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. Stan

    When President Obama was elected, we were on a fast slide downhill and that actually helped him win in 2008. Now look at what he's done since he's been in office... he has stopped the slide and it looks like we're on the road to recovery. We're more respected in the world's eyes as well. He's done everything right that could have gone everywhere bad. And now these Republicans want to come in with the same ol' same ol' leaders of the past. That, my friends, would be a mistake.

    October 28, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. MTATL67

    He tried playing the victim bring out the wife defending her man – “Those debate were unfair” – didn’t work. He tried sympathy sending the wife (again) “My son quit his job to work on his daddies campaign because of Washington” no one made the son quit he chose to and it looked bad someone quitting a job when so many are out of work just to work on a campaign – didn’t work. He tried being uber aggressive towards Mitt Romney – didn’t work. Now he is going to try “I can be taught” – Won’t work. He's tried enough to restart his failed campaign...Mr. Perry time to go back to Austin and work on your states $27B debt problem.

    October 28, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Bill in Austin

    Perhaps if he hadn't ducked the gubernatorial debates in our last governor's election, he would be better at it–perhaps???

    His strategy seems to be "duck and run">

    October 28, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. thrifty

    Dang, liberals are mean spirited and ignorant!

    October 28, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Wall Street Crime Victim

    "Republicans made this country great and prosperous. " And yet you have no examples, just another nutjob talking point with no basis in reality. Grow up.

    October 28, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. candycane

    This guy doesn't have a clue! I truly cannot believe he has been a Governor for so many years. Being the arrogant, narcisstic person he is, NO ONE can tell him anything about anything!! HE knows it all!! Kinda sounds like Sarah Palin, don't ya think??? "You bettcha"!!!

    October 28, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Voice of Reason

    Mr Perry rightly realizes that debates are meaningless. After all – what do they really show? That a candidate can think on their feet? Or that they know what they are talking about? Who needs that kind of nonsense anyway? Does anyone really think that votors want to know what a candidate stands for? Of course not! We just need somone who is tall, good-looking, has good hair, seems 'folksy', and has friends with LOTs and LOTS of $$money$$! It helps if they are willing to spew whatever nonsense appeals to the most ignorant of the crowd they are talking to, also.

    Ladies and gentlemen – I give you the GOP campaign strategy.

    October 28, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Repubtee-bagger Class Warfare - Destroyed the economy, trying to destroy the country

    Yea, Perry keep talking about how you suck.

    WOW!! Obama has the Dow up to 12,200!
    The Bush\GOP effect left the DOW at 6500!
    Time for the tea-baggers to come up with another dooms-day bomb like their fake debt ceiling crisis to sabotage the US economy AGAIN!

    October 28, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. SoSad

    Bush Perry, please don't stop going to the debates, your sooooooooooooo funny! You make me laugh, and laughter is the best medicine.

    October 28, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. NoTags

    Rick, maybe Sarah Palin can give you a few pointers on debating....No, wait Sarah never debated, she barely could only stumble her way through Katie Couric's interview.

    October 28, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Voice of Reason

    And please, Mr "Democrat Party – leftist "progressive" socialist ...etc" Can you take a minute or two to do some factchecking before you parrot whatever you heard on right-wing talk radio this morning? Your statements are repeatedly and demonstrably false and tilted so far to the right as to be almost upside-down. You are cluttering up the conversation by just spitting out nonsense without vetting it first. I suggest factcheck(dot)org, or politifact(dot)com...

    October 28, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. who cares what Sarah Perry would do?

    Sarah Perry is stupid is as stupid does

    October 28, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Jen

    He's a joke. Just quit all together.

    October 28, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. sortakinda

    Giggling like a school girl, Perry downplayed the importance of being able to speak and think at the same time.

    October 28, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. Dixie

    Perry is not intelligent, but he is slicker than snot. Should he become the GOP candidate look for the dirtiest low down campaign ever. . . he'll make McCain and Palin look like babies where dirty politics are concerned. I feel your pain you good citizens of Texas.

