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. Terri

    He really should have said he was still on pain meds. That he was sober doesn't help him at all.

    November 3, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. LouieD

    LMAO I think he would've been better off confessing that he was drunk or drugged, even if it's not true. Now everyone knows he has Bush Syndrome.

    November 3, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. abby

    if he wasn't drunk or on drugs, then America has seen what a total idiot he is.... and this guy think he's presidential material????

    November 3, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. Sammy29

    "I wasn't drunk"; "I am not a witch" What a bunch of clowns, and people are stupid enough to vote for these idiots?

    November 3, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. elvis costanza

    The audience was clearly confused and that sort of uncomfortable, nervous laughter can sometimes encourage the one who is making an ass of themselves. He thought he "did great!"
    He was beyond bizarre, totally inappropriate, and I think it was pain meds.

    November 3, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. what would Sarah Perry do?

    school boy Perry is a cut-up, just what we need to run the USA, a clown

    November 3, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. furious styles

    Did he go out drinking with Bush?? Remember a drunk Bush gawking at the USA Volleyball team's rear-ends at the Olympics??...LOL These guys are turning into a real train wreck.

    November 3, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. PghWinner

    Why is it OK for the President to go on late night television and crack jokes and goof around, but it is a major political offense to be light hearted and relaxed when giving a speech? There is a double standard. Who are the legitimate sources who seriously asked if Mr. Perry was under the influence?

    November 3, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. FIELD1stSGT

    I can't stand any more of the insults that Obama stooges put out. Please Dear Lord deliver us from this diasterous scourge that has taken the United States.

    November 3, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. hard2fool

    Perry came in like the proverbial white knight on a white horse to the rescue. The problem is, his debut was the big religious rally that was supposed to send a clear message to religious conservatives that he was one of them... But God is not mocked... I predicted to my family that he would be brought down and exposed for the wolf in sheep's clothing that he is... Christians – why do you allow yourself to be fooled by these kinds of people who speak loudly about God but whose actions are against God? Don't you see that the Republican Party has become the protector of the rich and powerful? What does the Bible have to say about that??? Get on the right side... support those who protect the rights of the poor and the disenfranchised for that is the side that Jesus is on... Read Matthew 25:31-46. God is on the side of the poor – NOT on the side of the rich! Read:
    Matthew 19:24;
    Mark 10:25
    Luke 18:25

    Just saying...

    November 3, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. just checking

    People better care and take this serious or America will end up with another GWBush....and we all know America is trying desperately to recover from those destructive years of deregulation, big tax cuts for the rich and corporate America and the most nonsensical war in history...GOP offers nothing for the middle class !!!!!!!!!

    November 3, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. EdR

    Just what we need. Another drunk from Texas as our President. Man the republican field is a mess. A drunk, a womanizer, and a guy who changes his tune to meet the desires of the crowd. Sounds like a bunch of guys that would be fun to hang out at a bar with.. but president? No thank you.

    November 3, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. david in seattle

    Was he any different than Bush - stupid laugh, stupid gestures, etc.

    November 3, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. furious styles

    @FIELD1stSGT That scourge would be called Warmongering/War for Profit. Everything was fine until then. Now that only a few have made money off of ten years of war, people want to complain. Whatever.....

    November 3, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Mojobutta

    If Perry wasn't drunk or on medication, that leaves just one possibility...... HE'S INSANE!!!

    November 3, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. sequoia

    People like Rick Perry (and actually the entire Republican field of weirdos) highlight how lucky we are to have Obama in the White House.

    November 3, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. tor5

    So the Teabagger movement has come to this: Their darling candidates trying to convince voters that they’re not a drunk (Perry), a groper (Cain), or a flake (Bachmann). Yeah, I know: “It’s all the media’s fault.” Which is true. Without the mainstream media, these clowns could hideout at Fox and all pretend that the Tea Party has rational ideas. Too bad in the light of day they are all revealed to be buffoons.

    November 3, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. Big Tex

    Perry's inner-Aggie is coming out (of the closet). Better hide your sheep, New Hampshire!

    November 3, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Julia

    I didn't know there had been talk about Perry possibly being drunk or on drugs that night. His was acting like a giddy little school girl... no doubt. It made me uncomfortable to hear it. Thankful for the Mute button on the remote as the craziness escalates, along with the never-ending ads he's been running. It's really sad the GOP wasn't able to come up with a better line-up than this pitiful mess of non-choices. Not worth going to the polls in 2012 unless something major changes.

    November 3, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Action Jackson

    Dude's not fooling anyone...he was blitzed!

    November 3, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. Joshua Ludd

    I disagree with Perry on one thing... this is not a distraction from real issues... this is a real issue as this man is running for President. Were he to come out and say he had one too many before getting on stage I wouldn't feel any different about his candidacy than I did before, but when he claims this kind of behavior was not caused by drugs or drink, then I have to seriously and realistically question if this man has a mental disorder of some kind. I don't say that to demean Perry in any way. I say it because it is a real worry and a real issue. Erratic behavior is not something you want in a president. Its actually far more troubling that Perry says this was not the result of drugs or drink.

    November 3, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. Rick

    I think I'd rather have a president that got drunk once and acted a bit off than one that acts this way for no apparent reason. Scary.

    November 3, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Not fooled

    Perry-- You will never be President.

    November 3, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. mm

    Did anyone REALLY think he would have admitted to being under the influence, if he was?
    The fact that he claims he wasn't scares me even more than if he was. The thought of having that looney in power and representing our country is more than I can wrap my brain around.

    November 3, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. Rick

    Yet the only seemingly sane GOP candidate Huntsman gets no press coverage whatsoever.....sigh.

    November 3, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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