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. Donkey Party

    So Rick wants to pull a Sharon Angle and ditch the media? Is this clown for real?

    October 27, 2011 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  2. LiquidVelvet

    So, I'm going to take my ball and go home.

    October 27, 2011 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  3. Christy

    True answer: Because debates make him look bad. He looks like another dim bulb from Texas, which mean Bush supporters will probably like him. I live in Texas, and I don't like him. He's backed by fanatical evangelicals. I think he's dangerous. (See the article, "Rick Perry's Army of God" in the Texas Observer.)

    October 27, 2011 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  4. Kathir Sundarraj

    hes only trying to prevent voters from seeing the inevitable: romney's better

    October 27, 2011 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  5. Foreverwar

    Perryhead already skipped the debates he was in, pretty sure he will not be missed in the rest.

    October 27, 2011 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  6. M.K.

    Ha,Ha, Ha, what do you know, The big Texas blowhard has just figured out that if you cannot swim, stay out of water that is over your head. What a dumb son of a buck he is.

    October 27, 2011 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  7. M.K.

    Cant debate, cant talk , cant connect with the voters. He had better just stay Governor of Texas where all you have to know is how to shoot a gun and shoot the bull.

    October 27, 2011 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  8. bp

    God forbid that candidates for President have to do any of the following:

    1. Adjust their schedules to accommodate what voters think is important
    2. Demonstrate on cue a knowledge of issues and be able to explain why they take the positions they do
    3. Display an ability to think on their feet and react to the unexpected
    4. Show the world (not just US voters) how well they perform under pressure

    I've always dreamed of the day when the decision about whom to vote for would come down to which candidate has the better PR firm, how about you?

    October 27, 2011 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  9. rearden215

    A time-bounded response has been a fundamental part of debating since the time of the Greeks. Perhaps there were few real debates in animal science school.

    October 27, 2011 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  10. Mark


    But. But we need some entertainment of another Texan making a fool of himself. Could you imagine a third Texan elected president in the past 50 years. Having 3 Texas losers screw up the rest of the country is plain stupidity; Texas get out of America.

    October 27, 2011 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  11. jay

    Sounds like he dont want to look stupid in front of millions anymore and uses the excuse of not being able to blab any more of his stupidity. if he can't take the heat he should not be president because he folds under pressure. Man up!

    October 27, 2011 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  12. Canadian Jim

    Yeah, if I had a dumb guy like Perry to promote I wouldn't want him talking in public either. Pass along this advice to the Bachmann camp as well. On the other hand, it is funny to listen to their idiocy. It's a crazy crop of candidates the GOP are fielding. I never thought I'd say that the smartest one out there was Palin who didn't run. Right now she's looking like a genius.

    October 27, 2011 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  13. J. Baltes

    Like we can't see through this? Perry bombs in debates. Don't pretend to have a higher cause for ducking future debates. We are increasingly NOT stupid anymore!

    October 27, 2011 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  14. Kenny

    Papa Perry can not only skip the debates, he can skip right on back to Texas and skip running for president. The last thing this nation needs is another G.W. Bush. Especially one that is not even as smart as the last Bush WASN'T..

    October 27, 2011 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  15. Sphy

    Perry might as well skip the rest of the election while he's at it...

    October 27, 2011 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  16. Mdunson

    That may work in Texas but it want fly on the national level.

    October 27, 2011 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  17. OSU

    Perry, you're a genius. "These debates are very hard. Therefore, I should not have to do them. People will know I am smart because my wife says I am smart. Plus.... God don't make no junk."

    October 27, 2011 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  18. Zel Saccani

    This is not unprecedented, as Governor Perry also didn't debate his fellow candidate Bill White in our most recent Texas gubernatorial race.

    October 27, 2011 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  19. Josh P

    Whatever, he knows he wants to really skip debates because everytime he participates, his rating plummets.

    October 27, 2011 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  20. sharoom

    Huh? As a voter I would rather hear what you have to say in a debate than shake your hand and see you smile.

    October 27, 2011 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  21. Gaunt

    Anyone want to bet that if he was NOT stinking up the place at each debate with his lackluster performance, he would suddenly have time for them?

    October 27, 2011 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  22. Rick1948

    Love it. There are "too many debates". The truth is that, in any debates, his mouth proves him out to be the cow-punching moron that he really is.

    October 27, 2011 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  23. CTYank

    Rick shares a problem with his fellow candidates- delusions of adequacy. From what I've seen, no way is this guy suitable or prepared for the job of POTUS. Too small-minded and pusillanimous, for starters.
    Maybe he should just "poke Obama" in his words. (Unfortunate double-entendre there, Rick.)
    Okay, secede from debates, your heart really wasn't in it. Nor your barnacle-brain. (Nice tax plan. Not.)

    October 27, 2011 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  24. rack purra Yall

    he is so full of it. what the real reason is is that he is too bush brained to be even start to explain things in that time frame. not hard. really its not.. that and im sure no ones giving him the money... and he obviously has anger issues. see how he reacts to other candidates of his own party? howd he respond to the chinese? or russia? or iran?

    October 27, 2011 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  25. jimatmadison

    Perry's problem isn't that one minute is too short to lay out his ideas.

    It's that one minute is too long for Perry to try to sound like he understands the issues.

    If an idea doesn't fit on a bumper sticker, Perry's in over his head

    October 27, 2011 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
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