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Perry originally made the comment at the Fox News/Google debate in Florida after taking heat for signing off on a Texas law that allows tuition credits to certain illegal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

    Um, Rick......... you had your chance to talk about the issues. You didn't. All of the candidates showed their true colors. Fact is, they have no new ideas..... and your latest tax plan is just a rehash of old, tired, failed ideas. You guys are toast in 2011, Like Alaska's Hockey Mom.... you are an empty suit. Had her's not been so full in all the right places... no one would have noticed at all.

    October 26, 2011 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  2. Crystal Aka Obamagirl

    Look!! I didn't care what the polls state, a Mormon will never became president...It's just not going to happen...Mormons are sweet ,loving people with a wonderful sense a family...but believers in christ understand the seriousness and danger of cults...And Mormonisium is a cult!!!... try convincing the states of the south and the bible belt states...see how that flys>>>

    October 26, 2011 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  3. Scott

    Perry should regret not having a vision for the future of the country. The guy is incompetent in my view and did not live up to the hype coming out of Texas. Sorry Texas, but you guys elected a inexperienced clown for your Governor. I doubt he understands the words coming out of his own mouth. The tax plan he just announced is a complete disaster since it makes the tax code even more complex than it already is. The scary thing is that there are even worse candidates out there such as Michelle Bachmann. Republicans would like to claim that Obama is weak, but I think it is Republicans who are weak. They can't even get a couple of qualified people to try and run against Obama.

    October 26, 2011 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  4. bp

    Makes sense. Debates give voters the opportuntiy to see how candidates respond under pressure and how well they know the issues. Perry would not benefit from either of those things, so he doesn't want to debate.

    October 26, 2011 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  5. MsChris

    GOP=Greed over People!!! The republican party has done nothing but make themselves look like bad! not to mention their candidates, weak polices, and their failure to work with the president to put the country back on track..Blocking any and every bill that would promote growth, almost put our country in default!! GOP plans to boost the economy.. What a joke!!!....SHAME ON THE GOP!!! Americans know whatssup!!! Obama 2012! (That's Right!, I said it !!)

    October 26, 2011 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  6. SixDegrees

    Well, yes – the Palin Strategy of restricting question from the press and anyone potentially hostile works. If you never plan on actually doing anything, that is. As an actual candidate, though, you can't insulate yourself from the media or the public inside a friendly echo chamber. Rick, your campaign is over; just start yodeling and finish it.

    October 26, 2011 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  7. tigerakabj

    This is the hallmark of a coward. Instead of standing up, looking America in the eye, and explaining why he wants to eliminate Social Security (called it unconstitutional), secede from the union (yeah, he said that too), etc, he wants to just do the whole thing behind closed doors where nobody can ask him questions or get to the heart of what he truly stands for.

    If Perry can't handle the softball questions (and they are; nobody has asked him how he can call anybody unpatriotric and treasonous when he wants to secede from the union), then it is time for him to take his blankie and go back to Texas to suck his thumb.

    If he can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, spare us the drama, lies, and wasted money, and prepare to re-elect President Barack Obama.

    October 26, 2011 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  8. Thinker

    Not the slickest, but some intelligence is a requirement...

    October 26, 2011 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  9. Dixie

    Perry couldn't pour pee out of his own boot if the instructions were written on the heel. Mr. slick and sly.

    October 26, 2011 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  10. Jerry

    Finally this candidate says something that makes a lot of sense, at least to me. I am a life-long Democrat, but I agree with Rick Perry that all the media wants to do is foment dissension among the the Republican candidates in particular.

    And, cable news network CCN is the leader on this issue. Never mind main stream media. They are all cozy in bed with President NObama and his administration.

    Stay tuned...

    October 26, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  11. cm

    Dry up money quick, I'm about sick of him as I was of Palin. He's a nobody trying to be somebody.
    He's one of the school kids on the play ground that dared you to do something.
    I feel sorry for his way, when he start poping beer cans

    October 26, 2011 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  12. cm

    Correction; feel sorry for wife

    October 26, 2011 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  13. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"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,"◄

    It's called – "how are you able to handle PRESSURE!!!!!!!" Being the Commander in Chief gives you "grey hair" – have you noticed President Obama???? And President Obama is "cool, clam and collective."

    Perry, you will NEVER become the Commander in Chief for this country. You already have gray hairs and already aged and you're still "trying" to become President!!!

    PerryWinkle and his wife are "cry babies." Boo, hoo – my son lost his job because of Obama; Boo, hoo – everyone's picking on my husband; Boo, hoo – the debates are too hard for me to survive; Boo, hoo – go somewhere with all of that crying 🙁 !!!

    Obama 2012

    October 26, 2011 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  14. T'sah from Virginia

    oops, that's "cool, CALM and collective – not "clam"

    October 26, 2011 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  15. Dave

    The only reason Perry regrets taking parts in debates is because they expose him for what he is: slow on his feet, inarticulate, and flat-out dumb. Of course, those in Texas have known this for quite some time.

    October 26, 2011 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  16. Don

    Rick, we all express regret about you're candidacy. It's nice to see you're finally connecting with the majority of America.

    October 26, 2011 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  17. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Talk about delusional! Perry apparently believes the public wants less information, not more, about those who seek the highest office in our country. Here's a clue, Perry: If you can't defend your ideas you are unfit to be president.

    October 26, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  18. W.G.

    Perry should realize that he´s in a party of strife and division . The republicans are causing division in the U.S. and blaming the democrats for it . Like Royalists they see the 99% as a foe to be beaten into submission , the unwashed masses
    wanting to steal their country as though we are living in a Feudalistic country of the middle ages . He and the other
    republicans better realize that type of thinking and that type of gov. was OVERTHROWN !

    October 26, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  19. Clwyd

    Rick can't handle debates and came across the idiot that he is working for the rich and confused on immigration! His flat tax is just another republican plan to increase the wealth of the rich.

    October 26, 2011 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  20. Mitt Romney

    Now he regrests that he opened his mouth in debate and people found out how stupid he sounds!

    October 26, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  21. Enough is Enough

    Rick you dummy, you put the interests of illegals before the interests of taxpayers and you wonder why your doing poorly.

    October 26, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  22. Be Sane

    Oh Rick, I bet you are sorry. You showed yourself not to be Presidential material. No, the American people don't want slick, we want intelligent. And that isn't you.

    October 26, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  23. Kris in AL

    Perry doesn't regret "taking part" in the debates so far, he regrets DOING BADLY in the debates so far.

    October 26, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  24. gypsyalso

    what did mr perry expect when he agreed to participate in the circus? prayer meeting? financial advice? these are not debates – they are a circus – pitting one clown against another. and i imagine the funniest will win.

    October 26, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  25. mdn

    This is Bush's brother from another mother. He doesn't like debates because what he says does not stand up to scrutiny...even from his own party.

    October 26, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
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