Perry: I wasn't drunk or on drugs
November 3rd, 2011
09:00 AM ET
3 years ago

Perry: I wasn't drunk or on drugs

(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.

Also see:

Poll: It's a lead for Obama in PA

Gingrich: Rival leaking Cain details would be a 'pariah'

Bachmann: No surprises


Filed under: 2012 • New Hampshire • Rick Perry
soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. Nash

    Wait a minute!@jay I thought conservatives had already ruled that liberals were responsible for the harrassment story. But as it turns out the truth has a funny way of rearing its head.

    November 3, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Palin 2112

    He was trying his darned best not to laugh at Herman Cain.

    November 3, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. AMon123

    Apparently history has proven it's not good for politicians to get overly excited and/or rowdy in speeches. We all remember what happened to poor ol excited Howard Dean. One "yeah" ruined his chances.

    November 3, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. TMAC

    I havent seen this clip, but my question is, is it Presidential for the current President to walk with, what I would characterize as a strut? He looks like he is trying to be cool, rather than be the President in every clip I have seen of him.

    November 3, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. RinMaine

    It is a real shame that you give a performance that makes you have to tell people that you were not drunk. I would almost prefer that you were drunk because that is something that we can understand and have a doctor treat it.

    November 3, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Dane

    How many of you have watched the whole speech? Not just the YouTube highlights or the piece on John Stewart. If you actually watch the entre thing, it doesn't seem ridiculous at all. Perry just comes across as very enthusiastic, and actually quite charismatic. The audience was certainly responding well. This is coming from someone who is not a Perry supporter by the way, I just think he's been judged completely unfairly.

    November 3, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. jim.mck

    As a Texan, I'd feel a lot better if we found out Gov. Perry was on drugs. That'd help explain most of his actions as Governor. Most of them anyway....

    November 3, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. NW

    "Remember when "W" tried to give the German Chancellor a neck rub on international television – and she pulled away and looked at the fool with disgust? He wasn't drunk either. Like Perry, he was simply too stupid to be the President of the United States."

    I was thinking the same, it's part of being a "good ole boy."

    November 3, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. Softship

    Considering the "quality" of that speech, I think he'd be well-advised to use one of the excuses that was offered. Cuz otherwise, it was inexcusable.

    November 3, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. dcol

    If it wasn't drugs or alcohol, that is even scarier. This man is really a true dufas. Bush was bad enough. We don't need someone in the white house we are ashamed of.

    November 3, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Democrat Party - leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA

    What a MSM joke. I've seen the speech and Perry was simply trying to be funny and friendly with the audience. Trying to portray this as anything more than that is completely dishonest reporting. But that is what people have come to expect from the leftist MSM.

    November 3, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Lori

    Wow...pass the popcorn....it just keeps getting better and better ....what a show this Republican primary group of candidates can put on!

    November 3, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. J. Richter

    He was either drunk or on drugs or occasionally imbecile. IIf my teenager acted like this in a public setting, I'd have him drug tested

    November 3, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. KJR

    We Texans know our Governor...I've seen him speak very often. His mannerisms were completely out of synch...he was definitely under the influence of something.

    November 3, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Jimmy Bob

    And y'all thought Dubya was out there! At least he doesn't belt-whip his kids like some other Texas civil servant currently in the news.

    November 3, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Halcyon

    Rick Perry: Comedian In Chief?
    Imagine Rick Perry giving that kind of speech as a UN meeting or a G20 Conference.
    Imagine America turning into the laughing stock of the world.

    Rick Perry is making George Bush look good by comparison. What is in the drinking water in Texas? Is it bourbon?

    November 3, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. Jake

    it's interesting that people are worked up over this speech! we had eight years of George W. Bush going out in public, so I'm surprised this one totally odd and un-Presidential speech caught people's attention!

    November 3, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Peace

    Imagine Perry is given the nuke code and he behaves this way. God forbid we will all perish without even saying the last prayer.

    November 3, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Byrd

    In other words, Perry and his supporters are arguing his erratic behavior was nothing more than his normal intellectual state of complete confusion and nonsense. Must be a requirement for Texas governors, since Bush was equally nonsensical.

    November 3, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Jrdz

    Looks like he needs some meds to take care of his little problem. If he is the best the GOP can do they better fold up there tent right now and go home end of story.

    November 3, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. United We Stood

    Was that Frank Callendo on stage in New Hampshire? He's got his Parry impersonation down pat.

    November 3, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. Emmy Skaddittle

    If you don't think acting strange during a speech will end your run, just ask Howard Dean

    November 3, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Emmy Skaddittle

    if you don't remember him, i know republican memory problems. go ahead Google "Howard Dean"

    November 3, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. ian

    as long as he is a baptist, nothing else really matters. everybody knows that.
    i'm prayin real hard for the rest of y'all, but i dont have much hope : (

    November 3, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. hjs3

    Just outta curiosity who do you suppose coaches these GOP "candidates" on how to answer questions?
    If they are all following some rule of thumb...I'd cut if off.....

    November 3, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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