(CNN) - Arguing the election cycle has too many presidential debates, Rick Perry's top spokesman said the Texas governor could use more time with voters instead of taking the stage with Republican opponents.
"We're about 60 days away from votes being cast," communications director Ray Sullivan said on CNN's "John King, USA" Wednesday. "The candidates need to spend time in Iowa doing those town halls and spending a lot more time with the voters, who oftentimes have the best questions and press the candidates the hardest."
Citing the dozen-plus debates in the works, Sullivan added: "There's no way that the candidates can do all those debates."
Perry, whose poll numbers have slid after a series of uneven debate performances, made headlines Tuesday when he described taking part as a "mistake."
"These debates are set up for nothing more than to tear down the candidates," Perry said on Fox News. "It's pretty hard to be able to sit and lay out your ideas and your concepts with a one-minute response."
Sullivan confirmed that Perry will participate in a debate on Nov. 9, hosted by CNBC with the Michigan Republican Party and Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.
"But look, we're taking each of these as they come, examining the schedule and examining the opportunities and the opportunity costs," Sullivan told King, CNN's chief national correspondent.
Sullivan said the Perry campaign needs to be in several key battleground states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada.
"We certainly respect the process, but when you've got eight of nine candidates and 30 seconds to a minute, it takes valuable time away from campaigning in Iowa, as those elections approach," Sullivan said.
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you cant handle a few debates? And you want to be the one facing Putin leading the US side in negotiations? If you cant handle Mittens riling you, how on earth can you handle Iran and North Korea? What a joke!!!!!!
What Rick Perry doesn't want to talk about. .... Employment Policies Institute, Energy Citizens, Enron, ExxonMobil .
You are so correct Perry. Stay on top of the voters. Show them what they can have if they vote for you. They for the most do not have sense enough to understand if they're thinking of voting Obama back in. It will be like talking to concrete to get anything through an Obamanite's head. But there are many of us who will not go for anymore of this racist types taking over our constitution and our government. IT STOPS NOW.
If you aren't a good debater, then you have to look at what you do better.
He may lose this election, which he isn't used to, but there's a first time for everything.
Still, he is on my short list, personally, whether he does the debates or not, because I already know all about him.
I like how asking canidates questions about policies is "tearing canidates down" according to Perry. He's pathetic.
Perry blew it with his tax proposal. He proposed setting up an alternate way to calculate taxes and claimed it would make things easier for taxpayers. In reality it would make taxpayers calculate their taxes the old way plus the new way in order to decide, each year, which would cost them less. On the planet Earth, doing things twice makes things harder, not easier.
What a sore loser. We dont hear the other candidates complaining about the debates. If Perry cant run with the big dogs then he needs stay on the porch. lol....
During the remaining debates Rick Perry will remain in his hotel room and argue with himself.
A real Abraham Lincoln this guy....
Aw c'mon, that dog don't hunt! He appears to becoming gun-shy. Small wonder.
Is he really too busy or is his stupidity and ignorance coming through too strong? Why is it that the entire Republican line up have IQs that match their shoe size? Isn't there anyone with the intellectual capacity to be our President?
I want to be prez, but don't ask me questions. Another gun slinger from TX.
He should do us all a favor and skip the election.
If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Gov. Perry's obviously not showing well in the big leagues. I guess it's time for him to exit the real game, spend his millions on sleeze-bag attack ads, and smile for the cameras.
"Uneven"? His debate performances have all been evenly, uniformly bad.
How much is CNN bending over backward to avoid saying the obvious: This man would be a far better debater if his mouth were filled with glue. At long last, with him polling in the single digits, his campaign has realized that he can't handle himself against a living opponent.
His big mistake was taking part in a debate that just showed the world just how stupid he breally is. $10.000 a month to rent a mansion for him and his wife to live in Austin while my students go without textbooks, and he cuts 75% of the funds for volunteer fire departments here in Texas. What a useless POS. Wish we had a halfway decent governor here in Texas.
Rick stick to shaking hands and kissing babies your no debater. Charles Bowen Solomon Stone
What will the comedians do if Rick isn't in the debates? They'll be totally lost!!!!
I didn't take him for a scared little guy – poor little dude is afraid!
Ha, ha! He's scared, of course, given that he is such a bad debater. Romney will get the nomination, but Obama will win. Go, Obama and Biden! :-)
In a sense, his advisers are smart, because the more he talks, the more people see what is really like and the further his number will drop...
Perry should feel free to skip the rest of the debates. He's only dug his grave deeper in every one where he has appeared. Let Perry perish. America will be a far better place when he is gone.
Ha! Perry gets his behind whooped everytime he shows up at a debate and comes away looking like an even bigger fool than before. I don't doubt that he may skip the rest of them. He's an idiot and the debates just turn a magnifying glass on the depths of his idiocy.
During the last debate....Cooper asked a specific question of Perry and Perry started talking about something else. When Cooper asked Perry to address the question, Perry said "It is your job to ask the questions and my job to talk about what I want." ....Not an exact quote, but close.
Perry can't really complain about the debates not addressing the issues when he blatantly chose to avoid answering a good question pertaining to a major issue....probably because he knew little about the issue!
Why is Perry playing the debate victim since he was the rude one? I hope he stays away. He doesn;t know how to behave himself and follow rules.