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Perry originally made the comment at the Fox News/Google debate in Florida after taking heat for signing off on a Texas law that allows tuition credits to certain illegal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

    If that is true about the media stirring the pot, he doesn't have to "bite" – he could ignore whatever it is they are trying to do, be a grownup and answer the question in an intellectual way. He was the one who stirred the pot with Rommey over hiring illegals a few years ago. He is pulling a Palin, he can't have his handlers right by him to tell him what to say and how to answer the question. Just imagine him in the Press Room answering questions from the Press Corp – that would be a challenge worth seeing!

    October 26, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    what happened to all the "YEE-HAW!!" that Perry was supposed to bring the the GOP?? This has been about the biggest flop the GOP has had in history.

    October 26, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Kool Aid

    Awww...poor baby! Got your little culo chewed to pieces by a bunch of other folks who also don't know how to debate...tisk, tisk, tisk....

    Get real, you idiot. Shouldn't have done the debates? Stir up the issues between the other candidates? Brother, that's Democracy! I'm sorry the rest of the country isn't as narrow minded as your sh*t-kicking brethren there in Tejas! Now...get lost!

    October 26, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Robert

    Translation: "I regret opening my mouth without a handwritten list of things not to say. But please, don't take it personally. I'm a bigot. So, yeah, those debate thingies, they're just here to cause trouble. They're not provin' anythin'. The American People don't want to hear 'words' or 'thoughts' they just want to see us be the best nation we can be, and that happens with me, and all the oil I'm going to drill when I become President!"

    October 26, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. Go Home Tex!

    LMAO ... you got to be kidding. He sounds like the spoiled kid who took his ball home because no one wanted to play on his terms. I guess I would regret everyone realizes (esp. the people of Texa) that I was an idiot!

    October 26, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. candycane

    Excuses, Excuses!! He did plenty of "stiring it up" himself!! It's plain and simple, Rick Perry is NOT qualified to be President of the United States!! Somehow I cannot see him negotiating with any foreign leaders. And I don't know about you, but I certainly don't care to see Corporations have their income taxes decreased! His 20% flat tax proposal is all about the RICH people and corporations in this Country. Perhaps it is time for "someone" to "poke fun" at him!!!

    October 26, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. Pat in IL

    Really??? You've just made another stupid statement. What you're saying is that you're not smart enough, knowledgeable enough, or quick enough on your feet to be an effective politician (outside of Texas). You had every opportunity in the world to switch the direction of conversation in the debates if you wanted to, but you didn' were too busy talking trash – really cool (not).

    October 26, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Martha in CF

    I guess you better hang it up and go back to Texas. You are not fit to run America...Plain and simple.......

    October 26, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. dreucalypt

    Perry would rather have campaigned wholly by circulating ugly lies through ads funded by secret committees and secret money. Why not, it's how Republicans always campaign!

    October 26, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. Max

    Here he goes again

    Perry simply doesn't get it. Any presidential candidate MUST take part in debates. That is the forum designed for them to express themselves to the people whose votes they crave. What does he actually mean by being sorry about debating? maybe he should say that he is sorry that he does not know the basics of debating.

    This means he needs to do some crash program to acquire the basic debating skills. Does this mean he's finished campaigning?

    Unfortunately for Perry, he hasn't seen anything yet. The debates during the general election are more gruesome.

    Here he goes again demonstrating his ignorance.

    October 26, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. RobynH

    Perry does the standard retreat performed constantly by every ultra right wing ideologue.
    Whenever anyone asks you a tough question, retreat to Fox News and whine about how unfair everyone is to you.

    God, are you three years old? Stand up and be a man, you wimp.

    Either stand up in public and defend your insane ideas, or preferably, get better ideas.

    October 26, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. David in Cincinnati

    The single glimmer of hope among the current gang of hopefuls was Perry's stance on immigrant children. Surely there's a Republican out there somewhere with working grey matter.

    October 26, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. closetiguana

    Rick Perry: "Regrets?" "Allowing myself to be vetted" "What was I thinking?"

