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. Gemini Girl

    Gretchen, Gretchen, Gretchen,
    you've gotta be kidding, talented & accomplished GOP candidates?? Where has your head been all this time? In the FAUX HOLE? By the way, I understand that SANFORD is going to get his own show, that's right, Mr. Appalachian Trail himself! Somebody on TV said that the GOP's idea of JOBS is the FOX channel hiring! Too funny! Anyway, try watching a differerent channel. MSNBC, on Chris Matthew's show, gave a big segment on Romney's flip-flop-flip-flops...Newt's shortcomings (the bumbling Tiffany explanation, etc.), the fact that there is a TEA party out there that recommends Michelle Bachmann RESIGN from running! So try changing the channel, you just might learn something...LOL.

    October 28, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. Greg

    Rick Perry. Adolf Hitler with y'all and Texas drawl.

    October 28, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. gg

    texas they don,t vote what on mans got to say–as long as his picture looks good

    October 28, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Loathstheright

    Roomtemp IQ surrounded by his suckups....this clown is done.

    October 28, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. mose

    Would he be skipping the one vs one debates once each party has selected their nominee?

    October 28, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. Rick

    So Perry is basically saying...I'm dumb, vote for me for president? What is it with dumb Texans and the presidency??

    October 28, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. Fed Up

    I'm more upset that Perry has given tax dollars to illegals to attend college in Tx. It's called Texas Grants. Grant money for illegals which now totals almost 8 million dollars. Perry is the Biggest Hypocrite of them all.

    October 28, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. NVa Native

    Gretchen – you must be living in the same basement as the ranting “leftist socialist” freak.
    Your baseless claims are more than just silly – mindless deception of 27% of the population (which includes you) by fox media & hate radio is irresponsibly dangerous and has a cost to our society – it’s a form of home grown terrorism.

    October 28, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. Jaynicia

    Well, so much for "Don't Mess With Texas!" when the one in charge of Texas won't even show up for the fight...

    October 28, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    "hey 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."

    Nice broad-brush, sweeping statement with no basis in fact. You GOBP deathcult koolaid drinkers sound like parrots who don't understand a word you're saying. Hint: Perry was a lifetime politician, just like Santorum. Gingrich was a college professor, just like our President. You really have no clue, do you?

    October 28, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. Keith

    Can anyone explain the difference between a conservative and an absolute control freak to me? Seems to me that all they want to do is dictate how everyone else “should” be, and yet they never play by their own rules. Put the word Christian in front of the word conservative and you have somebody who can’t think for themselves attempting to tell everyone else how to think like them…… it’s soo confusing!

    October 28, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. david bidlack

    i don't care if this guy debates anybody. i wish he would just go back to texas and keep drinking the water in that state that made him like he is. i would rather eat warm cat doo doo off a plate than to have another cowboy boot wearing bonehead in the white house running the show!

    October 28, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. Mike Dallas

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

    Self improvement is a good thing.

    Now, about that D in Econ 101...

    October 28, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. Deep in the heart of TX

    "I don't consider making fun of something a mistake,"

    Toto,we are not in Texass, any more!

    October 28, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Angy

    perry is a BIG joke. LOL!!!

    October 28, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. Rob in MO

    Perry is a doofus. It's part of the Texas republican governor genome.

    October 28, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. hawk

    Way to go perry. now you are going to become a masterdebater.

    October 28, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. works4me

    Shoot... he already is a good mass debater!

    October 28, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. Michael Siever

    To those who say Texans were dumb enough to vote for him 3 times, it's not so much that they're dumb, it's more along the lines of this is probably the most straight ticket voting state, and most people identify as Republican. All Perry has to do is run with that (R) next to his name on the ballot and he wins. He always ducks out of debates for gubernatorial elections, because if all of Texas sees how poorly he debates, they see what he really is: A sack of garbage that Texans reluctantly leave in office, because he smells so bad, that nobody wants to touch him, and would rather deal with him later.

    October 28, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. TXJew

    Glad he has a sense of humor about himself still won't vote for him. Another smirking, self-satisfied bully boy from my home state. One was more than enough in the White House.

    October 28, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. DocinPA

    "Perry emphasized his consistency..." You betcher! He's consistently a simpleton, y'all.

    October 28, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. Charlie Seemann

    Maybe he will become a master debater?

    October 28, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  23. Jersey George

    Anyone who supports Perry after six weeks of him fumbling issues and displaying juvenile behavior at debates takes dumbing down to a new extreme.

    October 28, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  24. Little Tin God

    Rick Perry is George W. Bush, but dumber!!

    October 28, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. CBR

    Governor Perry has displayed many mannerisms of President Ronald Reagan. The folksy charm, facial expressions, poses, and the mannerisms he displays. That was all part of who Ronald Reagan was as an actor. He developed a certain style as a speaker which allowed him to communicate with people. It would be tough to out-Reagan the former president.

    October 28, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
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