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Perry originally made the comment at the Fox News/Google debate in Florida after taking heat for signing off on a Texas law that allows tuition credits to certain illegal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

    Rick Perry is a sorry excuse of a debater. Willard made him look like he was playing in the minor leagues.

    October 26, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Puddin

    This is not the only thing he should not have allowed.. Reference an article in the Aug. 7, 2011 edition in the "Houston Chronicle." The headline reads "Not Cool. The Texas Legislature cooks its books – and leaves the elderly to cook." "Our electric bills each month includes a fee to help the state's poor and elderly pay for air conditioning, This year, during one of the hottest summers we've ever had, most of that money isn't being used for that purpose. Legislators call the resuffling the redirection of a dedicated fund when it is actually stealing – both from ratepayers and from the poor and elderly. " The money is being stashed to help balance the budget. I especially liked the last paragraph of this article..."There's a special place for people who behave like that. Abd it is a hot one."

    October 26, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Glenn

    Shouldn't have done any debates? You're right, Mr. Perry, you shouldn't have, because you've revealed yourself for what you are, a simple-minded man without the intelligence to keep up with the rest of those on-stage phonies. My, how the savior hath fallen.

    October 26, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Ed DFWTX

    Perry has "boot in mouth" disease that doesn't serve him well in debates or even speaking to reporters or the general public for that matter! Many in Texas already knew about the MYTH of Rick Perry, now the rest of the nation to "behold his greatness". and larger than life ego. Also, if you need a job come on down to Texas to get one of these low paying minimum wage jobs with little to no health benefits that our "guvner" has created.

    October 26, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. jb1963

    It took him how may debate to figure this out? If president will it take him that long to react?

    October 26, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Tired of the nonsense

    Perry's big mistake was thinking he should run for any type of election.

    October 26, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. NoTags

    Perry's just an elect me and ask no questions type of candidate. Why should anyone want to know anything about him, he's only running for the highest office in the U.S.

    October 26, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. ThinkAgain

    Any person who can't handle speaking about their policies and taking unfiltered questions from their constituents, does not deserve to even CONSIDER running for POTUS.

    October 26, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Brian

    Doesn't one have to think on their feet to deal with everything required of the President? Meeting with presidents of foreign nations, negotiating deals, etc. None of the "final push" can be done by advisers sitting in the back room.

    October 26, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. ThinkAgain

    Typical Republican: Blame everyone else for your shortcomings.

    October 26, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |

    Awe shucks, Rick. Reminds me of the song in the Wizard of Oz, "If I only had a brain".

    October 26, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Apparently the good Governor does not realize that he needs to be seen in an interactive environment, and actually making a significant contribution to the conversation. Texas has a constitutionally weak governor, who exerts far less authority than the Legislative branch. His Lt. Governor and the Speaker of the House exert far more authority than he does: all he does is run around making speeches, decorating the Governor's Mansion, and running Days of Parayer that produced no rain. He really does not have a clue about how Texas's government operates, much less how to conduct himself on the national stage, so why would anyone even think he's qualified to solve the problems of this country? All he is good at is parroting back ideas that are handed to him on something roughly the size of a postcard, and, truth be told, he's not even all that good at that, either.

    October 26, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    Folks, compare this to President Obama, who attended practically all the Democratic debates, plus the ones with John McCain, in addition to countless interviews and town halls. Plus, he wrote and published two books about himself (one an autobiography and the other a book outlining and discussing in depth his policies and political philosophy).

    How anyone can even consider voting for Parry or any other Republican is beyond me...

    October 26, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Robin Bray

    Isn'r admitting being from Texas a bigger mistake?

    October 26, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Larry L

    His willingness to comment about debating validates his dive in the polls. He's essentially saying "I regret showing people how poorly prepared I am to be President". His failure to see how ridiculous the comment makes him look is proof of his inability to serve as POTUS.

    October 26, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. Nick

    Ha Ha.. this guy is on a sinking ship and its going down fast! He says he regrets doing the debates because all it did was "stir it up" between the candidates instead of talking about issues and then goes on to "stir it up" by taking shots at his buddy mittens... I LOVE FAR RIGHT EVANGELICAL REPUBLICANS!!! Its so depressing its almost funny!!!

    October 26, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. Kansan

    Sure, blame the people asking the questions. Bull. It's the canned non-answers that are the problem! I would LOVE to hear a substantive response to the questions of "How will you help create jobs?" other than the standard triumvirate of cut regulations, taxes and government. If Parry wants to blame someone, look in the mirror Tex!

    October 26, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. Rich

    Run Rick run.............For the good of the Obama 12 election.Barack forgot more than Rick ever knew with his Texas edjamacathun...Rick wants to cut education in order to widen the tea partys base...Rick needs to stay in Texas with Hank jr.
    as they both probably went to the same school and quit in the 7th grade and went huntin.............

    October 26, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. GE in MD

    On this point of complaint, Perry is absolutely correct.

    October 26, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. demogal

    Perry, please spare us any more of your inane blather, your blatant pandering, and you pseudo-steely-eyed stares! Go quietly away with as much dignity as you may be able to muster. Use the "spend time with my family" cliche. Just go; go now!

    October 26, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Rod in Dallas TX

    His biggest regret should be thinking it was a good idea to run for President in the first place. Funny story: When Perry first announced his presidency, he said the voice in his head, which was God, told him to run. Soon after, an Episcopal Church here in Texas wrote on the marquee out front " Gov. Perry. God here. The voice is your head is not me. Take your meds." I nearly wrecked my car because I was laughing so hard. This guy is a joke! We have suffered in Texas for far too long. I would hate to see the rest of the country deal with what we have to. Our major cities didn't vote for him. They all went democrat. It's these country bumpkins in the sticks that kept this idiot in office.

    October 26, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Liz the First

    No, Rick, your biggest mistake was thinking you were qualified to be the leader of the Free World! i know bush set the bar reeeeeeeeally low, but i'm hoping the American people have higher standards now that we saw the horrible consequences of an idiot in the White House. whoever said Obama was the only adult in the room was right on! the whole rethug field is nothing but petty, squabbling children. America deserves much better!

    October 26, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Carlos Murphy

    His biggest mistake thus far is pretending to be anything other than a money-stuffed shirt.

    He will win, as George Bush won over Al Gore.

    When he does, his Very first statement of the debates will ring true, He will use Texas (highest poverty rate, worst health care, etc.) as a model for this country and we will be left begging for coins.

    October 26, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. ThinkAgain

    @Sniffit: "Make no mistake: If a candidate at one of these debates actually actually wanted to start talking substance, facts, evidence, historical record, etc., ..."

    The Republican candidates can't do the above, because none of what they say stands up to fact-checking.

    October 26, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. BD70

    Aww poor Perry....sounds like Sarah with the lame stream media. Wha!

    October 26, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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