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. pravaa

    you cant handle a few debates? And you want to be the one facing Putin leading the US side in negotiations? If you cant handle Mittens riling you, how on earth can you handle Iran and North Korea? What a joke!!!!!!

    October 26, 2011 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  2. thomas

    What Rick Perry doesn't want to talk about. .... Employment Policies Institute, Energy Citizens, Enron, ExxonMobil .

    October 26, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  3. FIELD1stSGT

    You are so correct Perry. Stay on top of the voters. Show them what they can have if they vote for you. They for the most do not have sense enough to understand if they're thinking of voting Obama back in. It will be like talking to concrete to get anything through an Obamanite's head. But there are many of us who will not go for anymore of this racist types taking over our constitution and our government. IT STOPS NOW.

    October 26, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    If you aren't a good debater, then you have to look at what you do better.

    He may lose this election, which he isn't used to, but there's a first time for everything.

    Still, he is on my short list, personally, whether he does the debates or not, because I already know all about him.

    October 26, 2011 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  5. hey

    I like how asking canidates questions about policies is "tearing canidates down" according to Perry. He's pathetic.

    October 26, 2011 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  6. TommyTT

    Perry blew it with his tax proposal. He proposed setting up an alternate way to calculate taxes and claimed it would make things easier for taxpayers. In reality it would make taxpayers calculate their taxes the old way plus the new way in order to decide, each year, which would cost them less. On the planet Earth, doing things twice makes things harder, not easier.

    October 26, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  7. bettyboop33

    What a sore loser. We dont hear the other candidates complaining about the debates. If Perry cant run with the big dogs then he needs stay on the porch. lol....

    October 26, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  8. klarg

    During the remaining debates Rick Perry will remain in his hotel room and argue with himself.

    October 26, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  9. Amazed2

    A real Abraham Lincoln this guy....

    October 26, 2011 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  10. Donaldbain

    Aw c'mon, that dog don't hunt! He appears to becoming gun-shy. Small wonder.

    October 26, 2011 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  11. Iced Tea

    Is he really too busy or is his stupidity and ignorance coming through too strong? Why is it that the entire Republican line up have IQs that match their shoe size? Isn't there anyone with the intellectual capacity to be our President?

    October 26, 2011 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  12. robert collins

    I want to be prez, but don't ask me questions. Another gun slinger from TX.

    October 26, 2011 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  13. Ingyandbert

    He should do us all a favor and skip the election.

    October 26, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  14. Oy Vey Az

    If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Gov. Perry's obviously not showing well in the big leagues. I guess it's time for him to exit the real game, spend his millions on sleeze-bag attack ads, and smile for the cameras.

    October 26, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  15. Oodoodanoo

    "Uneven"? His debate performances have all been evenly, uniformly bad.

    How much is CNN bending over backward to avoid saying the obvious: This man would be a far better debater if his mouth were filled with glue. At long last, with him polling in the single digits, his campaign has realized that he can't handle himself against a living opponent.

    October 26, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  16. Jim

    His big mistake was taking part in a debate that just showed the world just how stupid he breally is. $10.000 a month to rent a mansion for him and his wife to live in Austin while my students go without textbooks, and he cuts 75% of the funds for volunteer fire departments here in Texas. What a useless POS. Wish we had a halfway decent governor here in Texas.

    October 26, 2011 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  17. Charles Bowen

    Rick stick to shaking hands and kissing babies your no debater. Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    October 26, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  18. edpeters101

    What will the comedians do if Rick isn't in the debates? They'll be totally lost!!!!

    October 26, 2011 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  19. albie

    I didn't take him for a scared little guy – poor little dude is afraid!

    October 26, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  20. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    Ha, ha! He's scared, of course, given that he is such a bad debater. Romney will get the nomination, but Obama will win. Go, Obama and Biden! 🙂

    October 26, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  21. albie

    In a sense, his advisers are smart, because the more he talks, the more people see what is really like and the further his number will drop...

    October 26, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  22. AgrippaMT

    Perry should feel free to skip the rest of the debates. He's only dug his grave deeper in every one where he has appeared. Let Perry perish. America will be a far better place when he is gone.

    October 26, 2011 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  23. Veritas

    Ha! Perry gets his behind whooped everytime he shows up at a debate and comes away looking like an even bigger fool than before. I don't doubt that he may skip the rest of them. He's an idiot and the debates just turn a magnifying glass on the depths of his idiocy.

    October 27, 2011 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  24. Bob D.

    During the last debate....Cooper asked a specific question of Perry and Perry started talking about something else. When Cooper asked Perry to address the question, Perry said "It is your job to ask the questions and my job to talk about what I want." ....Not an exact quote, but close.

    Perry can't really complain about the debates not addressing the issues when he blatantly chose to avoid answering a good question pertaining to a major issue....probably because he knew little about the issue!

    October 27, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Why is Perry playing the debate victim since he was the rude one? I hope he stays away. He doesn;t know how to behave himself and follow rules.

    October 27, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
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