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. Philojazz

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

    Well, let's take his advice, and then look at another sentence in the article: During two appearances Friday afternoon, Perry emphasized his consistency while questioning Romney's.

    This reminds me of the farmer who said his pet pig is even more consistent in his political views than Rick Perry is. Namely, he doesn't know a damned thing about anything! But that still doesn't mean his pig should be President. As far as Rick Perry goes, you figure it out. Just joking..

    October 28, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    Perry knows with his falling numbers all it would take to completely eliminate him was a failure on his part to skip debates -so he'll show up and continue to fight a losing battle.

    Thankfully, the country now knows what the cost of electing another ignorant Texan will amount to – so even if he manages to be the last idiot standing – he doesn't stand a chance of becoming POTUS.

    October 28, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Former Republican, but never again!

    Perry is nothing but a coward!

    October 28, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. Democrat Party - leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA

    Sorry Perry, I think you shot yourself in both feet with those horrible debate performances and then there is your stand on illegal immigrants. We simply can't afford to risk losing the election with you. Romney is sure thing.

    October 28, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |

    Rick Perry: the male Sarah Palin.

    October 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    He's a big joke. The folks in Texas should hang their heads in shame that they were fooled into voting for this corporate shill THREE TIMES. Shame on THEM.

    October 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. AB

    Perry's debate skills are attrocious and are not a laughing matter. He needs to improve those skills if he wishes to be taken seriously as a bonafide candidate for 2012 Presidential Campaign. The campaign for the U.S. presidency is serious business and requires a candidate with serious knowledge, skills and abilities. That candidate going on to debate President Obama is very serious business because Obama has deadly serious knowledge, skills and abilities and cannot be taken for granted by any Republican candidate.

    October 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. We ALL Know, Mami

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

    Uh, huh! That's right, Guv'nuh Good Hair - you gotta use the word "shoot" somewhere in thee, eh?!

    Before it's all over with, you are going to STILL be the best-haired one there!

    Hey, guv'nuh, what DID they tell you about the hair?

    [Que te dijieron del pelo?]

    October 28, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    How you redneck, cigarette-smoking, beer-swilling hicks like paying to drive on Perry's Spanish Toll Roads?


    October 28, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |

    Rick Perry got a D in economics. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH!

    October 28, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    He'll show up. He's just testing the waters to see if you can skate his way out ot if.

    October 28, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Jamie from Riverside

    Ok I give him that he's consistant; consistantly hapless.

    October 28, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    People have begun asking, when was the last time a republican did anything for America? Other than Ensign resigning, this could be it, if Rick skips the debates. Big corporations, big oil, big banks, Wall Street, and lobbyists have given Mittens the nomination, so Rick should take his $17 million in campaign donations back to Texas, and use it to paint that rock.

    October 28, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Rosslaw

    No Rick, you mean you're going to be a gooder debater before its all over with-which should be shortly. How about a remake of your entire narcistic personality as in renaming your boots? I think Hall and Oats would be cool names for a Texas governors cowboy boots.

    October 28, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Lee

    Dont know if you are going to debate or not? Guess we can assume that when that 3am call comes into the White House, we wont know if you are going to answer it or not, eh?

    October 28, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Perry's got jokes.
    Just look at his debate performances.

    October 28, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. katiepea

    a year ago i would have told you obama couldn't be re-elected, now the only person who would stand a chance at defeating him is being shunned by the GOP. perry, romney, cain, bachman, lol, these folks are absolute clown puppets who change on every single issue depending on who they're talking to. i'm straight conservative, ron paul is the only republican on stage, sorry guys, unless the GOP puts ron paul up as their candidate it's 4 more years of obama, the other people just don't have a chance, every person under 35 i talk to wants to vote for ron paul, and generally expresses that they won't bother to vote for any of the other people. i'm likely to agree, the GOP totally ignores the most electable individual because he's too much of a threat to the status quo. rick perry, hermain cain, mitt romney are seriously political jokes, the GOP is throwing in the towel, this isn't even an effort.

    October 28, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    I wonder whose idea this was. One thing is for sure. Perry will not look good standing there as one of the "outside four", instead of being in the middle of things with the "center four" top runners. It won't look good after being in the center so many times. Do you think Gov. Perry is skaird?

    October 28, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. David

    The voters are "gonna be" finding out he is an idiot.

    October 28, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It is so amazing that the rump swabs who support the republican party have to clean up so much crap.

    October 28, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    The President will eat Ricky up in debate.

    October 28, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. SaintM

    Perry is toast, Romney will be toast also–as will many Repub reps. None of these two "front runners" will outrun our president on his re-election bid.

    President Obama 2.0

    October 28, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. M. Smith

    The issue is NOT his lack of 'debating skills' per se, a supposed basic tool of even a rookie politician. The real issue is his obvious inability to coherently communicate (and think). We have already had one like him 3 years ago for 8 miserable years. The movie stunk then. And I for one don't want to see a repeat!

    October 28, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. johnborg

    Mr. Rick Perry, you are out. Go back to Texas.

    October 28, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. Robert Holt

    In 1960 Richard Nixon came off bad enough debating John Kennedy that it pretty much cost him the election. If Richard Nixon had declined to debate John Kennedy and won the presidency in 1960, how different history would have been.

    October 28, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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