Perry expresses regret over taking part in debates
October 25th, 2011
10:43 PM ET
3 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Perry originally made the comment at the Fox News/Google debate in Florida after taking heat for signing off on a Texas law that allows tuition credits to certain illegal immigrants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. @OddsWithScience

    He can't debate, he can't understand issue, he can't stand his grounds, he can't explain himself, not sure why people should even consider him. He's making Sarah Palin look smarter, she can at least mumble few sound bytes.

    October 26, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Chuk

    He regrets it because he sucked at it. If he had been successful, would he "regret" it? No. That's life. This is buyer's remorse. Can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Unless you just want to be anointed president without any work on your part. You're not running for governor of Texas now, pal. That worked in Texas, not for the rest of the country.

    October 26, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Paul

    He doesn't get what the point of a debate between 8 people is.

    "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,"

    Yea you're right, you and Gingrich don't seem to get it, we know you're against Obama, that's a give in, we want to know how each one of you stand on the issues. If that means you have to actually DEBATE one of the other 7 and that leads to "stirring it up" between candidates then so be it.

    These clowns should look up the definition of the word debate.

    October 26, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. CaliforniaBC

    Oh SO VERY typical of the "New" republican who cannot handle substantive debate or the tough questions. Born of Palin and her "gotcha journalism" claims when asked by Katie Couric what magazines she reads, an ever increasing number of right-wing politicians avoid situations where they will have to answer those hard questions or have their ideas questioned.

    This series of debates, quite honestly the best in years if for nothing else the sheer number of them are showing us all quite well how these candidates will perform under the rigors of the Presidency. And what we are seeing is not all that encouraging.

    Most certainly, we are not seeing anyone who can handle the pressures of Office or the level of criticism that Obama has had to since stepping through the White House doors. Obama has handled it all quite well. These candidates are already making excuses and significant mistakes and they have only been through a few debates.

    October 26, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    DavidE7 wrote:
    I am not a Perry supporter, but absolutely agree with him that the way the debates are held is a disgrace. I believe that the media exist to serve the American people, not brainwash them, and feel that those who own the media should be held accountable to the American people.
    ----------–
    Perry's real complaint is that he walked into the debates unprepared. The mederators asked fair and direct questions. The *OTHER* candidates chose to ignore the question and attack Perry. In case you had not noticed, Perry's worse debates were sponsored and conducted on what should have been conservative friendly territory.

    The Rick Perry campaign train wreck continues.

    October 26, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. thomas

    @Bev
    perry is the most honest candadate PERRY 2012

    Thats right ! And he's a virgin ,and has never sinned , he talks to God !

    Perry / Enron 2012

    October 26, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Remingtonpup

    I would have thought he regretted not going to Oz to ask the Wizard for a brain. Or perhaps regretting not wearing sunscreen more often.

    October 26, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. JMM

    We can't stop laughing here!! Perry says he shouldn't have taken part in the debates!? Yeah, because he came out looking like...well, like...Rick Perry! Can't believe anyone could still consider this yahoo a viable candidate. Hey, if he can't handle himself well in a debate, how would you expect him to respond as President? What a buffoon!

    Perry, Bachmann, Palin, Cain, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul,...please!! These clowns even make Romney look somewhat legitimate by comparison. Maybe that's the GOP's plan since they obviously don't have a real candidate...?

    October 26, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. tor5

    Perry can’t defend his bad ideas or his bogus jobs record, so his new strategy is simply to not debate. Interesting. I hope it works. I hope he becomes the nominee. He can throw red meat to the teabaggers while Rational America reelects Obama.

    October 26, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. *

    Sounds like someone else graduated from the Sarah Palin school of "it's not my fault"

    October 26, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. cj

    Yep , can see why he would regret that! Since he was so poor at it , but then again , they are not debates , they are more like a horse and pony show...regardless he was awful and showed his true colors.....not the sharpest knife in the dtawer!

