Perry faces scathing reviews day after debate
September 23rd, 2011
02:12 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry faces scathing reviews day after debate

Orlando (CNN) - Rick Perry may be a little saddle sore after the rough ride he had at Thursday's GOP presidential debate, but the real question is whether the front-runner in this horse race did more than just throw a shoe.

Republicans looking for reviews of Rick Perry's performance can go right to the search engine that sponsored the debate, Google.

Political Notebook: Listen as CNN's Candy Crowley joins Bob Costantini to contemplate if the GOP field is automatically being culled; plus, David Stockman sounds off on present-day economic policies and politics in Washington.

Bill Kristol wrote in the conservative Weekly Standard, "it was close to a disqualifying two hours for him."

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation wrote that Perry had "a really bad debate."

Alexandra Petri, a columnist for the Washington Post, tweeted the debate had rendered Rick Perry's campaign "shovel ready."

When Perry mistakenly claimed that Mitt Romney had once supported Pres. Barack Obama's health care law, the former Massachusetts governor barely bothered to respond.

"Nice try," Romney quipped.

Perhaps just as damaging was the Texas governor's defense of his past support for in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants. Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum both piled on.

"That kind of magnet draws people into this country," Romney said.

Santorum had even harsher words: "I would say that he is soft on illegal immigration."

Perry seemed to question their compassion, not traditionally the best way to win over the party's anti-illegal immigration activists.

"I think you don't have a heart," Perry said. "This was a state issue. Texans voted for it. And I still support it." His rebuttal was met with both cheers and boos from the large audience.

At a post-debate speech to Florida conservatives, Romney said immigration is a matter of the head and the heart.

"I think that if you are opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn't mean that you don't have a heart, it means that you have a heart and a brain," Romney said at a conservative action meeting in Orlando Friday.

Perry wasn't about to let that slide.

"As conservatives we know that values and visions matter," Perry said at the same event later in the day Friday. "It's not who is the slickest candidate or who is the smoothest debater that we need to elect. We need to elect the candidate with the best record and the best vision for our country."

Little more than a month after tossing his cowboy hat into the ring, Perry has quickly galloped to the head of the pack. Now, the Lone Star governor is finding out it could be a bumpy ride to the nomination. But analyst Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, takes a long view of Perry's political track record, noting that the candidate has never lost a race.

"It's very difficult to get into a race this late and then have four debates in basically five weeks," Reed said. "I wouldn't underestimate Rick Perry."

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. David D.

    Conservatives have various myths, like "tax cuts increase revenues" and "we have a spending problem not a revenue problem" and "global warming is a hoax" and "social security is bankrupt" etc. etc. Very little of what they say is true so watching them debate which one is a bigger liar than the others is simply hilarious to me.

    September 23, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Kenny K

    Perry is a democrat; all his actions support that. He may as well start campaign for Obama.

    September 23, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. thomas

    Whats not good forTexas ,isn't good for the world ," RICK PERRY " !

    The Texas prison system on Thursday abolished the time-honored tradition of offering an opulent last meal to condemned inmates before their executions, saying they would get standard prison fare instead.

    That means you can no longer order Freedom Fries for your last meal !

    Last weeks Perry election party in Texas cost the state one million in catering cost , not to mention the catering company was shipped in from California ! FOR REAL !

    September 23, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. rs

    Perry, ever the lunatic may have lost this debate- and perhaps his candidacy, but he successfully nudged Romney ever further right. At some point the Republicans will be so ultra-rightist in their positions they will only get the votes of the fringe Tea Party. Once there they cannot backtrack to the middle ground- their credibility (low as that is) will only get clobered if they re-cant. They cannot siphon off any Democrats with their radical ideologies, and not likely very many independents if they keep going like this.

    September 23, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. John

    Ralph Reed is an analyst?

    September 23, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Mediaprof

    In this debate, Perry appeared to be all hat and no cattle.

    September 23, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Just like Trump, another one issue tea bagger bites the dust.

    September 23, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Enough is Enough

    Perry said,"We need to elect the candidate with the best record and the best vision for our country." Since Perry's vision is for taxpayers to fund the college education for illegals he is clearly the wrong person for the job. Thinking that my kids would have to pay more for toution than an illegal does is truely sickening.

    September 23, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. LovesIrony

    and no comment on the booing of an active duty soldier?

    September 23, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    Oh, oh, the teapublikans are beginning to turn on him. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, hey, hey goodbye 🙂

    September 23, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    Gov. Yeehaw got booed for his stance on immigration. I think he'll be slipping in the polls this upcoming week.

    September 23, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Inrealityhere

    Perry won't be perfect president, as would none of the other candidates, but we need a new brand of "hope and change". The current changes are turning us into a hopeless nation.

    September 23, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. kris

    Debates are tough, especially for people that are not quick thinkers or as well versed in policies and positions as they should be. That's perhaps why Sarah Palin hasn't tossed her hat into the ring yet; she is NOT a good debater and would rather avoid looking bad in the debates a la Perry.

    September 23, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Jim

    That's funny. I question the GOP's compassion for everyhting but money. That's the only thing they have it for hands down.

    September 23, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. karen in texas

    It's about time for our illustrious governor to lose an election...we sure are sick of him here.

    September 23, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Stacey

    Perry is just downright scary – and crazy too.

    September 23, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    If you're out there God, PLEASE save us from the GOP

    September 23, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Dallas

    It's a lucky thing that the typical republican voter doesn't care how smart their candidates are. The very fact that Palin, Perry, Bachmann et al have national support proves it. As long as they are folksy and touch on all the right religious and flag and abortion and gay and illegal mexican related points, they are eminently electable - whether they have any skills or intelligence to govern the most powerful country in the world or not. Thanks FOX News for creating these masses. Who would have thought that a single Australian would be the thing that finally destroyed America.

    September 23, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Joe

    I wouldn't underestimate Perry, either. He has the potential to make George W. Bush look good by comparison. Perry's nomination will guarantee Obama's reelection.

    September 23, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. A Repulbican

    No, my problem was that I overestimated! He's over his head, and winning in texas and winning in America! Even he recognized that in his secession rant!

    September 23, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. jennifer in Houston

    Slick Rick has always been able to avoid debates.. now we know why.. He sucks.

    September 23, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. diridi

    just a plain Idiot...o.k,

    September 23, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    One thing I find out from GOPers they not happy with their candidates

    September 23, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. GOP = Greed Over People

    "takes a long view of Perry's political track record, noting that the candidate has never lost a race".

    But now Perry must appeal to someone other than slack-jawed, backwater Baptists to win the general election!

    September 23, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  25. sortakinda

    Great disconnect between the photo and the headline of this article. Reminds me of Alfred E. Neuman: "What? ME worry?"
    Yee-ha. Perry's having hisself a good time.

    September 23, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
1 2