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. Kevin O.

    If that is normal behavior for a presidential candidate then I must have woke up in La La Land.

    November 3, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. DC

    After looking at that performance, if I were Perry, I would claim I was drunk or on drugs. If that was his performance when he is not on something, he really is scary. He does not give me confidence I want him in charge of our national defense, or anything else.

    November 3, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Dave

    He was either drunk, on drugs or trying too hard after his debate flops. I will vote GOP, but Perry is not Presidential material.

    November 3, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. billy davis

    He should have said he was on his pain meds at least the country would excuse him for behaving like a drunk.

    November 3, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Aaron

    Definitely on something.

    November 3, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. Manny in Cali

    Maybe he was just giggley because he knew he was about to drop a bomb on Cain.

    November 3, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. mdn

    Perry is George Bush's brother from another mother. Everytime Perry speaks, he reinfoces that notion. Ahh, another 4-8 years of a Bush like president. Perhaps he can lower the US to the level of countries like Mexico, Greece, or Pakistan. Surprising that that is what the repulican right would like to have.

    November 3, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. Pat in IL

    Not drunk or on anything? Well then, I guess he's just nuts, can't control himself, and definitely should get out of the race. I don't want a president who goes whacko under pressure.

    November 3, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. Keith in Austin

    Meanwhile we have anarchy in the streets of Oakland, a Congressional Hearing about to demand a subpoena on
    Attorney General, Eric Holder, a major Obama Energy Department scandal underway re: a myriad of wasted taxpayer loans and a vivid picture of the evils of Socialism in Europe, your major headlines are focused on Perry and Cain. Your liberal bias is quite evident CNN

    November 3, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. kevin

    quite a contrast to the Texas Cowboy image he portrays. He seemed like a giddy school girl.

    November 3, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Time to Think

    That you weren't drunk makes you all the more frightening, Mr Perry.

    November 3, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Rosslaw

    Let's see, he personally blew a $27 billion hole in the Texas budget as of this year by lowering property taxes without offsetting spending cuts, is an open practitioner of "pay to play" governance, has been openly bribed by a long time supporter to authorize a "dirt" radioactive waste site for the entire national radioactive waste output which State of Texas engineers oppose, names his boots and people think this moron came across as a little more odd than usual? How can anyone tell?

    November 3, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. noteabags

    Pathetic that this question had to be raised. What does this say about him? How could the country rely on his leadership if he seems drunk. Let's not elect another Bush.

    November 3, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. Andrew

    I thought at first he was practicing a stand up routine. Was pretty fun though. Maybe if the politicians seemed more humorous like Perry was ..politics wouldn't be so boring. Just saying.

    November 3, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Goodbye Obama

    The animated Rick Perry, someone speaking their mind and expressing themselves is better than the teleprompter president reading a prepared speech, of sitting there looking as dumb as a post while he searches for the most eloquent, articulate, thought through answer.

    November 3, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Maadmax

    Doesn't Perry know regardless of what he says he was was out of character? His own Mother would have know it too! But hey, we're just stupid Americans that believe what ever these candidates say and tell us. This whole race for a Republican Presidential candidate is a circus, is this the best they have to offer? The Republican Party should just take a bye on the next Presidential Election and develop a candidate that can represent them well, by given them a better opportunity to win in 2016. Until then, Obama will easily get four more years! (They can only blame themselves).

    November 3, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. w_roos

    He was just drunk on being Rick Perry, the longest serving governor in Texas history.

    November 3, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  18. lefty avenger

    Rick Perry is on what the majority of americans are on: Prescription Pain Killers and funny anti-depressants. These Right wingers created just say NO for pot and then loaded themselves up on Big Pharma opiates. Hypocrites.

    November 3, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. dennis freeman

    If he wasn't on booze or drugs maybe he should have been.

    November 3, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. Robert


    The man has been running for President for over two months, if you are right, the excitement should have mellowed a little by now. His behavior was contrary to anyone that wants to be President of the US.

    November 3, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. EatRunDive

    That last paragraph is CLASSIC! A distraction from serious issues on the trail in the first-in-the-nation primary state. I don't know which part is funnier, that they perceive this campaign as serious (Obama bad, anyone else good), or that the NH's think that their little state is significant!

    As a Texan, I believe Perry when he says that it was not drugs or alcohol. He has a long record of bad judgement.

    November 3, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. NuwanSam

    These Republican presidential candidates people support are simply pathetic. None of the front runners are suited to be the President. This is pathetic. Come on Republicans, you all need to bring a worthy opponent 🙂 if u want a chance to beat President Obama

    November 3, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. Rich

    Just think how he would act if he drank and took the pain meds if thei is the normal Rich.....Texas gov for sure

    November 3, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. Wilson James

    Perry has never been a viable candidate. His record in Texas is no record: Texas governors have very little power other than the bully pulpit, his cronies will fight hard for their paycheck, and Rick will get nasty and in the end he will go back to Austin and fade away as a bad dream. One can only wonder about Texas about out of touch.

    November 3, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. edward smith

    "Suggested by some" is a sleazy way to knock someone you oppose without actually having to allow the public to evaluate whether clear bias of the charging party should be taken into account. Good work again CNN-NOT.

    November 3, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
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