Perry: I wasn't drunk or on drugs
November 3rd, 2011
09:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Perry: I wasn't drunk or on drugs

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said he was neither on drugs nor drunk during a speech in New Hampshire Friday, as some observers and critics have suggested.

An edited clip of the speech, in which an enthusiastic Perry laughs and jokes with the audience, went viral on YouTube, prompting some to suggest he was on pain medication for a past back surgery or under the influence of alcohol.

But in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle published Thursday, the longtime Texas governor said he did not take pain medication or consume any other substance before Friday's Cornerstone Action annual dinner.

"I've probably given 1,000 speeches," Perry told the newspaper Wednesday. "There are some that have been probably boring, some that have been animated, some that have been in between."

When asked about comedian Jon Stewart's suggestion that Perry drank alcohol before the event, the Texas governor said, "It wasn't that either."

"It's not that I wouldn't love to sit down with Jon and have a glass of wine," Perry said. "If he'll buy."

With talk of the speech not dying down, a group of unaligned New Hampshire Republican officials, who attended the event, will hold a press conference Thursday to defend the governor.

Thursday's speakers have not endorsed Perry, but said coverage of the remarks has become a distraction from serious issues on the trail in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

- CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

Also see:

Poll: It's a lead for Obama in PA

Gingrich: Rival leaking Cain details would be a 'pariah'

Bachmann: No surprises

Filed under: 2012 • New Hampshire • Rick Perry
soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. ST

    If Perry were neither drunk nor on drugs, then he needs a thorough mental check-up. The way he behaved was not normal.

    November 3, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    So, that was the real Rick Perry, huh. Well, I sure hope that guy shows up for the next debate.

    November 3, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  3. GI Joe

    If that's normal behavior, we don't need him representing us on the world stage. Period.

    November 3, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I would've gone with the back medication excuse....seriously.

    November 3, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. a in austin

    I have NEVER seen the governor in this costume – he was WAY out of his normal character. At times, he reminded me of gwb.

    November 3, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. Moderator

    Well I think that on the whole he was just a little excited and there's nothing wrong with a man getting excited about running for President.

    November 3, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. jnpa

    I am not a republican, but only GOP candidate that seems to be normal is Rick Santorum.

    November 3, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  8. Thomas A Martinet

    Maybe he is bipolar!

    November 3, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. El Guapo

    So.. he's just normally a bloke?

    November 3, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. Donkey Party

    Call his behavior whatever you want, just don't call it Presidential.

    November 3, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. Sgt. Joe

    I can't even imagine this guy representing the US in foreign affairs...what a total fool. And we thought "W" was bad? I may not support everything Obama does, but I sure as hell know who he represents (most Americans; not the top 1%) and I'm proud to see a man of intelligence and real family values represent us. Perry is not worthy.

    November 3, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  12. jb1963

    If that is him sober then I don't want him as president. We have serious problems and we needs serious people to help solve them. With this behavior and Cains jokes I doubt anyone on the right is serious about helping fix this country.

    November 3, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. Observer

    Hmm. Republicans are always saying that Democrats want something for nothing; that they want everyone else to pay for "whatever." I find it interesting that Perry says, "It's not that I wouldn't love to sit down with Jon and have a glass of wine, if he'll buy." Maybe he (Perry) is a Democrat?

    November 3, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. James C.

    "It's not that I wouldn't love to sit down with Jon and have a glass of wine," Perry said. "If he'll buy."

    I'm sure Jon Stewart would offer him all the wine he wants if he'd agree sit down with him. I'd watch that interview.

    November 3, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. A Wife and Mother

    I'm not a Perry supporter. That being said, I think he was trying a little too hard to be "genuine and folksy" and it backfired badly.

    November 3, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. Matt


    Perry's bizarre mannerisms, generally speaking' really begs the question 'Is he ready to be president'? There's absolutely nothing presidential about him. He comes across as, arrogant, ignorant, temperamental, and rude. He's just not circumspect enough to be president. Can we imagine president Obama displaying the bizarre mannerisms displayed by Perry last Friday? We would have hung our heads in shame and wondered what drugs did he take.

    He was either on drugs or intoxicated. It is difficult to believe otherwise. That was a weird and bizarre display of someone who was not his normal self.

    November 3, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. chill

    I'm not a Perry fan, but why don't y'all try covering the news and not this penny-ante stuff. You cheapen your own reputation. Had he been falling down drunk, slurring his speech or something obvious, fine. But this is silly.

    November 3, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. Wes Scott

    Rick Perry was either drunk or on some serious drugs. I think that it would be better for him to use the excuse of "pain medication" for his back than to say that he was not under the influence of any substance. This guy is a clown. When people start saying that you make "W" look smart, then you have already lost it! Rick, PLEASE stay in the campaign. We need all the entertainment that we can get right now.

    November 3, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  19. Uhhhhh.......

    That was.....strange.

    November 3, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. Mike

    What a joke! And I don't mean funny! GW was bad enough as an embarassment to this Country as well as a "lame duck" president.

    November 3, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. GOP-DeadFromTheNeckUp

    Is Perry still in the race? I thought he would have folded his tent by now, like the way Bachmann is about to do.

    November 3, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. Dr. Strangelove

    His finger would be on the button – the fate of the world in his hands – Yikes!

    November 3, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  23. GOP-DeadFromTheNeckUp

    I'm sure the GOP supporters don't want to hear this, but sooner or later that party is going to have to field a viable candidate...if they can find one.

    November 3, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. RINO Bil

    I don't need a bizzare incident to dismiss Rick Perry from the GOP Tea Party nomination. For me, his wacko stances on creationism/evolution, climate change, changes to the tax system and how he failed to fix the Texas educational and health system messes put more than enough nails in his national politics coffin.

    November 3, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Chris

    "It's not that I wouldn't want to sit down with Jon and have a glass of wine."

    Really Rick? Would you do it on his show? Because I highly doubt he'd turn down the opportunity...

    November 3, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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