Perry expresses regret over taking part in debates
October 25th, 2011
10:43 PM ET
2 years ago

Perry expresses regret over taking part in debates

(CNN) – GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry said if he had made any mistakes thus far in the campaign, it was "probably ever doing one of the" debates.

"All they’re interested in is stirring it up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people," Perry said on Fox News Tuesday.

Answering criticism over his debate performances, the Texas governor has repeatedly said Americans weren't looking for the "slickest" candidate or the smoothest debater in the race.

Perry, who rolled out his flat-tax plan Tuesday in South Carolina, again said he used the wrong word when describing people who disagreed with him on immigration as "heartless."

He first dialed back his remark in late September after facing a strong reaction from within the GOP.

Perry originally made the comment at the Fox News/Google debate in Florida after taking heat for signing off on a Texas law that allows tuition credits to certain illegal immigrants at public universities.

In the interview Tuesday, Perry also took a shot at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who sparred with Perry during the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate last week in Las Vegas.

Continuing his attack on Romney as a flip-flopper, Perry said: "In his own words, he says 'Listen, I need to say whatever I need to say for whatever office I'm running for'."

Also see:

Perry to meet with S.C. governor

Perry on Obama: 'It's fun to poke at him'

Perry to meet with DeMint


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry
soundoff (437 Responses)
  1. beevee

    Compared to two other GOP contenders Perry is an intellectual dud. He is not qualified to run this country. Better off staying in Texas. His flat tax nonsense will make him fall flat on his face.

    October 25, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  2. Sam

    Hmmm. RP sounds like SP, but as least he took the chance on even debating.

    October 25, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  3. iTALIAN NONNO

    The word was already out on the street that you were a moron,.. the debates just confirmed it beyond any doubt.

    October 25, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  4. Sandy

    So he thinks he can be President without having to debate anyone?

    October 25, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  5. C.B.C.

    I AGREE with Perry on this. These "debates" have been "jury-rigged" from the beginning....and have served more to "manipulate" the voting Public that to inform them. The "Media" has OBVIOUSLY "manipulated" the debates by which candidates they allow and those that they DON'T INVITE. It has been PROPAGANDA of the worst sort. That sort of manipulation by the Press (Media) reminds me of the old Soviet Russia. DISGUSTING !!! ...and certainly "Un-American".

    October 25, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  6. klarg

    Governor Goodhair regrets exposing himself as an empty suit?!?

    October 25, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  7. Indy

    "All they’re interested in is stirring it up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people," Perry said on Fox News Tuesday.

    And all Perry did was stir it up with Mittens, instead of talking about issues that are important to the American people like helping the middle class, and not coming up with a smokescreen tax plan instead of a jobs plan

    October 25, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Perry isn't really ready for the national stage. He is going to fail because he doesn't understand all the issues and the people involved.

    October 25, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  9. sonja clemons

    Rick Perry should regret placing his arrogant, egocentric prescence in everyone's face....if he really believes he should be our president...he needs to retake American History so he understands what successful US Presidents did...GW not in that group

    October 25, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  10. usualone

    The debates are important more how one carrries himself/herself in them rather than most of the substance. A President is out there every day more vulnerable to everyone's opinion - both domestic and overseas. We instantly can see if that person can handle unexpected crises. Therefore, he should not regret this training ground.

    October 25, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  11. sonja clemons

    his arrogant unkind face and persona just gives me fear....not respect...how do you think he would do in Middle east talks? How about Asian relations? yeah NOT GOOD....Arrogance and egocentrism don't equal a respectable trusted leader...

    October 25, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    Then, do a John Wayne and git on yo' hoss and git the hell outta there on debate days and go a huntin' or fishin' or somethin'.
    Dont suppose we'll miss ya!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    October 25, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  13. Leslie

    Perry s a loser!! He strikes me as a one who says whatever his advisors tell him to say. Not a brain in his head. Oh yeah, he also thinks he's "all that" I beg to differ.

    October 26, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  14. stevenfbrackett

    You 'regret' letting people see who you are? Seriously. I mean, seriously?

    I can't think of anything that screams "Run from him! Faster! Faster!" than that sentiment right there.

    October 26, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  15. James Kruk

    Yeah, wouldn't have to actually defend your remarks or have them cross-examined by anybody. Or just have them judge you when you're not in front of a bully pulpit.

    October 26, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  16. cruiser808

    If Perry had performed better in the debates and was leading in the polls, he would be talking about how he made all the right moves and how well the debates were handled. Instead, he now just wants something to blame for his own missteps and lack of abilities.

    October 26, 2011 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  17. Lenny Pincus

    This goofball's problem is he can't speak, period. It's gotta be killing him. He claimed God told him to get into the race, but evidently God didn't let on that he would be polling just a touch better than Bachmann while he is getting hammered by Cain and Romney. Imagine, the Governor of the fabulous state of Texas getting manhandled by a Pizza exec and a flip-flopping Mormon. God seems to have a great sense of humor, or irony, or maybe some Old Testament anger at people who use His image like Dick Perry has.

    October 26, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  18. ChrisG

    lol ya think.. GOP, Is this the best you have?

    October 26, 2011 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  19. ChrisG

    "Tea Party Nation wants all small business owners to stop creating jobs by not hiring anyone in protest of President Obama and the Democratic Senate." THere you have it folks. These are the people that are destroying America.
    Vote all these GOP/Tpers out of office in 2012

    October 26, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  20. AK_steve

    If you can't handle yourself in a debate then how can you ever expect to be president? You have to think on your feet and act appropriately. You can't go through a presidency on planned and prepared soundbites. You have to be able to react effectively and calmly without your emotions taking control of you.

    Perry is not the guy to run a country, but he is perfect for Texas.

    October 26, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  21. Uidd

    Go Perry go Perry, go go .... ! Any mistake had everybody done but how they do the best after that. Keep walking, Perry !

    October 26, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  22. thomas

    Perry is doing a Sarah Palin on us !

    October 26, 2011 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  23. whome

    Isn't taking part in debates part of the process of running for POTUS?

    October 26, 2011 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  24. TheTraveler

    Rick Perry is running for "Whiner in Chief" ...

    October 26, 2011 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  25. Crystal Aka Obamagirl

    GOP what a joke...No Candidates even worth the time of Day...Perry..Get Real!! Who cares what his economic policy is towards creating Jobs...He can't put fourth a bill and have it pass through congress!!! he has no brains, no guts and no plan for the country!!! What a joke!! along with the other so-called GOP losers!!

    October 26, 2011 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
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