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Perry originally made the comment at the Fox News/Google debate in Florida after taking heat for signing off on a Texas law that allows tuition credits to certain illegal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

    So, if the debates are too hot for him, how is he going to do in the 'kitchen' called the Presidency?! What an 'utter failure' of a politician.

    I guess he'd rather the citizens just swallow the propaganda he spews on Fox and through slick commercials than actually face us directly. How can anyone vote for this guy after these kinds of statements??

    October 26, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  2. rockysfan

    Seriously Perry? If that is your take, you do not deserve to run let alone win the presidency. Just proves my point, if this is the best the right wing fanatics have to offer, Obama wins. Hands down.

    October 26, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. catwill

    This is what happens when you leap before you look and the main lesson is not to enter the lions den without the proper armor. Gov Perry is making excuses for not being prepared because the dog ate his homework. LOL!

    October 26, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  4. Terry P

    Not take part in any debates? interesting statement from someone that is seeking a job that is nothing but debate...PS: I would also suggest that he try not talking when he is on camera...Just saying!!!

    October 26, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  5. Robert

    Translated: Everyone found out just how low the bar is in Texas to become Governor.

    October 26, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. GrogInOhio

    So... in other words, Mr. Perry would like to avoid exposing his shallow understanding of the issues facing the nation to scam more votes. Noted...

    October 26, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  7. Scott

    Yep. We regret you taking part in the debates too.

    October 26, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. Lolo

    He has the nerve to talk. Perry showed exactly who is was during the debates. He is nothing but a bully, liar and hypocrite like the rest of them.

    October 26, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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'."
    ------------------------
    Dang Perry! That's low even for you!
    Nobody likes a hypocrite who is ALSO a tattle-tale!

    October 26, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  10. nhguy

    "just interested in stirring things up.. instead of the issues" – get real, this guy simply will not answer a question about "the issues" directly so stop the whining, stay in texas and secede from the union to help us all out.

    October 26, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. Lolo

    I meant to say who he is during the debates.

    October 26, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. ED FL

    Well Mr perry if you can not handle a couple of red necks like your self,what makes you think you can handle other world leaders that are many times more sophisticated and calm with lots of decorum . That is not one of Texas'es atributes. You can not be a big mouth blowhard that thinks everyone will cowtow to you. You are not ready for the BIG LEAGUES.

    October 26, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  13. brian

    ITS TIME FOR THE PEOPLE TO DECIDE WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO US AND NOT THE POLITICIANS, LOBBYISTS, BANKERS, AND THE FRIENDS OF POLITICIANS............. the rest is alot of b.s. because these guys keep saying the opposite of what "the people" actually want

    October 26, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. diridi

    With Texas having lot of illegals, no Health Care, All Minimum Wage Jobs, Oil Companies day light robberies, Teachers and fire fighter, police, losing jobs every day, I express my regret to this biggest Idiot my sympathy....just vote him out, Texas, God bless. GOP and tea thugs are for Rich, not for you Middle Class America, Not for you....

    October 26, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. c'mon america

    Those aren't rommneys own words . The debates are what the candidates make of them . If the had confidence in their answers they would answer the questions in a straight forward manner instead of side stepping them with wild accusations and assertions .

    October 26, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. JR White Bear Lake MN.

    I know exactly what Gov. Perry is saying. I too get really nervous when I have to get up in front of a group. Sometimes I forget what I want to say or just plan mis-speak. It can be very scary. But then again I'm not running for the most powerful position on the planet.Rick I suggest you cowboy up and get tough or maybe you should two step back to Texas. These are serious times and we need some real leadership.

    October 26, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  17. mresce

    Oh...he's a victiim too....

    October 26, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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
    ------------------------
    Yes those pesky so-called debates have a way of highlighting the monumentally low IQ held by the pretenders to the throne. No new viable ideas are being espoused, it is all about attacking the President and each other. This is usually what happens when people aren't QUALIFIED intellectually, or otherwise to be considered for the highest office in this land. The GOP has made a mockery of the upcoming election with their Best of the Best Clowns on Parade.
    Face it Perry, pandering to the lowest common denominator is ALL you guys have.

    October 26, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. ART

    Rick if you can't even handle yourself in a debate then what makes you think you can handle yourself in one of the tough situations that President Obama has had to deal with throughout his ppresidency. I mean you came off looking like Ralph Cramden in that debate with the before then after before diatribe which stil today I have no idea what you were trying to say.

    October 26, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. CTYank

    Simply put, Rick's challenged when he has to take it, rather than just dish it. Like a certain ex-Alaskan. Seems he'd rather return to the safe, warm womb of Fox. When does he stop with the nickle-and-dimey political road-show and go on salary with Fox? Bill Buckley would puke listening to this crop.
    (I can just hear him singing in the shower "If I only had a brain.")

    October 26, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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'."

    IS Romney running for anything beyond president of that "rich" corporate world he seems to have such a fascination with? Certainly hasn't gotten down to "we the little people" yet, either in policy or acknowledgement of our existence beyond the needs of those who employ us through his own admission (reading between the lines) that we need to be treated "differently" – because he's running for Office, for Pete's sake.

    As for Perry, well, what can be said that hasn't already been said?

    October 26, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. Independent In Albany

    I'm sure he does, we all got to see how genuinely unbalanced he is.

    So long.............

    October 26, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  23. Alina77

    Texas people probably for first time see him "talking" too.

    October 26, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  24. Inrealityhere

    Who, yet, does not know the mainstream media is controlled by liberal progressives? The debate moderator's primary goal, then, is to cast any candidate opposed to their beloved Obama as a "loser" not get the candidates to talk about issues.

    October 26, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. unretired05

    I've seen some of the clips of his debate performance and I can certainly see why he has regrets.

    October 26, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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