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. DenInNooYawk

    This focus on a nanoscopic portion of Perry's failings is pointless. More important is his lack of understanding of global climate change, evolution, foreign policy, etc.

    November 3, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. rs

    It is pretty sad when the GOP/TP's "best and brightest" have to explain their campaign talks with sentances like "I wasn't drunk or on drugs".
    The really sad thing is that drinking or drugging is about the only thing that explains the GOP/TP candidate train wreck. Is this really the best the GOP/TP can do for possible Presidential material? A dopey Texan (sorry been there already); A pizza delivery guy with ZERO political background; the rehashed Newt; crazy, lyin' Bachmann; the flip-flopper, and the list goes on.
    The GOP/TP must be crazy to think anyone with a room-temperature IQ would vote for these fools- especially as all they are meant to do is help the super-rich.
    The GOP/TP has lost its way my friends. It is time Americans inform them of the error(s) of their way.

    November 3, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. whatever

    This is the biggest non-story I've seen in a while. Another example of the media making something out of absolutely nothing. Give the guy a break. I'm not a Perry supporter but there was nothing wrong about his behavior. Has any questioned Obama's revival antics when he speaks before his church people????

    November 3, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. United We Stood

    "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.

    Nope. Not by a longshot. People with a clue prefer we have a statesman that is tough when needed (see Bin Laden, Osama) with thoughtful considerations running this country rather than a drunk cowboy. If you think your boy Ricky doesn't use a teleprompter (as do all of them) - I have some news for you, sparky. Judging by Slick in debates, he sure could use one 100% of the time. 4 more years, champ, get used to it.

    November 3, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. Good stuff

    Perry is weird! If he acts like that sober he is not presidential enough.

    November 3, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Larry L

    Remember when "W" tried to give the German Chancellor a neck rub on international television – and she pulled away and looked at the fool with disgust? He wasn't drunk either. Like Perry, he was simply too stupid to be the President of the United States.

    November 3, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. lgny

    There's a long history of candidates looking bad when they act unpresidential - whatever that may be. Remember Howard Dean's war hoop or Dukakis in an Army tank. So, Perry has now had his idiot moment.

    November 3, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. SaintM

    Perry is doing a good job of toasting himself. However, I think the really fun vetting is yet to come–he has a Cain-like story out there too, and I can't wait for someone to come forward to tell it.

    November 3, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Donald Trump

    Didn't Howard Dean's scream make people think he was crazy...and that was BEFORE youtube and twitter.

    Rick Perry and Herman Cain forget they live and want to run for office in the age of social networking and being recorded 24/7.

    November 3, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. JOregon

    I keep saying it.
    The GOP is in a whole heap of trouble.

    I thought Cain was a good one then out came 999/666. Next came the dancing ladies, and yes I think there is merit in the accusations.
    Perry is obviously a tool. If you pray for RAIN and you get FIRE God just might be trying to get your attention.
    Romney has flipped and flopped more than a dying fish.
    Paul has no idea how to protect this nation.
    Santorum says more stupid stuff than even Bachman.
    Bachman says more stupid stuff than even Palin.
    I hear a 3rd party is pushing for Starbucks CEO Schultz to run – that may be our only hope. I'm just not sure once he starts running that he won't also be exposed as something we don't see now.

    November 3, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Remember

    Dr. Jekyll, meet Mr. Hyde!

    November 3, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. demogal

    Who needs an excuse for goofiness these days? Perry–and most of the other Repub candidates–suffer from chronic goofiness.

    November 3, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    So, Perry is naturally goofy, I take it?! And this qualifies him to run for POTUS?! Truly?!?!?!?!

    November 3, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Rachel

    I wouldn't vote for him anyway, but that was a little too loosey goosey for a serious presidential candidate.

    November 3, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Matthew V

    Even if Governor Perry was not drunk, his actions were questionable. Based on his appearance and language, I would never want him to represent the United States as our President. The President of the United States is our spokesman for our country. Governor Perry has demonstrated that he is incapable of representing this nation.

    November 3, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. BD70

    No worries Perry...understand your looking for a Perry that will get voters attention and up your poll ratings. Keep might get it right in a few years or so.

    November 3, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. donnie

    Where is Boehner when the GOP needs him?

    November 3, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. Oreo

    I would much rather have Perry in the White House than the Jack Wagon excuse who currently resides there. What an arrogant, divisive, uninformed and inexperienced coke-snorting waste of skin.

    November 3, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. JOE

    Herman Cain said he wants to bring humor into the presidential debate. So what's humorous about millions of Americans being unemployed? What's humorous about the GOP and their teabag slashing much needed social programs for Americans in these trying times? What's humorous about the rightwing telling all Americans to make financial sacrifices while they give more tax breaks to the rich? What's humorous when this administration is left with the task of cleaning up eight years of turmoil from the right while the right keeps setting up roadblocks to stall progress? What's humorous about our prolonged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that continue to take the lives of our citizens? I think it would be humorous if Herman Cain and the rightwing establishment would just jump off a cliff.

    November 3, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. ART

    Sure he wasn't, wink wink

    November 3, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. Peniah

    The guy was "high". Let truth be said. I wd not be surprised if his advisers suggested he cancel the press conference until he was sober & he insisted that he can handle it. Can you imagine what will happen if they let him debate ?

    November 3, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. FoolKiller

    ALL politicians play to their audience (sadly). I'll reserve judgment until I see a clip of who he was talking TO.

    November 3, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. Daddy2010

    What exactly is everyone complaining about?

    November 3, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Puddin

    So Perry swears he was neither drunk nor stoned. That is truly disappointing to know. That means that this behavior is his "normal,"

    November 3, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. gg

    if a republican was to say -i,am blowing up the plant 7 days after i get elected they would still vote republican

    November 3, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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