Perry jokes about debate skills but won't confirm whether he'll skip out
October 28th, 2011
02:59 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry jokes about debate skills but won't confirm whether he'll skip out

Concord, New Hampshire (CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry joked Friday a grueling debate schedule could help sharpen his skills, but he would not say whether he planned to skip any upcoming GOP match-ups.

"I don't know whether or not we're gonna forego any debates or not," Perry told reporters in Concord, New Hampshire, and joked about his notoriously lackluster debate performances. "Shoot, I'm gonna be a good debater before it's all over with."

Perry's communication director said on CNN's "John King, USA" Wednesday that the campaign was considering limiting the number of debates he would participate in favoring spending more time with early-state voters instead.

Friday the candidate was on a day-long swing through New Hampshire, filing for his primary candidacy and joking around with reporters and supporters who trailed him through the state capital.

At a press conference following his filing, Perry addressed another campaign controversy - whether he regretted re-igniting the "birther" storyline this week.

Perry told reporters he did not think his comments questioning the validity of President Obama's birth certificate were a mistake.

In an interview with Parade magazine published earlier this week, Perry said he "didn't have any idea" whether the birth certificate was real. He later clarified he had been joking and said he did believe Obama is a U.S. citizen.

"I don't consider making fun of something a mistake," Perry told reporters Friday.

When reporters asked whether Perry thought he could challenge former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, Perry made another joke.

"Yeah," he said. "I'm not just here because I like to hang around with y'all. I'm here to win."

In a CNN/TIME/ORC poll New Hampshire state poll released Monday, Romney led the field with 40% and Perry came in sixth with 4%.

During two appearances Friday afternoon, Perry emphasized his consistency while questioning Romney's.

"Like it or not, the governor's been on opposite sides of a lot of issues," he said of Romney during a local radio interview.

As evidence of his consistency, Perry pointed to his refusal to back away from some of his policies on illegal immigrants that have been controversial among some conservatives.

He will give a keynote speech to the conservative group Cornerstone Action's annual dinner Friday.

Filed under: 2012 • New Hampshire • Rick Perry
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Clwyd

    What debate skills? If he goes on, which he won't, OIbama will tear him to shreds!

    October 28, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. Keith in Austin

    If Perry declines the coming debates it will come back to hurt him. I just wish Obama would decline campaining every day and start acting like a President. Not going to happen though.

    October 28, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. bajadelmar

    What, no pre-debate prayer vigil to gaurantee he'll win the debate? That's how he suckered fools into supporting him a few months ago.

    October 28, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  4. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Perry IS a moron. He should NEVER have been elected to ANY public office.
    Had I been at his podium making those kinds of gaffes, I MIGHT have said something like – "SEE, Mitt's positions are so convoluted I get lost trying to unravel them for you."

    October 28, 2011 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  5. Harald

    Yeah, Texas doesn't seem to be very lucky in producing great candidates (let alone presidents).

    October 28, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  6. Mamasrudeboy

    ....and so my fellow rePUGSlicans, tea bags and uneducated birthers....we MUST prepare for the AARRSE TRASHING we rePUGS are going to get from Sir. Obama....we did everything to make him fail.... he is like a PIT BULL in the back of a meat truck...he is as IMPERVIOUS as a rock....truly the OMNIPOTENT PRESIDENT....therefore, we rePUGS have decided TO SKIP THE NEXT presidential election....hmmmmmmmm

    October 28, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. tcaros

    The Republican strategy is to admit stupidity and hope to assimillate to the Tea Party.

    October 28, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  8. tcaros

    He's a Texan... they lie all the time.

    October 28, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  9. tcaros

    GW Bush stunk to the high heavens with his talking skills and look where it got him. Republicans are fools and so are their supporters.

    October 28, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  10. Sid Prejean

    "Shoot, I'm gonna be a good debater before it's all over with."

    Not enough debates exist until the end of time.

    October 28, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  11. K Denver

    So I guess I don't have to comment on Democrat-"progressive"-losers-something something as that has already been taken care of (but I will say this, using the word "losers" in your post pretty much sums up your intellectual maturity). To Gretchen and any other posters on here that begin talking about the President's lack of experience- Ummmmm hello? Do you understand how obtuse that argument is? He has experience being President because he is the President. Just because you are stuck in blind hatred mode, doesn't discount that experience. How exactly does Michelle Bachman (for example) have more experience being President than the President? If this makes no sense to you then you know how us logical thinking people feel when we hear your circular arguments such as these. Round and round you go and when you stop spinning in November 2012, Barack will be around for four more years.

    October 28, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. JDUB

    The man was a C- student, he is not bright. He can't debate. He is a cheerleader with good hair and a "presidential" appearance. But trust me, the right wing wacko's don't care about intelligence, just look at Arizona and their dental hygenist Governor who is dumb as a box of rocks and has no college education and can't complete a whole sentence, yet all the gun nuts and bigots love her.

    October 28, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Me talk pretty None day

    October 29, 2011 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  14. Kareny

    It's not that Perry isn't a good debater or that his performance at the debates was horrible. The problem is Perry, every time he opens his mouth he continues to let everyone know that he's running for president of Texas instead of president of the united states which shows how arrogrant, stupid, condescending & patronizing he is.

    October 29, 2011 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  15. thomas

    Perry , He funny !

    October 29, 2011 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  16. Beefburger

    Ok, you have poor debating skills, you became a politician because........?

    October 29, 2011 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  17. quick on the uptake

    his managment skills are simular to those he shows in debates. now his graft skills are pure texan.

    October 29, 2011 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  18. Bill

    Perry should loosen up a bit, maybe remove the tie and get some tattoos. A tattoo on the forehead with big letters " Stupid"
    would add a spark to his campaign.

    October 29, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  19. William

    I'm a die-hard republican and really liked Perry when he first stepped out into the limelight, but every time he opens his mouth I Like his less and less, He's proven to me he's nothing more than another career politician who's mostly out for numero uno.

    October 29, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  20. gino

    Perry's a joke.

    October 29, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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