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:

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

    I THINK He is Missing an Opportunity to Dismiss His 'Performance' as his being 'wasted' If THAT is Perry SOBER.

    November 3, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |

    OMG! What a complete MORON! Texans must be so embarrassed whenever he opens his mouth. The more I hear him the more I am having deja vu's of "W" in the White House!!!! That scares me! Perhaps he was trying to loosen up a bit since he previous debates had gone poorly and he took a little tranquilizer???? He was DEFINITELY on "something". I wish he had been in THAT condition and "sat down with Jon Stewart"........I would have PAID to watch that. Oh, yeah!

    November 3, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. kebcarerra

    I'm sorry but if you know what it's like to be high on Oxycodone , sure looked like it to me

    November 3, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. John

    Rick Perry It your Lie you tell It any way you want to.

    November 3, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Debbie

    I've watched the video on serveral varied news sources and if Perry was not drunk or on medication of some type then he needs a medical exam. The behavior was far from normal. If Perry wants to be considered viable to run for President of the United States I was suggest the medical exam ASAP as I want to know if the candidate has a brain tumor or is just silly when nervous. What ever was wrong with him I would not want that behavior to ever come out in dealings with Putin. Gov Perry, for your own sake and for the sake of the American people please go get a medical exam ASAP.

    November 3, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Minnecticut Yankee

    Perry's buffoonery and tomfoolery on display in the video of that speech reminded me of a Texan Boris Yeltsin (with a dash of Dean Martin and a splash of Dudley Moore as "Arthur")

    November 3, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Terry

    The GOP field is full of wing nuts, if he was drunk, at least he has an excuse!!!

    November 3, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. GrogInOhio

    So... he wasn't impaired... he's always that goofy?

    November 3, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Shannon

    Rick, I'd go with drunk, otherwise you just looked nuts!

    November 3, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. boocat

    Everyone in Texas can't be this stupid.......whatever this moron was on, I wish I could get my hands on some

    November 3, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. BL

    Not drunk, just stupid. Watchin' this here video, ahm a fixin' ta barf!

    November 3, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. GlenR

    So if he wasn't drunk or on drugs then he's a moronic wacko. Lets all vote to let this guy near the nuclear trigger.

    November 3, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. chuck

    Fact: Perry is so anxious about his public speaking "disabilty" that he either was drunk or took too many sedatives- Bottom line he's just not qualified folks,he's just not.

    November 3, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Dan

    When you need to stop and CLARIFY to people that you werent drunk at a speaking engagement, you're doing something wrong and you're definitely not someone I want representing our nation as leader of the free world.

    November 3, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |

    He didn't seem his usual fatuous self. . .he was worse!

    November 3, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. Ronnie Harper

    Does he think I was born yesterday? I watched his speech and I'm almost certain he was drunk – I've seen a thousand men drunk on gin or vodka that acted just exactly like that.

    November 3, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. jb


    Everyone in Texas can't be this stupid.......whatever this moron was on, I wish I could get my hands on some

    No not everyone in TX is that stupid, but it was a majority that elected him and still supports him. This idiot is just like Bush, a talking head with illusions of adequacy. He hasn't got the sense God gave a screwdriver and less functional.

    November 3, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. bcm

    He would have been better off to say that he was on painkillers or had a few too many drinks. If this was his normal, immature behavior, he would be a huge embarassment to the U.S. on the world stage. What a moron!!

    November 3, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. Jean

    Aw, shucks. He was just high on life!

    November 3, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |

    How did Rick Perry become Governor of Texas. I know that Texas' intellect is bigger than this.

    November 3, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Dave

    Perry: "I'm not drunk, I'm just drinking."

    November 3, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Deb

    He was high on something. Maybe life. What a tool! If these Republicans keep shooting themselves, Obama has the next election in a landslide.

    November 3, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Davespock

    I believe this was a case of the real Rick Perry overtaking his alter-ego in a desperate attempt to "get out of the closet."

    November 3, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |

    I've seen video of myself when sloshed. Dudes: Perry was sloshed in this viddy. . .

    November 3, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Be Sane

    Rick, when you have to go out and deny that you weren't drunk or drugged up, it's time to fold your tent.
    You're done.

    November 3, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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