Perry expresses regret over taking part in debates
October 25th, 2011
10:43 PM ET
9 years ago

Perry expresses regret over taking part in debates

(CNN) - GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry said if he had made any mistakes thus far in the campaign, it was "probably ever doing one of the" debates.

"All they’re interested in is stirring it up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people," Perry said on Fox News Tuesday.

Answering criticism over his debate performances, the Texas governor has repeatedly said Americans weren't looking for the "slickest" candidate or the smoothest debater in the race.

Perry, who rolled out his flat-tax plan Tuesday in South Carolina, again said he used the wrong word when describing people who disagreed with him on immigration as "heartless."

He first dialed back his remark in late September after facing a strong reaction from within the GOP.

Perry originally made the comment at the Fox News/Google debate in Florida after taking heat for signing off on a Texas law that allows tuition credits to certain illegal immigrants at public universities.

In the interview Tuesday, Perry also took a shot at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who sparred with Perry during the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate last week in Las Vegas.

Continuing his attack on Romney as a flip-flopper, Perry said: "In his own words, he says 'Listen, I need to say whatever I need to say for whatever office I'm running for'."

Also see:

Perry to meet with S.C. governor

Perry on Obama: 'It's fun to poke at him'

Perry to meet with DeMint

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry
soundoff (437 Responses)
  1. Mr. Zippy

    I had him pegged as a dipstick the first time I heard him speak.

    October 26, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Jeremy

    "talking about the issues that are important to the American people"

    Hmm... how about re-wording it to say this:
    talking about the issues that are important to a very small subset of the American People...namely residents of the state of Texass

    October 26, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Clouds9

    Buh Bye!

    October 26, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. Ted

    Another moron politician.

    October 26, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. tor5

    The icing on the cake is that this loser is going to spend millions destroying Romney. Every time I get frustrated with Obama I just have to look across the aisle. Whew! If any of them dare express a realistic idea or a shred of compassionate dignity, they’re booed off the stage. What a freak show.

    October 26, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. Lim Rick

    "There once was a fellow named Perry

    Who turned out to ba a total fairy.

    He cried more each day

    Until America had to say...

    Rick, here's your blanky, Dingleberry."

    Made up while I wait for tires to be installed on my truck just now. Rick, you make this too easy.

    October 26, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. no1atall

    I don't believe that every one in Texas is dumb, but how in the world did this guy get and hold on to the governors office for so long? He's an idiot.

    October 26, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. hwy911

    Incredibly inferior GOP candidate game plan: 1) Make big splashy entrance to the race, late, because then you can try to convince people that you were dragged into the thing by the people (you didn't REALLY want to run – it was all them other folks that needed you to run); 2) Attack Obama. Often. Doesn't need to be true, just go in on the attack, and make it big – absolutely EVERYTHING is his fault; 3) Blame the other candidates for making you look bad; 4) Blame everyone else when the press picks up on the fact that you're a complete idiot; 5) Get a job at Fox News when it all goes to ... dust.

    October 26, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Julie

    How ironic.. this statement will be the next thing he regrets.

    October 26, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Penobscot

    What a corn hole. Perry is to politics what Larry the Cable Guy is to comedy, except Larry is acting.

    October 26, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. jj

    Thank goodness the debates exposed Perry for the idiot he is.

    October 26, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Jeremy

    that's "cool, CALM and collective

    NO. It's COLLECTED moron. COLLECTED. Jesus.

    October 26, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. NVa Native

    I don't think any of our politicians really get just how angry Americans are about the damage the unstemmed flood of illegal aliens has done and continues to do to our country.
    Hey tee-bags ~ you don't get to speak for the rest of us. But let me try ~ "WE" care about jobs & the economy – not what ethnic or social group you & your fox celebrities want to demonize to cover for the GOPs screwing everything up.

    October 26, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. roscoe

    Rick probably has regrets but I bet his son is regretting his decision to quit his job......oh wait, that was Obama's fault. I wonder if Rick ever regrets marrying that idiot but they are two peas in a tea bag.

    October 26, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  15. FactCheck

    As Tine Fey so famously put it, dog gone that mainstream gotcha media with their "follow-up questions", 'fact checking", or "incessant need to figure out what your words mean and why ya put them in that order".

    October 26, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. Market Cap

    I hope the GOP nominates this dud. It will be like the year they nominated Sarah Palin and her grandpa from Arizona.
    "But Fox News said he was he was ahead in their own polls.... I don't understand...."

    The story of your lives.

    October 26, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    When you appear stupid compared to several of the Republican hopefuls I can understand not wanting to be there. The female candidates are vindicative harpies who can't even keep a staff together. The rest of the male candidates are so busy telling us how bad their fellow travellers are that we seldom hear anything constructive from them.

    The basic chant, sometimes bellowed almost in chorus, is: "I'm not Obama". When they tell us the Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility, I remember that under the last Demorat we had a provisionally balanced budget. The Republicans let the banks and Wall Street control themselves and then handed the worst economy since the depression to Obama and said: "It's all his fault".

    Virtually every depression and recession has been started or made worse under Republican rule and the cleaned up by the Democrats who replaced them. Historically accurate. Of course the Democrats are the finest politicians money can buy, but I would rather have a crook than a dummy.

    October 26, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. dsh

    seems like a phony

    October 26, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. randme

    He wants to be president but doesn't want to be criticized. Boy, is this guy in the wrong game.

    October 26, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. one voice

    His next move will be write his talking points on his hand.

    October 26, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Kevin

    Yeah, the old saying, don't go into a fight unarmed. In this case, Perry would have needed to be armed with a very minimal amount of intellect. He couldn't do it. Sad, when you consider his opposition, and how simple minded and out-of-touch that entire cast of characters is. It's pathetic that those are our choices.

    October 26, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. Abilene TX

    Perry wants to be ordained President it seems. Perry refused to debate in Texas is why he is not used to debates. The guy is a coward and an embarrassment to Texas..

    October 26, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. Jersey George


    Rick Perry is running for "Whiner in Chief" ...
    And his wife Anita as "Whining First Lady".

    October 26, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. Penobscot

    He's Perry the Cable Guy....what a joke.

    October 26, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Trim

    Hard to believe this unit was once the frontrunner. But then again, so was Michele Bachmann. At least Romney is coherent and somewhat presentable as a candidate. Romney is our only real chance against Obama's Chicago-style class-warfare machine.

    October 26, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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