Perry may pass on debates
October 26th, 2011
08:53 PM ET
2 years ago

Perry may pass on debates

(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.

Also see:

Bachmann files to run in New Hampshire

Gingrich builds staff in New Hampshire

Trump's 'birther' prediction for Perry


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. rickirs

    And when Perry gets that 3am call, he'll say call me back later so I have more time to think? I want a President who thinks on his feet and gets the right answers.

    October 27, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  2. mommers

    Why is Perry playing the debate victim when he was the rude one? I hope he stays away because he doesn't know how to behave himself and follow rules.

    October 27, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  3. yoga enthusiasist

    ha, he'll avoid debates because everytime he opens his dumb mouth he stuffs his foot into it...up to his knee.

    October 27, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  4. Prose

    I think Perry is starting to realize that he doesn't have a chance of getting elected.

    If he does, in fact, decide to skip out on any remaining GOP debates, he's pretty much committing political suicide.

    October 27, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  5. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican I'd be rich!

    Perry should just call it quits now because it's over. The Palin of Texas – so he got roughed up a little and now he doesn't want to play.

    October 27, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  6. GEEP10

    Rick your butt showed up, but your brain never did

    October 27, 2011 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  7. Squigman

    Looking forward to election day. Think I'll pass on voting for any republicans.

    October 27, 2011 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  8. Robert

    For smart and quick-thinking people who know the issues, debates are an opportunity not a problem.

    October 27, 2011 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  9. Anonymous

    That would be a huge blunder not showing up to debate. If Perry does that his fate will be sealed. People would look at it as being a coward. Running away when things get tough. Weak leader.

    October 27, 2011 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  10. D

    No surprise here.
    When you get owned so badly at the previous ones, might as well skip the rest!

    October 27, 2011 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  11. Dixie

    He's skipping a televised debate, where he can reach millions, to spend time in Iowa, etc. where he'll possibly see only 2000-3000 people (estimate) per stop? The Texas tough guy is running scared. Gov Perry, do you find it easier to flim-flam folks in person?

    October 27, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  12. JohnOBX

    Perry said he would no longer participate in further debates, but if the other candidates want to join him in a prayer circle, he'd stomp a mudhole in...er...that he would welcome them in that particular forum.

    October 27, 2011 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  13. dina

    Well he is just too stupid to debate so what else can he do but not do the debates. Anyone can see what he is doing. He is used to winning with his gang like running for Governor. This is the big time and he can't quite figure out what he has to do so he doesn't do anything that makes him look dumb which is not hard.

    October 27, 2011 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  14. Ann

    Can't take the heat. Forget about it.. Perry. YOU LOST ALREADY.
    Can get the right words out.... This is not a YELLER POSITION.
    YOU ARE OUT OF THE LEAGUE.. lIKE PALIN. GET OUT

    October 27, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  15. Joshua Ludd

    We all know why... this yokel can't keep his foot out of his mouth long enough to say his own name.

    October 27, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  16. why1

    Rick, unless you can lie eloquently, the debates will wbe your waterloo! Romney can flipflop and everyone knows that he is trying to please the mad tea partyers. Cain just jokes to avoid the pain. He adds extra cheese to say cheese.Ginrich is a shameless;can strke below the belt. Paul knows he is irrelevant....rest blurt out whatever comes to their mind. You have 15 million $s. Use them to make sure Romney can't win by exposing his flipflops. You cannot lie.....why swallow your ill-fated words?

    October 27, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. Super-D

    If I kept making myself look stupid at the debates, I wouldn't want to go to any more either.

    October 27, 2011 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  18. Max

    Of course Perry is going to want to skip debates. He's not very good at them.

    October 27, 2011 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  19. The other truth

    OH, the irony! Here is a man who carries a gun while jogging to kill wildlife, sends 230+ people to their death, and otherwise flaunts his Texas bravado, but he doesn't have the cajones to stand up to his republican adversaries. What a wuss!

    October 27, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  20. why1

    Rick, Federal Reserve has decided to bury you. Invite Bernanki to Texas and make peace with him.

    October 27, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  21. ibrad

    So what is it? All those questions and numbers make his head hurt ? This looks and sounds like a George Jr moment to me !

    October 27, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  22. Chris

    Rick Perry kind of reminds me of Vince McMahon, nothing more than a blowhard bully.

    October 27, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  23. shoegazer

    And it's one,two,three strikes you're out at the old ballgame.........

    October 27, 2011 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  24. the lurid phantom

    cluck cluck, someone's chickening out!

    October 27, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  25. david bidlack

    dave from michigan i hope he does stop going to debates. i wish he and his texas cowboy boots would just walk their way home to texas! i am 61 years old and don't think i could live thru another texas bonehead being in the white house. 2 bush's one johnson and don't forget the pretend cowboy from california raegan is enough for me! don't forget old "the iraqs oil will pay for the war and he has weapons of MASS distruction" old bonehead dick chaney he lived in texas as well. there must be something in the water down there or the are all living down wind of the "local weed" grass fires!

    October 27, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
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