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. CPW

    Ya I saw this on CNN AM and it appeared he was under some type of influence. OR maybe he's trying to play this like Cain? Just overly done.

    November 3, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. bluedogboy

    He was loopy on something. Anyone who watched the speech can see that.

    November 3, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. George

    What the Republican candidates are doing is trying to look like regular people, and not some greedy, selfish, bought off politician. It's very hard to mask such a thing.

    November 3, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. chicory51

    As I said before it was not the liberals who leaked the story, it was the GOP side, We now know why he acted like a small child having a sugar buzz. Perry's motto ' Take em out anyway you can'. Hey Cain, how does it feel to be back stabbed by your own party.?

    November 3, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Rsprings

    Much a do about nothing...a Republican can't burp without a big left wing media flap.

    November 3, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. Nick

    So this is what the GOP has to offer????

    November 3, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Larry L

    @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."
    Really? A stupid, poorly considered statement is better than a thoughtful comment? You honestly prefer a leader who doesn't take time to think before he speaks? Crude is better than eloquent? Hate is a powerful motivator.

    November 3, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Mark

    Wasn't under the influence, huh? That makes it him all the more bazaar. And Texans keep electing this buffoon over and over again? Can you imagine how he would be on the world stage with leaders of other countries? That's a frightening thought. . Please keep this man in your own back yard and seceed already. This man is nuts!

    November 3, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. roro

    That was a frightening display of idiocy. I can't imagine him as POTUS behaving like that with other world leaders, although it would be perfectly fine behavior with pre-schoolers.

    November 3, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. CAL USA

    It seems more and more like the best choice for GOP primary voters is None of the Above. With the sole exception of Huntsman, who has zero support, they have fielded a parade of knaves, fools and scoundrels that is unparalled in our history. For the good of the country we can only hope that they can reverse course by 2016 and return to offering us a legitimate contest between truly competitive and responsible parties.

    November 3, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. Charlie from the North

    I heard a Texas news reporter sum it up best "If he and George W Bush were in a room together Bush would be the smarter one" Now that is saying a lot.

    November 3, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Terry Gloege

    I think he'd been better off saying he was high. To act that stupid without a reason doesn't say much for the man.

    November 3, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Jo Jo

    Who is this guy's campaign manager? Whoever he is, I feel sorry for him because no amount of damage control can fix this. Perry's weird behavior might have been overlooked on a local level or even pandering to a small group. However, when running for the highest office in this country, "loosey goosey" behavior is not entertaining, it's down right scary! I don't think Perry fully understands the ramifications of how crazy scenes like these will affect his presidential run. It makes people worried and nervous this guy is actually being considered a serious contender.

    November 3, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Michael

    This was just amusing, is all. Really, really amusing. This whole Republican primary season has been a hoot so far, and I'm looking forward to a lot more laughs over the coming months. .

    November 3, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. us1776

    The GOP has decided to leave politics and go into the Carnival business.


    November 3, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. LeeCMH

    This underscores the need to require random drug testing of congress, court officials inc. judges, and the president – particularly the president. The president has his finger on the bomb.

    November 3, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. BDK

    I think this behavior is a result of the pressure he must be feeling, which is an ever bigger argument for him not to be president. He can't put 2 sentences together correctly. Can you imagine him acting that way at a meeting with other world leaders?

    November 3, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Pavlo


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

    HAHA! Mr. Let's start a war with everyone is the only "normal" candidate. Oh my what does this say about us? I guess endless wars and crippling debt inducing policies and corruption are normal to people now. No wonder they all think Ron Paul is kooky and radical! He actually wants to fix things! Oh it all makes sense now...

    November 3, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Dennis

    Is this group of candidates the best that the Republican Party can do ? I am enthusiastically voting to reelect Barack Obama in 2012. I am not turning my country over to these nut case Kool Aide Drinkers. What is wrong with Texas in electing this fool to the office of Governor three times?

    November 3, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Jay

    Though I am not completely informed on the time lines to be able to say for sure but is it likely that Perry knew in advance that the current scandal around Cain was about to come out and so was 'giddy' about his poll numbers imrpoving as a result, before he gave this speech? I could not help wonder, since a former Cain aide is working for the Perry campaign now, though he denies that he leaked the story about sexual harassment.

    November 3, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. 5041360

    rick stop wasting your time and other peoples $$= you will never live this down- you have no credibility= go back to Texa and stay there
    Dennis thanks for the above – totally agree with you- Obama 2012

    November 3, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Texas Annie

    Rick Perry doesn't even realize it when he acts like a total spaced out fool just giving a speech. I shudder to think of him dealing with a real crisis situation.

    November 3, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. dan in Alquerque

    So, he acts that way when he's sober? That's even scarier!

    November 3, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    Watching Perry fizzle out has been entertaining ... and while we in Minnesota will soon be getting Bachmann back, it's going to be worse Texas when Perry is booted back to HIS home state. Having drunk the tea of self grandeur, I shudder to think what his rein on Texans will like for the next few years.

    November 3, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. Texas Annie

    Jay– you need to go back & re-read some of the stories. It wasn't a Cain "aide". It was a pollster who worked for a company that did work for the National Restaurant Assoc.

    November 3, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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