(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said he was neither on drugs nor drunk during a speech in New Hampshire Friday, as some observers and critics have suggested.
An edited clip of the speech, in which an enthusiastic Perry laughs and jokes with the audience, went viral on YouTube, prompting some to suggest he was on pain medication for a past back surgery or under the influence of alcohol.
But in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle published Thursday, the longtime Texas governor said he did not take pain medication or consume any other substance before Friday's Cornerstone Action annual dinner.
"I've probably given 1,000 speeches," Perry told the newspaper Wednesday. "There are some that have been probably boring, some that have been animated, some that have been in between."
When asked about comedian Jon Stewart's suggestion that Perry drank alcohol before the event, the Texas governor said, "It wasn't that either."
"It's not that I wouldn't love to sit down with Jon and have a glass of wine," Perry said. "If he'll buy."
With talk of the speech not dying down, a group of unaligned New Hampshire Republican officials, who attended the event, will hold a press conference Thursday to defend the governor.
Thursday's speakers have not endorsed Perry, but said coverage of the remarks has become a distraction from serious issues on the trail in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
– CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.
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President Obama should appoint Governor Perry as America's Embarrassment, (Oh, I meant Ambassador) to Guinea.
the right and the media crucified howard dean for an show of enthusiasm, the better export parry for lunacy. poor john huntsman being on stage with these crazies and liars.
I'm thinking of starting a Bobble Head collection starting with Politicians and the first one I want is one of PERRY any suggestions of where to buy them?
Anyone who would want any of the current crop of GOTP candidates as president scares the hell out of me. Seriously, what are you thinking?!?!?
You know a politician is through when he has to explain that he was neither drunk nor stoned when he gave a speech. It will be hard for him to quit, however, since he said that God told him to run.
I hope he was drunk. It'd be even scarier to think he was like that sober.
What the heck? Maybe he was Howard Dean's roommate in college. Those two should have a beer together, alone.
as I've said b4 & will say again .. the truth is coming out ... same goes for the pizza man ... the truth is finally coming out!
He definitely had a problem with drugs and alcohol when he was in Journey.
It appears that the media is gearing up for their undermine the GOP and re-elect Obama campaign.
All the Dems need is that commercial and he is done – guarantee you in the next five days he will flip flop and claim he was on meds.
He was just practicing his standup routine.