    October 26, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Paul

    Hahahah – I'm reminded of the child who cries about the sandbox game rules. When asked why he hates the rules, he blubbers "because you're winning!"

    That a Rick Perry, a Sarah Payme, or a Michelle Blockmind could rise to a national stage. And worse, have followers. Utterly tragic.

    October 26, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Bundermint

    Debating is about knowing the candidates. I won't we won't abandon debates to please Mr. arrogant.

    October 26, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. Malcolm

    Who allows this guy to speak? At least Palin's camp knew how "un-smart" she was and kept her away from the media. Perry seems to say things that get stupider and stupider(er) everytime he talks.

    October 26, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. closetiguana

    The more Perry talks the deeper a hole he digs.

    October 26, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Guitar

    One question never brought up to the 'campaigners' is, if their jobs back at home, (Governors, Senators, Reps, etc) are so important, pressing, and time consuming when they are at those positions, then how are they able to spend so much time away, (over a year) from those jobs while on the campaign trail? Yes, yes, we'll hear, "I am kept constantly abreast of all matters in my state"....blah, blah, blah. It's my contention, that is they're able to run those jobs 'part time' while out away and far from their respective states campaigning, then they should be paid accordingly: with PART-TIME Compensation from their respective states – if at all. Isn’t it vital they are at the office IN their Capitols DAILY for votes, legislation, important matters of state? Guess not!!

    October 26, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Godfrey

    Perry need to understand that the debates are not the problem, taking part in debates is not the problem, he is the problem. He's simply NOT ready to be president of the United States of America. On what basis was he elected to be the Governor of Texas? I wonder, did they have debates among the candidates?

    October 26, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. BeverlyNC

    If Perry cannot even debate the unqualified Republicans on that stage – he is certainly not qualified to be a leader of ANYTHING. The regret is what TX has for ever electing this corrupt man for Governor. He has destroyed TX education, jobs, and ran up such a huge debt he took the Obama stimulus money (he said he would never take) and misused it. It was NOT used for jobs but to help fill in the giant debt he had caused by catering to the oil companies there. Perry is just another Republican joke and non-leader.

    October 26, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Texas calm

    If Perry can not understand that without a job, you can't pay taxes anyway. He is truly a nut case.
    His whole platform is to bully anyone in his sights, and then lay blame for the subject of the day.
    Do you know he refused to debate Bill White, the democrat he ran against for the last governors race?
    And for obvious reason we all know now. White would have exposed Perrys stupidity and then chewed him up!
    Perry lied to all of us in Texas about his aspirations to run for President, not to mention the many other topics he lied about during his governors campaign.
    But what is most scary would be is what he intends to push through into law using executive order.

    October 26, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    These people have got to come terms with their LIMITATIONS.
    How they have managed to deceive themselves into thinking that they have all the nuances that it takes to be President (KochCain, Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, Rommney) is beyond my understanding.
    You've got to know when to fold up.......know when to walk away.

    October 26, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    Folks, he's bought and paid for by the people who want to make sure you don't get ahead. Apparently Rick Perry thinks the private sector never makes any mistakes and will always make sure everyone prospers. He believes this even while the policies he's championed have dramatically increased the poverty rate in TX, and have resulted in a higher percentage of high school drop-outs than any other state. He has destroyed TX to keep his own job.

    October 26, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Jim

    Perry needs to understand that the debates are not the problem, taking part in debates is not the problem, he is the problem. He's simply NOT ready to be president of the United States of America. On what basis was he elected to be the Governor of Texas? I wonder, did they have debates among the candidates?

    Can anyone imagine President Perry giving a major speech at the United Nations? What are earth would we be thinking by electing Perry as president? we'd be as dumb as the current teapublicans in Congress.

    October 26, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. Gee

    ...and there I thought it was going to be that he allowed the state to murder a man who had been proven innocent of the crime he was convicted of. (Cameron Todd Willingham: not necessarily a good man, but also not a murderer, and proven so by forensic science)

    October 26, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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