Perry may pass on debates
October 26th, 2011
08:53 PM ET
10 years ago

Perry may pass on debates

(CNN) - Arguing the election cycle has too many presidential debates, Rick Perry's top spokesman said the Texas governor could use more time with voters instead of taking the stage with Republican opponents.

"We're about 60 days away from votes being cast," communications director Ray Sullivan said on CNN's "John King, USA" Wednesday. "The candidates need to spend time in Iowa doing those town halls and spending a lot more time with the voters, who oftentimes have the best questions and press the candidates the hardest."

Citing the dozen-plus debates in the works, Sullivan added: "There's no way that the candidates can do all those debates."

Perry, whose poll numbers have slid after a series of uneven debate performances, made headlines Tuesday when he described taking part as a "mistake."

"These debates are set up for nothing more than to tear down the candidates," Perry said on Fox News. "It's pretty hard to be able to sit and lay out your ideas and your concepts with a one-minute response."

Sullivan confirmed that Perry will participate in a debate on Nov. 9, hosted by CNBC with the Michigan Republican Party and Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

"But look, we're taking each of these as they come, examining the schedule and examining the opportunities and the opportunity costs," Sullivan told King, CNN's chief national correspondent.

Sullivan said the Perry campaign needs to be in several key battleground states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada.

"We certainly respect the process, but when you've got eight of nine candidates and 30 seconds to a minute, it takes valuable time away from campaigning in Iowa, as those elections approach," Sullivan said.

Also see:

Bachmann files to run in New Hampshire

Gingrich builds staff in New Hampshire

Trump's 'birther' prediction for Perry

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    Psssst...This just in, Tex.....The presidential campaign in its entirety is designed to break down and tear down those who would run for such high office. Is there any doubt that Perry has no burning desire to be President? Leave him in Texas, he'll do less harm to the country.

    October 26, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  2. Strangways

    Hmmm... not being able to handle off the cuff questions, has trouble speaking... who does that remind you of? No thanks, Tex... Happy Trails!

    October 26, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  3. barbarao

    there are no words. he is so out of his league. can u just imagine him debating obama? he is officially a laughing stock if there is any credibility to this report

    October 26, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  4. CBR

    What a revelation! Governor Perry did not do well because his ideas and answers did not resonate with the voters. His motive seems to indicate that he want to gain public reactions to what he says. His attempt to be and act like Ronald Reagan has not worked. He would do well to go back to being Rick Perry.

    October 26, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. Guinness

    @ 6% most candidates would end the campaign..... The fact you are @ 6% is because you opened your mouth and you sound stupid (which I refer as BRAIN DEAD).

    October 26, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  6. TeddySalad

    If his well deserved reputation for not being too smart hasn't fully sunken in with everyone, this cut and run will surely seal the deal.

    October 26, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  7. Fuzzbee Morse

    Aww, poor baby! Can't handle debating, can you? What are you going to do when you're on the spot with another world leader in a tense situation? Take a time out? Call a mulligan? Gonna use your corporate fat cat money to buy yourself a vanity show on the Hallmark Channel? You are not fit to be President of the United States. You're not even close. You don't have the skill set and you're completely out of your depth. Barack Obama would wipe the floor with you in a debate and everyone who's seen you knows it. On top of that, you're showing your macho veneer to be nothing but a thin covering for a phony little mama's boy. Do us all a favor and quit the race. You're an embarrassment.

    October 26, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  8. beevee

    All the lame excuses from a guy who is neither smart nor intelligent, for not participating in debates. I am glad the repubican voters are seeing his true form – a dud.

    October 26, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  9. skarphace

    In other words, he is considering dropping out. May as well at this point.

    Once you bring up the racist birther issue, you are dead in the water.

    October 26, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  10. Lenny Pincus

    It seems to me that Dick Perry has skipped all the debates, although his empty suit has made a number of appearances.

    October 26, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  11. BENJI

    Bye Bye! If Obama loses I hope Romney wins because the GOP hates him.

    October 26, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  12. Former Republican, now an Independent

    I believe the correct term would be "dodging" more debates. It is clear that Perry is one of the worst debaters in the field, and must duck out of all of the debates he can. Sadly, the best debater (Romney), is one of the worst candidates, in a field of really bad candidates.

    October 26, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  13. andrew

    if i was as dumb as Perry, I would also skip the debates.

    October 26, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  14. texas nani

    If you can't beat 'em, run away. This is the same stunt Perry pulled in Texas when he refused to debate Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Mark White. He is so in over his head.

    October 26, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  15. danny

    Perry should quit running for President. He's not smart enough to be President

    October 26, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  16. Marla

    He's incapable of an intelligent debate. He avoided debating the better candidate for governor in Texas with lame excuses and still managed to get himself re-elected. He thinks that it will work now, but hopefully, the rest of America isn't as dumb as Texas. Just wait until he has to face President Obama in a debate. He wouldn't stand a chance.

    October 26, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  17. DingDong

    yeah why don't you go ahead and sit this next play out buddy....ha ha

    October 26, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  18. JimAR

    This way, Perry can spend all his time investigating the President's birth certificate.

    October 26, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  19. cmofo

    Certainly couldn't hurt him any more...

    October 26, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  20. 1crusader

    Debating is a part of the the campaign process.It shows how well versed the candidates are on the issues; and their ability to defend their p.o.v.If they can't hold their own in that setting, thy probably aren't ready to be president.

    October 26, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  21. Flossy

    wow I guess ALL repubs are quitters lol

    October 26, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  22. billy davis

    Baaaaaaaaaahahahahaha, this coward wants to be President but he's afraid to debate. If this scares him a real crisis will have him quaking in his boots.

    October 26, 2011 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  23. John

    In other words he's out.

    October 26, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  24. Jose Wan Sekiavich

    Ahhh, he's got a year to talk to the voters.. and a couple of debates is too much for him (what's the real reason Rick Perry – you don't like being put on the spot?).

    October 26, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. Blinded by the republican lie

    Then I guess Perry will not be a nominee if he doesn't have the cojones to debate and follow through like everyone else and let the country see him for who he really is...

    October 26, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
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