The spin on the Perry-Romney crossfire
October 18th, 2011
10:49 PM ET
2 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. Anonymous

    Perry was passionate, but passionate about unimportant and outdated issues for the most part instead of how to fix the economy. His energy plan is very long term, not feasible in Congress and damaging to the environment in many ways,

    October 19, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. 99%er

    Don`t kid yourself, Romney`s corporate all the way. -– Did he ever say how he would turn around the economy, or did I miss something ????

    October 19, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. Laverne

    Hey Sarah Palin, you said you would run for president if there was no one else to get the job done, well sista girl you might join the circus too because that is exactly what the GOP candidates are!

    October 19, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Norm

    It's pretty obvious that the Democrats won that debate.
    What a bunch of backstabbing losers the Repugs are trying to push on the American people this time around.

    October 19, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Portland tony

    So we are all better, smarter and will make intelligent choices during the upcoming election as a result of these debates.

    October 19, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Beverly - NYC

    Seriously who would vote of anyone on that stage last night. The real tea party side of the Republican party sure can through last night.

    For any mom's facing foreclosure who are holding on for Michelle Bachman, may I suggest not wasting your time. This woman for all her time in the governemnt has not authored or sponsored a major piece of legislation, so I don't hold any high expectations for a Bachman presidency, you'll be homeless and without health care.

    I loved how Romney dodged the foreclosure question, hours before the debate he suggestied the foreclosure process be sped up, permit speculators to buy the property dirt cheap and re-rent to people down on their luck. Forward to last night and he gave the political answer something must be done, the President made it worst yada yada.

    October 19, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Ryk2506

    It went just like CNN wanted it too, that's why Anderson never enforced the rules....but if anybody thinks that America could take 4 more years of The Obamas Big Vacation, they are just hallucinating. I am saddened that letting the liberal media dictate our election choices is the best we have....they won't ever report on the steady stream of lies coming out of the White House now, Solyndra, gun running to Mexico, campaign trips on the public dole, phony jobs bill...the nominee will be Romney, with Gingrich VP. And they will landslide this farce of a president.

    October 19, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Middle America

    The only one who seemed presidential on that stage was Newt Gingrich. He stayed above the bickering and actually answered the questions intelligently.

    October 19, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. 99%er

    Callin it – correction !!!! Bush didn`t pay for IT, we are paying for IT now. He and his "blank check" Congress got us where we are now. It`ll be a cold day in hell before I trust a Repub to fix a mess THEY created.

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

    Im 77 yrs old , i have never ,seen politics at its worse ,our courts, have taken our rights away from us, the teachers and parents have taken the stick away from them , pledge of our flag, prayers, if people coming to this country ,why do they want to change our ways ,if they dont like it here go back where you came from ,We Americans love our freedoms in God we trust, in our money ,We as Americans have lost our Jobs to out sourceing,we have many empty, factories,do we expect Jobs to come out of thin air?wake up America we have three wars ,oil spills tornados,flooding ,earth quakes,ect, this president, has had many things on His Plate,and no HELPfrom republicans

    October 19, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    "What is worrying is Romney has no patience for criticism at all."

    What is even more worrying (for Romney and the GOP anyway) is that his lack of intelligence is coming through loud and clear.

    October 19, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Bill

    I have my crystal ball out and it says. Obama is reelected, 11% unemployment, no hope, and no change.

    October 19, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. Chris

    Perry knew he had to come out strong and made himself look like a fool... What about the question on the 14th amendment? Basically told Anderson he wasn't going to answer it... what a joke. His deliberate attack on Romney was childish. Cain isn't going anywhere because he is not going to admit that his 999 plan will not work. Cain did get one thing right and that was in regards to everyone with Occupy Wallstreet... get a job, my word have some dignity and get to work. All the posts on here for Obama 2012... blah, blah, blah... people are blind and looking for a handout... typical.

    October 19, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  14. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mitt Romney alienate independents voters last night he should have ignore Rick Perry immigration comments now he looks like angry man
    Every time Romney says that he will repel Obama care hurting him also

    October 19, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Hal

    These debates have become a waste of time. The main issues here are jobs and the economy,not whether the company who mows your lawn hires illegals, or what church you go to. Romney has a detailed economic plan and has identified teams of credible people with expertise to deal with the economy and foreign policy issues. Such things never get discussed in these debates. The most the candidates can manage is to take apart Cains simplistic 999 plan and then argue over things that don't really matter. Bachman and Santorum just come off as desperate and clueless, Perry acts like a junkyard dog and with his absence of any sense of diplomacy, common sense, or anger management he doesn't belong in this race, and certainly not in the White House. I would hate for him to lose his temper when dealing with a foreign dignitary or when dealing with an international crisis. Romney is the only one who seems to have a complete package to take this country forward and he will get my vote.

    October 19, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Dallas, TX

    How quickly we forget that it was 8 years of these same Republican policies that brought this country to its knees. Obama inherited a disaster and he has been trying to stabilize it for the last 3 years despite the Republicans blocking him with philibusters every step of the way, determined to continue this disaster so that they have a better chance of being elected in 2012. So now, people of America, are you seriously going to vote for another four years of the same Republican policies that got us into this mess? You have to be kidding! You really have to be kidding!!!

    October 19, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. Todd In Texas

    What a entertaining debate! You may have not learned anything new policy wise but it was nice seeing Perry get so ill tempered and boo'd by the crowd. I'm from Texas and hate the fact there are so many illegals here. I just recently found out about the tuition deal. I'll be sure I vote against Perry in the next Gov race. On a side note: The politicians have 60 seconds to discuss policy topics, why do those of you bashing no policy substance think they can give a comprehensive plan in 60 seconds. They tell YOU to go to their website and review their plans. Quit being lazy fools and go read what they have to say instead of what the media decides to tell you. Drones.... Oh and my personal opinion: GO MITT!!!!

    October 19, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. JH

    "don't get testy with me". if Romney said that to me I would want to punch him in the face.
    He is such a rich arrogant person. I would never want to give him my vote.

    October 19, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Arnie

    I will have to say the clear winner in this debate was President Obama.

    October 19, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. robertsgt40

    What a joke. CNN acts like Ron Paul doesn't exist. But then CNN is just following orders"throw Paul under the bus... at all costs". You want to know who owns your candidate? Check who gives them money. Paul doesn't accept lobby/banking/military industrial complex/Wall Street mioney. ALL THE REST DO!

    October 19, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Fed Up

    They all need to be removed from office including Obama. If you can't do SOMETHING positive for your country in two years get out of the way and out of office.

    October 19, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Debbie

    Perry is a terrible governor of Texas, so I'm hoping the rest of the country will find this out before another tragedy happens–i.e. electing Bush president.

    October 19, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. AM

    Romney has no humility. He is a cold calculating political machine just like the current
    republican dominated house. He would bring only bad changes to Washington.

    October 19, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. deloris.lahm@windstream.net

    Romney looked pretty childish himself. We already knew Perry was an idiot, but Romney looked like the school bully who mugged the camera whenever he beat up on someone else.

    October 19, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. Sorensen

    Good Night and Good Bye GOP.

    October 19, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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