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. Rmax

    Perry has no patience at all. He just bully Mitt without abiding by the rules. No doubt he is a Texan. It comes with his territory. Mitt has the right to lambast Perry because he was out of line as to the rules of engagement. Mitt did the right thing, it showed his other side that he is tough and is not willing to give up on bullies. His other side of being knowledgeable good educated debater still shines, kinda slick Willy, who did by the way was a successful President. The difference between Willy and Mitt is he is a family man, well grounded and morally good.

    October 19, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. John Ellis

    The same guy who won all the previous debates and who will win all the following debates – Obama.

    October 19, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. mellykill

    seriously guys, all these comments and barely a mention of Ron Paul... please please please at least do a little research for yourselves, the media does not give him the respect he deserves but he stands strong and consistent on a lot of issues and HE HAS A GOOD PLAN. please go look into this for yourselves, do not trust the media to cover this for you. especially not with the kind of bickering/grandstanding and utter foolishness the babies were displaying on the playground last night.

    October 19, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Tom

    Who won? Not the American people. I'm pretty sure the combined IQ of everyone on that stage couldn't break 2 digits.

    October 19, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. John

    Non-presidential

    Both Perry and Romney have proven that they are NOT presidential materials. They are no examples to my 5th graders when it comes to a civil and substantial debate and discourse about the problem facing our country. ALL they are interested in is to score political points at any coast including fighting on a stage.

    This is proof enough that they are non-presidential entities.

    October 19, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. ivan

    Four more years for Obama.

    October 19, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. FM

    It was quite interesting to watch the debate. One thing I have learned is: never allow the contenders to sit down if you want to see the fireworks. When they do debate each other while standing, they do produce more information which most of us were not aware of; but debating while sitting, allow them to feel more comfortable and their brain sleep as well. Another thing: please on the coming debates don't allow Romney and Perry stand next to each other, or sit next to each other. Otherwise we are going to witness what has never ever happened in any American debate!

    October 19, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Joe Shmoe

    Ron Paul is the only one with a plan to reduce the national debt. The rest are just paid off stooges that will continue with Bush and Obama's failed policies of perpetual war and bailouts.

    October 19, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. DA

    What I find funny is that everyone in America really seems to forget the four branches of Government we have and the Executive Branch can't pass bills into law!!! So to say the current President has caused all the issues in this Country is stupid. Those folk you continue to send back to Congress year after year are the major part of the problem. It is time for term limits!!! I know my vote goes right back to the current President, who at least is trying to help the everyday person!!! The folks on that stage last night scared me!!! Obama 2012!!!

    October 19, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. RN

    Texas is at the top of the list for number of people living in poverty. Also the number of people who do not have health insurance. A job at McDonalds is not the same as a job that will support a family. Jobs that Perry hopes to produce with oil drilling are a long way off and depend on natural resources in Texas. How will this work in states that do not have oil and gas? Are they supposed to move to Texas for a job?

    Q: what do you call a republican who wants to pay his fair share of taxes and actually cares about the lower and middle classes?
    A: a Democrat.

    October 19, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Chris

    Well said, Rmax!

    October 19, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Debbie

    Perry looked desperate and Romney looked cocky. I was looking at Romney until he spent the last 30 days courting the old Bush Administration support and $$$$. In the last 30 days Romney now has the $upport of: Cheney, Rove, Daniels, Jeb Bush and Romney has now hired several Geo. W. Bush advisors. So a vote for Romney is really a vote to re-elect the Geo W. Bush Administration. I will never ever vote for that bunch again! Romney was the best the GOP had until he sold his soul to the Bush crowd.

    October 19, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Wylie Mike

    Perry looked so uptight and flustered that he seemed on the verge of losing his temper.

    October 19, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Jack

    Non- presidential

    Both Perry and Romney have shown Americans that they are simply not presidential materials. They are no examples to my 5th graders who are looking for examples of civil discourse in a debate.

    They have proven that they would willing stage fight, instead of civil debating simply to score political points. Their unacceptable value systems were being displayed on an American stage.

    They are just not ready to lead our country at this time.