    October 26, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Lisa

    Gee, and here I thought job creation, the economy, tax plans/breaks, immigration were among the issues. Perhaps if Mr. Perry had been intelligent enough, rather than take shots at the other candidates (which, BTW, he is still doing, thus "stirring it up between the candidates"), he actually addressed and answered the questions answered regarding the above issues, he wouldn't have looked so bad; and instead separated himself out from the crowd?

    Also, I thought the GOP was great on spouting "personal responsibility". It appears, from this article, that rather than accept that he debated poorly (i.e., take responsibility for his performance) he is blaming the media for his debate failures. I guess we're back to the other mantra of the GOP - "Do as I say not as I do".

    October 26, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Most certainly, we are not seeing anyone who can handle the pressures of Office or the level of criticism that Obama has had to since stepping through the White House doors. Obama has handled it all quite well. These candidates are already making excuses and significant mistakes and they have only been through a few debates."

    Well said. Their whine is becoming almost as funny as their (collective) puppy-dog "yipping" against the President has been.

    October 26, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. carly

    I guess he is sorry that people got to see that he is not ready for prime time. Certainly not as President. Hey maybe there is an opening at the deli counter.

    October 26, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wes Scott

    You people denigrating Texas lack an understanding about our political structure. Unlike your states, our state does NOT have a strong governor. In fact, our governor is only the third most powerful seat in government.
    ------------------------
    Loved your post Wes!
    Funny, AND enlightening! Thanks.

    October 26, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    Someone else commented on here that the Governor of TX is not the most pwerful political figure in the state, and that is in fact true. What This other person missed is the fact Perry served in as Lt. Governor and Agricultural Commissioner, which carry enormous responsibility, as well as having served the legislature. That being said, it floors me that, in spite of all of that experience, he really does not understand anything about government other than to provide a launch pad for sound bites. He is the least intellectually curious candidate the GOP has thrown onto the national stage, and thats a dubious accomplishment. He has literally learned nothing, yet deems himself an authority on leadership.

    October 26, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Lynne

    He just regrets that he sucked so badly on TV with so many Republicans watching!!!

    October 26, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. korkea aika

    Perry regrets that Americans got to see him like he is: An angry white man over 50

    October 26, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. Z

    Just relax and enjoy the show..every day when you see their newest comments it's like watching someone jump off a cliff and they are competing to see who 'splats' first.

    October 26, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    silly man

    October 26, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. MAngeline

    This guy is a pitiful excuse for a candidate for President of the United States. Since I am an Obama supporter, I suppose I should be grateful for such a truly stupid Republican candidate. Truth is I am scared silly that there are enough people who hate our President enough to actually cast a vote for Slick Rick. A Romney presidency is not my preference, but at least he is an intelligent, sane person who would be able to do the job. I find it truly amazing that he has been consistently re-elected in Texas. Doesn't say much for Texas, does it?

    October 26, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. CBR

    Governor Perry did not make a mistake entering the debates. He is just realizing that the debates gave Americans the chance to hear his views. They were not a love-fest for him or for any of the candidates. They are a forum for candidates to answer questions and to debate each other.

    Governor Perry needs to understand that the nominating process has become long and drawn-out. All of those running for the nomination will be well-known to the American people and to the Republican Party members. People do have a chance to make an informed decision. You cannot just look the part of a candidates. You need to possess the stamina and need to have a clear message.

    October 26, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. sunsohot

    So am I the only one who actually sees a visible resemblance between W and Perry? Theyspeak alike, but that could be the Texas in them. I had to do a double take when I saw the above picture...

    October 26, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. independent

    The problem with this dern election is all these dern questions, dagnabbit!

    October 26, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. john

    It was a mistake on his part for sure. Now everybody knows what a fake he his. He was elected by Texas women because the like the way he looked in chaps...lol...and he played on that thinking thats how to best win an election. We'll worry about all that political and law stuff later.

    October 26, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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