Perry jokes about debate skills but won't confirm whether he'll skip out
October 28th, 2011
02:59 PM ET
3 years ago

Perry jokes about debate skills but won't confirm whether he'll skip out

Concord, New Hampshire (CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry joked Friday a grueling debate schedule could help sharpen his skills, but he would not say whether he planned to skip any upcoming GOP match-ups.

"I don't know whether or not we're gonna forego any debates or not," Perry told reporters in Concord, New Hampshire, and joked about his notoriously lackluster debate performances. "Shoot, I'm gonna be a good debater before it's all over with."

Perry's communication director said on CNN's "John King, USA" Wednesday that the campaign was considering limiting the number of debates he would participate in favoring spending more time with early-state voters instead.

Friday the candidate was on a day-long swing through New Hampshire, filing for his primary candidacy and joking around with reporters and supporters who trailed him through the state capital.

At a press conference following his filing, Perry addressed another campaign controversy - whether he regretted re-igniting the "birther" storyline this week.

Perry told reporters he did not think his comments questioning the validity of President Obama's birth certificate were a mistake.

In an interview with Parade magazine published earlier this week, Perry said he "didn't have any idea" whether the birth certificate was real. He later clarified he had been joking and said he did believe Obama is a U.S. citizen.

"I don't consider making fun of something a mistake," Perry told reporters Friday.

When reporters asked whether Perry thought he could challenge former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, Perry made another joke.

"Yeah," he said. "I'm not just here because I like to hang around with y'all. I'm here to win."

In a CNN/TIME/ORC poll New Hampshire state poll released Monday, Romney led the field with 40% and Perry came in sixth with 4%.

During two appearances Friday afternoon, Perry emphasized his consistency while questioning Romney's.

"Like it or not, the governor's been on opposite sides of a lot of issues," he said of Romney during a local radio interview.

As evidence of his consistency, Perry pointed to his refusal to back away from some of his policies on illegal immigrants that have been controversial among some conservatives.

He will give a keynote speech to the conservative group Cornerstone Action's annual dinner Friday.


Filed under: 2012 • New Hampshire • Rick Perry
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. mk1

    And this is the type of man some people want as President who would negotiate with world leaders over treaties and other things? Man are we in trouble if that ever happened.

    October 28, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Democrat Party - leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA

    People have begun asking, when was the last time a republican did anything for America?
    ======================================================================
    Not really, just tools like you. Republicans made this country great and prosperous. Without Republicans, the country would have already been a bankrupt European socialist failure. Luckily the American people, with the aid of the Greece fiasco, have seen what the Democrats want to turn this country into, one giant government run welfare program.

    October 28, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Look at his numbers. It's all over now. The teabaggers will eat him next.

    October 28, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    I'm still voting for THAT ONE!

    October 28, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. DR

    So let me get this straight. He failed at a few debates and looking to give up? Where is the American spirit? I believe he's affected 2 much by the illegals and not the Americans.

    October 28, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. non sequitur

    Another "great" cliff-hanger headline from CNN – "Perry mocks debate skills" (on the front page) makes it sound like Perry is calling out another candidate for their debate skills. Very "clever," CNN – its sad that you feel the need to trick people into reading your articles.

    October 28, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Democrat Party - leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA

    Rick Perry got a D in economics.
    ==========================
    Versus Obama having never taken economics or failed it. His record over the last 3 years has shown he is clueless when it comes to the economy. At least Perry has grown jobs in his state. The only jobs Obama has grown are government union workers, aka dead weight overhead.

    October 28, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Romney, Perry, and Cain owe their campaign finances to big oil, big banks, big business, billionaires, bigots, baggers, birchers, and lobbyists. They are bought and paid for, and will continue the republican class warfare against the middle class.

    October 28, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Yes, Perry, you'll be real Master Debater.

