(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.
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If that is normal behavior for a presidential candidate then I must have woke up in La La Land.
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.
He was either drunk, on drugs or trying too hard after his debate flops. I will vote GOP, but Perry is not Presidential material.
He should have said he was on his pain meds at least the country would excuse him for behaving like a drunk.
Definitely on something.
Maybe he was just giggley because he knew he was about to drop a bomb on Cain.
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.
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.
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
quite a contrast to the Texas Cowboy image he portrays. He seemed like a giddy school girl.
That you weren't drunk makes you all the more frightening, Mr Perry.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
He was just drunk on being Rick Perry, the longest serving governor in Texas history.
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.
If he wasn't on booze or drugs maybe he should have been.
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.
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.
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
Just think how he would act if he drank and took the pain meds if thei is the normal Rich.....Texas gov for sure
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 voters...talk about out of touch.
"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.