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. sammieb51

    As bizarre as his speech was, you almost wish he was drunk or on drugs. Wow.

    November 3, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. djdjdjs

    The cowboy is actually making palin look a lot better.

    November 3, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Save America - concentrate the wealth among 1%

    I am glad there is a limit on number of presidential terms. Because if he became president, we would be embarrassed for only 8 years.

    November 3, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Homie Hogleg

    Hell, he is either crazy, or higher than two hippies in a high rise. Nothing else could explain his behavior.

    November 3, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |

    What were the girl references about? The gloves are off now since he told on Cain. Rick Bush will be outed.

    November 3, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. bostonmed

    I am glad he showed the world a bit of his true colors. This guy is a snake oil salesman. As slippery as the crude oil industry he represents.

    November 3, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Greg

    I wonder when rivals will focus on the fact that Rick Perry liked to travel lavishly on tax-payers dime in Texas and even personally lobbied individual state congress members this past summer to hide his travel expenses, rumored to be $1 million or more, for 18 months (until the elctions were over). Yes, it is 100% true – he lobbied to have state congress pas a bill to conceal his travel expenses until after the elections, and he succeeded.

    I am a big supporter of transparency in government, and stores like this one involving Rick Perry make me sick. If you’re not treating tax-payer money as “sacred”, then you’re the wrong person to be in power.

    November 3, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Henry

    If he says he wasn't drunk or stoned, it probably means he WAS, given that he lies about everything.

    November 3, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    I don't know about the rest of you – but the thought of the future POTUS having to answer questions as to whether or not he was drunk or on drugs doesn't make me comfortable. Not presidential by any stretch of the imagination and I don't care which party you belong to.

    November 3, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't understand the lies. There was something going on. If he had a few before the speech, no one is going to hold it against him. Lying will. He was obviously under the influence of something, or he's losing his mind.

    November 3, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. coy4one

    Now the USA sees what we've been putting up with here in Texas! But then again, in Perry's stronghold Texas cities, they all act like that! But not here in Houston!

    November 3, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. AlaskaPalin

    The clip was doctored. This is a liberal conspiracy- cain monday, perry wednesday.

    November 3, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. SPQR

    Could be Bi-polar.

    Lets ask Dr. Sanjayy Gupta.

    November 3, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. SCOTO

    I would rather have heard the guy was drunk. If this is his "normal" then .............jeez

    November 3, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. Inrealityhere

    Who cares? Where's the story on ACCORN and their shenanigans trying to conceal their involvement at OWS?
    ( yes, it IS ACCORN under a new name)

    November 3, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Herman

    Here's a thought: I think his campaign think-tank thought he couldn't think on his feet at the debates, so being from Texas they think big and they eventually came to think that thought-enhancing medications that are the rage with thoughtful college kids might help his thought process but thanks to the the side effects of these thought drugs he may be out of the race by Thanksgiving. So take thought and think twice before bringing unthinkable embarrassment to yourself with thoughtless use of thought drugs.

    November 3, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Dave

    Seriously Republicans? Is this group of lying, egotistical, and bumbling idiots the best you can come up with? Obama is going to mop the floor with you people.

    November 3, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. george of the jungle

    People do care? this is not penny anti as someone suggested. If president he represents us. Is this what you want the world to see.? Some jerk hugging a maple syrup bottle. Not me. The guy is a looney

    November 3, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Squigman

    Drunk on ego. Drunk on self love, and a desire to look in every mirror passed by. Drunk on desire for power. The same story for every lieing republican running for office.

    November 3, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Roland

    Yeah this is the best I ever seen him. I think this is him that was dying to come out. DRUNK HIGH or whatever. I don't agree with him at all. But he didn't seem so weird.

    November 3, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. swolfson929

    This guy is a bigger fool then I thought...and I always thought he was a fool.

    November 3, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. vatoloke

    Heck when I first saw it I could've sworn it was a comedian spoofing the Teaxas Gov. Only to find out later that it was in fact Rick Wrinkles live and in color.

    November 3, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. Jake

    I wasn't drunk or on drugs...I'm just DUMB AS DIRT.

    November 3, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. kravitz

    Even worse for Perry. If that's what he's like, it's not presidential at all. We've moved past the W. era, and the standard of conduct of The Commander In Chief has been raised by President Obama.

    November 3, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. ja

    a bunch of misfits in the gop field, that happen to have a few extra dollars to mess off, and supersize egos

    November 3, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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