    October 28, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Mayhem

    Sniffit please go on Fox or Politico websites and play with their brains for me. They need a dose of you over there. I'd love to see you take them all on. It is a fact that the most brain dead liberal is way smarter than the smartest conservative alive.

    October 28, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. EffortPA

    Perry's debating skills are consistent with somebody who had a 2.2 GPA in college. It is not the lack of debating skill, it is the lack of intelligence that matters.

    October 28, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Demo- Obama has seen more job growth (without republican help) in 2 and a half years than Bush did in 8. (CBO puts the number at almost 3 million jobs in the private sector, while Bush's job creation in two terms was close to one million.) President Obama's auto loans also saved 2 million auto related jobs. We all know republicans, Fox and you are the clueless ones.

    October 28, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. Darth Vadik, CA

    Ohhh Rick...

    ...no worries, you will get the Republican nomination...

    ...and then after Obama trounces you, you'll get a reality show like Sarah Palin...

    October 28, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. Sorensen

    He actually makes Bachman look quite bright!!

    October 28, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It looks like the right wingnuts must have gotten an "A" in their classes at Beck U.

    October 28, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. Publius Novus

    The GOP has too many "debates." Something like 23 are now on the calendar. Perry, Cain, and Willard the Weathervane should skip some.

    October 28, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. yellowdog

    For all of those outside of Texas that think we really want this loser as our Governor let me explain he only one by a miinimal margin. He only took about 37% of the vote but the way we vote is screwed up and that let him get elected and re-elected. Only the crazy right-wingers (not REAL Republicans) in Texas and the BIG money care for tihs guy. A big majority of us DO NOT WANT HIM and darn sure don't want him as President. He will do anything for anyone if the price is right and let me tell you it has to be high. He wasn't kidding when he told Michelle Bachman that he was offended at the thought of being bought off by Merck for only 5000. It would have cost them much more and probably did.

    October 28, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Stacey

    Versus Obama having never taken economics or failed it. His record over the last 3 years has shown he is clueless when it comes to the economy. At least Perry has grown jobs in his state. The only jobs Obama has grown are government union workers, aka dead weight overhead.

    ROTFLMAO! I almost wet my pants after reading this! Perry "grew" jobs in Texas? Oh, you mean all those minimum wage jobs held by illegal immigrants? Rick Perry is a coward and a blow hard. Attempting to insult Obama isn't gonna help Perry win a general election.

    October 28, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Stacey

    Another "great" cliff-hanger headline from CNN – "Perry mocks debate skills" (on the front page) makes it sound like Perry is calling out another candidate for their debate skills. Very "clever," CNN – its sad that you feel the need to trick people into reading your articles.

    lol! It's sad that you're dumb enough to let CNN trick you! Hysterical

    October 28, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Unfunded republican wars, unfunded republican tax cuts for the wealthy, unfunded republican drug programs, and unfunded bank bailouts, that added of $5.5 trillion to our national debt, are examples of republican fiscal sanity?

    October 28, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    where does he get the 'we' from? I don't think WE'VE decided yet? exactly what we need in a president, someone with no ideas that relies on other people to tell him what he should do.

    October 28, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    Democrat Party, leftist, etc..., would you have taken one of his mn-wage jobs? Could you feed your family with those jobs? Would you take a job with no health insurance? Probably not. Of course, thanks to Mitt Romney, you would have access to that in MA. Didn't you already say Romney was a sure thing? I guess you like the healthcare law, then. Nice to see you're a closet socialist.

    October 28, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Shoot, I'm gonna be a good debater before it's all over with."

    Not going to happen, Rick. Best keep to shaking hands, buddy. Everything else is way above your pay grade.

    October 28, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. ClarasBeau

    "Shoot, I'm gonna be a good debater before it's all over with."
    ----------
    No, yer not.

    October 28, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. gb0423

    "I don't consider making fun of something a mistake,"....so from that simplistic logic it is not a mistake for us to think you are a moron. Got it thanks!

    October 28, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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