    October 28, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. sortakinda

    "Was Mussolini a good debater?" asked Perry. "Then why do I have to be?" He said.

    October 28, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. NVa Native

    @Democrat Party Leftist: You need to get a life. I read this blog about once a week and you spend too much time responding. I bet you are at work blogging instead of working. I am praying for you because you are so filled with hate, not free speech.
    He's probably still in his PJs and living in his mom's basement – yelling "hey ma... make me some pizza-bagels!", and has posters of Glen Beck in his nazi uniform on his walls ~ hahahahahaha

    October 28, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. GonzoinHouston

    @ Democrat Party – leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA

    Please, seek professional help. You, Rick, 4/door, etc are all displaying a marginal grasp on reality. While I may disagree with you, I don't want to see you go off the deep end and harm yourselves or others when Obama wins re-election.

    I used to think the Tea Partiers were stupid. Now I realize they are delusional. When 8 years of pure conservative economic policy led to the Great Recession, and the WMD's in Iraq were proven to be lies, and one of the most famous republican senators in the country, a legitimate war hero who had never taken an earmark, was soundly beaten by a black rookie from Chicago, it was too much. They lost touch with reality and decided that they just hadn't been conservative enough. The Tea Party is the perfect outlet for the mildly psychotic and/or religious fundamentalists.

    October 28, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. Jilli

    If Perry isn't competent enough to make it through a debate he's not competent to be President.

    Perry is the perfect example of republican crushes – looking for style over substance. You'd think they would have learned after the GW Bush and Sarah Palin debacles.

    October 28, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Comments4u

    With all this practice, he'll be a Master Debater

    October 28, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. gretchen

    What is remarkable to me is how accomplished and talented every single one of the GOP candidates are, yet many people keep insulting them and rejecting them out of hand. They all worked hard to be where they are, harder and much more honestly than BO, and they each have plenty of real world experience, much more so than Obama. Yet the media, and millions of Americans will continue to believe in BO at all costs. It is a terrible shame. I absolutely believe ALL of the GOP people debating, Perry included, would make much better leaders than BO. America has really become blind if it lets BO have another term, and if it can't see what is still being done via a twisted media. Mrs. Palin would make an excellent leader also, but the media has almost completely destroyed her and her family, at least at this moment. Anyway, I pray God will strengthen and protect all these fine people. They all will continue to help keep the US from falling all the way down. But continued support for BO by this nation and its media will defnitely hurt all of us.

    October 28, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. jmyer

    What does Rick Perry think – he can charm everyone byy appearing in different towns, shaking hands and smiling for a picture with them and he thinks that will get him the presidency? There has to be a little more effort than that. Just because he has a lot of money behind him doesn't buy him the White House – the country is smarter than that. they want to see what he is all about, and one of the best ways is to watch him in a debate with the other candidates and see how he is different from them, what he would bring to the presidency. He could not skip the national debates with the President if he were the nominee.

    October 28, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. open400

    All the good presidents had one thing in common: They were good communicators and could think well on their feet.. If you are going to get up in front of 150 million people at the State of the Union and look tired, confused or get into childish finger pointing, you will not inspire or motivate anyone. I am progressive and not a big fan of Ronald Reagan, but I must admit he was great at communicating his political views. I don’t see Rick Perry as a great communicator; unfortunately, being a great communicator is a big part of being a President(Sorry Rick).

    October 28, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |

    @Democrat Party – leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA


    You don't have to be disagreeable just because we disagree. Your posts are amusing, yes, but seriously chill TFO with the delusional ones. Have a nice day. 🙂

    October 28, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Iconoclast

    Keep practicing Rick, a blank slate like you should be able to learn. @Comments4u, not only a Master Debater, but also a Cunning Linguist!

    October 28, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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