(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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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.
He was trying his darned best not to laugh at Herman Cain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
"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."
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.
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.
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.
Wow...pass the popcorn....it just keeps getting better and better ....what a show this Republican primary group of candidates can put on!
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
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.
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.
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?
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!
Imagine Perry is given the nuke code and he behaves this way. God forbid we will all perish without even saying the last prayer.
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.
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.
Was that Frank Callendo on stage in New Hampshire? He's got his Parry impersonation down pat.
If you don't think acting strange during a speech will end your run, just ask Howard Dean
if you don't remember him, i know republican memory problems. go ahead Google "Howard Dean"
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 : (
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.....