    October 19, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. carly

    yet again these clowns prove that known are ready for prime time and esp. not to be president of this country.

    October 19, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. John

    Non- presidential

    Both Perry and Romney have shown Americans that they are simply not presidential materials. They are no examples to my 5th graders who are looking for examples of civil discourse in a debate.

    They have proven that they would willingly stage fight, instead of a civil debate, simply to score political points. Their unacceptable value systems were being displayed on an American stage. can we imagine any of these two men sitting down to a decent talk with Kim Jong??????

    They are just not ready to lead our country at this time

    October 19, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. JohnReedjr

    To me...
    Romney looked like a spoiled brat, Perry a texas twit, Cain a Jokester, Bachman a non-entity, Gingrich a sleepy old man,
    Paul a crazy, but sincere prophet, and Santorum, He was the father to them all. Really Really frightening to think that one of this band of clowns may become president. Frightening

    October 19, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. Clint, Wa.

    So, who won the debate?, Obama.

    October 19, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. June

    On civil debate

    This may go down as the worst presidential 'debate' in American history. The current republican candidates may do themselves well by taking examples from Hillary Clinton debating Obama in 2008.

    A close look at candidates debating real issues instead of attacking each other like two 'Pit bulls' would certainly serve them well.

    John is so right. This is not an example we would like our children to emulate. They need to reverse to the days of civil debates and discourse.

    October 19, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. paula derry

    For the highest position in the land, I will not cast a vote for a child. Mitt and Rick, thank you for narrowing the field. I wouldn't cast a vote for a GOP candidate even if Casey Anthony was the Democratic contender. I will never vote for a Republican again...ever. EVER! And I used to be one. E.V.E.R.

    October 19, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. Jack

    Non- presidential

    Both Perry and Romney have shown Americans that they are simply not presidential materials. They are no examples to my 5th graders who are looking for examples of civil discourse in a debate.

    They have proven that they would willingly stage a fight, instead of a civil debate, simply to score political points. Their unacceptable value systems were being displayed on an American stage.

    They are just not ready to lead our country at this time

    October 19, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Wayne

    Well, I'm glad I'm not crazy. As I watched the debate last night, I thought it was pretty clear that Perry lost terribly. It was almost too difficult to watch how bad he did and how the audience booed him every time he attempted to attack Romney. Then those CNN moderators kept saying Perry had a good night. I just didn't see it and can't imagine what angle they're trying to promote by trying to convince the television audience that the incessant Perry booing somehow equated to him having a good night! Go figure.

    October 19, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Margo

    When asked about the one million kids without health insurance in Texas, Perry retorts with some inane comment about the big hospital in Houston. SO WHAT????? If you don't have insurance, you'll never get inside it!!!!!!!!!! And what was that crack to Anderson Cooper by Perry - "your job is to ask the questions and I'll answer however I want"?!?!?!?! Height of arrogance. The man is a desperate fool with no qualifications. All the jobs he created? Sure. Y'all know what Texas' minimum wage is?????? Support your family on THAT!!!! YAY MITT!!!!

    October 19, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Kweg Yung

    Corporate America's expansion into China was paid for by the American taxpayer. Bush's “tax cuts for the rich” policy helped to fund this transition. That's why no American jobs were created but a lot of Chinese jobs were. Republican politicians represent the corporate rich, the 'job creators'. When was the last time you saw a job created in the U.S.? The rich don't pay tax in this country and their corporations are physically based in communist China; where, by the way, SOCIALIZED healthcare and SOCIALIZED education are the norm and ALL the banks are state owned. These former American companies only pay tax in China, supporting a growing communist government and military. Republican politicians sold us (U.S.) out. These guys aren't batting for us (U.S.) anymore.

    October 19, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. TXJim

    Four and The Door says:

    Rick Perry did himself no favors tonight. Mitt Romney held his own against some people obviously admitting by their actions that this is their last stand. Expect to see some drop out soon. Herman Cain showed why he has climbed the leader board. We have seen America's next President debate tonight. Which one was it?
    ------------------
    The one who watched it from home. In his big White House.

    October 19, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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