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. Bundermint

    Yeah, how about passing on running for the presidency? U don't want people to know the truth? Well, remember some of it is written in your book. Let's see how much empty brains will vote for you.

    October 27, 2011 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  2. RobynH

    Rick Parry promises to spend more time ducking questions, bobbing for money, and weaving lies.
    Why am I not surprised.

    October 27, 2011 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  3. Sarah

    Please do skip the debates. It'll give Ron Paul more time to talk.

    October 27, 2011 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  4. NoTags

    So Perry is "flaming out" and can't keep up with his peers. He's just a GWB clone, dumber than a box of rocks and "All hat, no cattle".

    October 27, 2011 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  5. nate

    any joker, perhaps excepting huckabee and bachmann, would be better than this goon.

    October 27, 2011 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  6. Jim W.

    Can't stand the fire then I guess he'd better get out of the kitchen. What a flake! And another slick politician who doesn't want to face the glare of TV lights and pointed questions. Loser...

    October 27, 2011 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  7. Marry

    Why should Perry participate? We heard enough not to vote for him!

    October 27, 2011 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  8. Doug

    So now that this loser can't do well in debates because all he can do is attack.. This guy is so creepy... Who in America would put another Texan in office.. Come on now !!!!

    October 27, 2011 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  9. Beefburger

    Perry has been shooting himself in the foot so much I wonder if he has any toes left. He only opted in immediately after all of the others in the field were in a major debate as well. If you cant't stand the heat.....

    October 27, 2011 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  10. NSam

    This guy can not debate. We in Texas knows that. So he will find every excuse to avoid it. It is very simple.

    October 27, 2011 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  11. rickinmo

    Perry is right about the cost. Every time he opens his mouth it costs him votes. People showing up at his town halls to hear him are most likely supporters who won't want him to look bad by asking the tough questions. George Bush had lots of town halls packed with preselected supporters. Why would he want to have a town hall meeting with a a small group when he could reach millions by participating in a debate? Because, talking to a bunch of people who's votes you've already won is easier than making a fool out of yourself in front of millions. The purpose of participating in a debate is to differentiate yourself from other candidates and show that you have the better ideas. Out of sight; out of mind.

    October 27, 2011 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  12. gb

    This is what he did in his last run for gov. of TX–no debates–refused. It worked so well–elected again!–he's employing it on the nat'l l stage. And he is certainly correct. There is little chance to be misunderstood when nothing is said. Do something at which you

    October 27, 2011 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  13. Sam in NC

    Yes, taking part was a mistake...taking part in this presidential election. So in the rare event you were to be elected President, Mr Perry, are you going to duck and run from any other things that form a formidable challenge to you?

    October 27, 2011 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  14. Cainsworth

    Well, I suppose this is one way to address the fact that you're horrid in debates.

    October 27, 2011 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  15. Paul

    Now if we could just get him to stay out of public ENTIRELY and crawl back under his rock.

    October 27, 2011 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  16. EffortPA

    Yeah, if I had a 2.2 GPA in college, I would also take a pass on debating anybody.

    October 27, 2011 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  17. Stopthemadness

    Perry doesn't want to debate because every time he opens his mouth he gets caught is a lie scandal or deceitful act. He doesn't want to ruin any more of his chances of being on the ballot. SURPRISE no g.o.p. candidate will be elected lmao.

    October 27, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  18. Gavin Ford

    I guess the idiot just can't take the heat so he's getting out of the kitchen.

    October 27, 2011 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  19. Craig in Pa.

    Best to keep his mouth shut, lest he dig himself deeper into a hole!

    October 27, 2011 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Perry should take that $17 million for his campaign that the Kochs gave him and use it in Texas. He could paint his rock, open a fee clinic, provide assistance for those who have had to deal with the fire. Perry steps on his tongue every time he speaks, and has no business running for president. Actually, none of the republican candidates have any business running for president. FEMA must be wondering if they have to help the republican candidates, because they too, are a disaster.

    October 27, 2011 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  21. Debra

    Exactly what he did in Texas and got away with hiding from voters. Don't let the snake benefit from being a coward again. Send him home to be kicked out of his$10,000 a month leased home.

    October 27, 2011 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  22. dave richman

    He looked bad in all of the debates so far, so maybe avoiding them will make him look good? Don't think so. Whoever the nominee is will have to debate Obama. Perry has exposed a fatal weakness which will end his bid for the nomination.

    October 27, 2011 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  23. Mark Taylor

    II see a sunset, a guy with a horse wearing $2,000 snake skin boots who has a mouth that makes him look (and sound) like a chimpanzee. He gets on the horse and rides into the sunset. there he goes... "happy trails to you......"

    October 27, 2011 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  24. cm

    Another Palin;if you can not cook stay out of the kitchen. I guess this is something you can not buy little boy.
    I guess the Indians will win cowboy.

    October 27, 2011 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  25. I mess with Texas all the time

    Is that Perry's new campaign slogan – "In Texas, if we can't win, we surrender?" Him limited intellectual capacity is coming out in the debates and his worst enemy is himself (along with his weirdo supporters).

    October 27, 2011 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
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