(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.
Poll: It's a lead for Obama in PA
Gingrich: Rival leaking Cain details would be a 'pariah'
The Republicans are going to rip each other to shreds....
The scary thing about the speech would be that Perry was actually sober. His behavior was to absurd as to make him look like a clown. I can't understand why the voters in Texas ever voted for him. But then they voted for Dubya, which shows that their standards are lower than a rattlesnake's belly.
At the very least say he had a "bad reaction" to some cold medicine. Because if he's not drunk then he's bordering on being flaming gay with a slurring problem. I mean, even the applause from the audience sounds confused.
He is such a nice man – an excellent prospect for President.
Yeah, this man is bunkers, sloshed, loaded, buzzed and quite comical to look at.
The more I see Perry on the news the more I think Bush III even if the DNA doesn't match his behavior is too close to Bush II not to make a comparison.
He was giddy over releasing the Cain info.
I think he should go get a job on Saturday Night Live instead of the presidency. He would make a lot more money and the US and the world would be a safer place.
I will give some trust that he may not have been on a substance. I'm a naturally quiet guy and every once in awhile I will hit this mood that last about 30min where I'm slinging jokes out and very different. Similar to what Perry did.
please explain your post. I challenge you!
THAT's the sort of fellow who would try to give a back rub to the German Chancellor.
Now the rest of the nation knows what we,ve known all along. I think I'll run for President. I've got just as good a chance as he does and I usually save the "looney tunes" behavior for.....well, I don't reallly act that way. See I'm a normal working guy that's not so stuck on himself as our "guvner". Hmmm....maybe I've got a better chance than ol' ricky!
"give me some gold!"
He was drunk. This field just keeps getting crazier and crazier.
If you have to deny you were on drugs and alochol, then I'm not sure that there is a good answer.
Not Drunk or Drugged, just Dumb.
No, he's just the other "D", Dumb.
So, which Perry is the real Perry? The moron Perry or the super moron Perry?
If he wasn't drunk, then I'm actually frightened of Rick Perry now. That speech was something else..
I watched the entire speech and it was so bad at points I was embarrased to watch. He should have said he was on pain meds and didn't realize how they would affect him.
Look closely. That is the face of pure avarice and evil. And the best part is that it comes with an IQ that is equal to the average winter temperature in Austin.
He wasn't drunk. He was high on prescription medication.
Do you think Rick Perry will come out of the closet once he becomes president ?
Log Cabin GOP 's for Perry .
Pretty pathetic when claiming to be drunk or on drugs is the BETTER option to explain your performance.
The GOP thinks THIS GUY is "Presidential Material", but Obama is not? You ask a republican for an example of Obama not being "Presidential" and they mention something about 57 states.. a gaffe from 2008. If you have to stretch back that far to find a problem, I think it's safe to say that the guy is doing a pretty good job. As for Palin, Bachman, Cain, Romney & Perry – good luck going back 2 weeks without any one of them saying something utterly rediculous & embarrasing.
As a liberal I can only hope that there is some way that Perry could win the the Republican primary. Romney may be a flip flopper but apart from believing in magic seagulls he is electable.