, of mexicans, waiting to be picked up for work, on the side of the roads, hundreds of them ? why? Yes texas has good Hyways good looking yards clean hyways all done by mexicans,why?i went to a chinese, resteraunt mexican cooks, Mr perry has not mentioned that why ? thank you thought you would like to know !!

    October 19, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. TXJim

    "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."
    If his heart is that dumb then he should use his head more often..

    October 19, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. David Claytor

    Romney is offering rainbows and lollipops while the other candidates are offering sound although somewhat radical solutions to our economic woes. Americans proved in 2008 that they enjoy style over substance. America, political parties are not the problem, you are!

    October 19, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. tj

    I felt embarrassed for all of them. To make ignorant comments and sound like a bunch of third graders is not very Presidential. It was hard to watch.

    October 19, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. Casey

    Dear CNN
    Articles which simply post the spin from each candidates PR rep's is completely worthless in gauging reality. When deciding whether Coke or Pepsi is better you wouldn't ask the salesman for each soda because the results would mean nothing. How about asking astute members of the general public or attendees to weigh in.

    October 19, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. CharloEllis

    Rick Perry looked so bad. Kept putting the entire Illegal Immigration problem on Mitt's back since Mitt had hired some yard workers from a contractor and the contractor was breaking the law unbeknownst to Mitt. Perry is so sad. If he gets elected we are headed into complete ruin.

    October 19, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. SK

    Q: Who won last night's debate?
    A: Obama!!

    October 19, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. David Claytor

    @AlaskaPalin Romney is what the America wants. He reminds me of a baptist minister...everyone comments how great the sermon was but when you ask the same people what the sermon was about...they answer with an emphatic..I don't know but he sounded good. Rainbows and lollipops (here we go again).

    October 19, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  25. callin it

    The facts remain anyone of these people will unseat Obama, he has already been replaced by the majority of Americans. I know this is a broad statement however being from a swing state I hear people weekly openly criticizing Obama and when I do see someone who is passionate about Obama they are by far scarier and more aggressive than any right leaning person I've encountered. Americans felt lied too by Bush and he paid for it however Obama I believe has not only deeply offended many Americans with hope and change being cleverly disguised for what it was but the Democratic party I believe will continued to be mistrusted for many more years......

    October 19, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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