While defending himself, Perry steps in it again
November 30th, 2011
10:45 AM ET
10 years ago

While defending himself, Perry steps in it again

(CNN) – Rick Perry sought to defend a recent gaffe in an interview Wednesday, but in the same appearance made another.

On Tuesday, the Republican presidential candidate incorrectly said the voting age in the U.S. is 21 instead of 18 and that the 2012 presidential election is on Nov. 12 instead of Nov. 6, mistakes Perry characterized as human error.

"Look I'm a human being … I'm going to make some mistakes from time to time in my remarks," Perry said on Fox News.

He added that the focus on his missteps is an effort to distract from his policy proposals.

"When someone doesn't want to talk about the substantive issues, when they don't want to talk about the flat tax that I've laid out, when they don't want to talk about major overhaul of Washington, D.C. like going to a part-time Congress, which most of the states operate very well with, they want to find some little error that you've made and go talk about that," Perry said.

But in the same interview, in which Perry appeared from New Hampshire, the Texas governor incorrectly identified the state's early voting contest as "caucuses" instead of a "primary."

"Americans haven't decided yet at all who they want to lead the Republican nomination and we're going to be talking about that, we're going to be talking about it in harsh and strong terms over the course of the next four to five weeks are we get ready for those New Hampshire caucuses," Perry said.

New Hampshire will host the first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 10, following the first-in-the-nation caucuses in Iowa, where Perry has focused the bulk of his energies, on Jan. 3.

Perry rocketed to the top of national and state-wide polls after his late entry into the 2012 race, but has since seen his support fall after disappointing debate performances and errors on the campaign trail.

A recent CNN/ORC International poll of Republican voters showed Perry in 4th place with 11% support behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 24%, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 20% and former pizza executive Herman Cain with 17%.

Filed under: 2012 • New Hampshire • Rick Perry
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    President Perry's last quote: "Now... which of these buttons gets the guy to bring me more coffee, and which one launches the missiles? I never can remember..."

    November 30, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. Laverne

    I am no Perry fan, but good grief, is this the best CNN can report on. This is so unnecessary to report on someone's every mispoken word. Let's talk about the real issues, we already know he is a DUFUS!

    November 30, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. M-W-T

    I take it back!
    A box of rocks are smarter than his guy.

    November 30, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. MTATL67

    He just keeps going down hill. Time for him to head on back to Austin.

    November 30, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. v_mag

    So, Perry thinks we should give nuclear weapons control to a person who consistently makes "human errors"? We're very lucky to have survived 8 years of that nonsense under Bush, and I don't think we'd ever want to take that chance again.

    November 30, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Publius Novus

    Not to mention his misuse of "Americans." Americans are not going to decide the Republican nomination. Registered Republicans, and in open primary states, Republican-leaning independents will decide. Neither I, nor any of my Democratic colleagues will have anything to say about it in closed primary states. Too bad that we don't!! What fun that would be!!! Would I "vote" for Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann?

    November 30, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Flabbergasted

    I am no Perry supporter. Hell, asides for Huntsmen all of the GOP scare the heck out of me. But really, come on. Attacking Perry for this is kind of sad. Attacking him on the issues should be easy enough without picking out all of his flubs.

    November 30, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. Anonymous

    I've asked myself several times this past month the following question: What planet do these GOP candidates truly live on? and better yet... every single one of them in Washington. 99% of America will voting in 2012.

    November 30, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. Maryann - Orlando FL

    Why would I want to hear 'policy proposals' from someone who constantly makes mistakes?

    November 30, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. jerseylou

    What ever kind of water their drinking in Texas i past.

    November 30, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. Dixie AZ

    Why do these "candidates" keep proposing a new tax structure when what the people are really asking for is the rich to pay a fair share? Mr. Teflon of the 999, and flat Perry don't listen to anything but the drone of their own voices.

    November 30, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. lgny

    A public speaker with a bad memory for details learns to adjust his speech. The latest blowup could have been avoided by stating "If you're of voting age by November, I hope you'll vote for me..." it says the same thing as his gaffe without being specific (his weakness).

    Considering how simple and basic this all is, it demonstrates how incompetent Perry is as a public figure. His college and political education certainly did not serve him well.

    November 30, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. Doctor Strangelove

    Because human error is what we're looking for in a President who has a big red button at his fingertips.

    November 30, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. New Jersey Jim

    Does this guy know anything our our Constitution? He needs to go back to Texas, certainly not to Washington!

    November 30, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Rick: Quit already. I'm embarrassed for both of us.

    November 30, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. 4158

    wow this is pathetic give me more Ron Paul videos and interviews.

    November 30, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. d

    Where has perry been? does he read the news? this gop lead congress already works part time...as to his errors he is right everyone makes them maybe not as often as he seems too

    November 30, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. lisa

    " I have never once felt sorry for Texas in my 50 years,"Until Now?? "When this "Gooffy Guy" gets tired of traveling around the country making fool of himself, "You folks in Texas, get him back! Sorry, "I,m glad I,m not you?

    November 30, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Look I'm a human being … I'm going to make some mistakes from time to time in my remarks," Perry said on Fox News."

    Whoever comes up with the antidote for the "Oops, I Made A Mistake" GOPer super virus now in full swing will no doubt be heralded as next years Nobel Peace prize winner. Until then, it's gotten beyond funny. Herman Cain. Rick Perry. Michele Bachman. Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich. It's downright embarrassing watching these idiots continue to stumble ... one right after another.

    November 30, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. Robert Jay

    Just like Bush II – stepping in it and then smirking about it! Another Texas joke!

    November 30, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. ja

    these guys and gals get fifty cents more than they need, an isolated group of supporters, think it qualifies them for president of the united states, lol

    November 30, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Dave T

    Yes, everyone does make mistakes, but if you want to be president, how are you going to deal with keeping complex issues straight if you can't even get the simple things correct.

    November 30, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    But in the same interview, in which Perry appeared from New Hampshire, the Texas governor incorrectly identified the state's early voting contest as "caucuses" instead of a "primary."
    So what. Maybe that is how the word is pronounced in Texas. Seriously, this is not a gaffe.

    November 30, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Matt

    The difference between Cain and Perry is this:
    Cain may flub an occasional answer to what Newt calls a "gotcha" question. All this proves is Cain is not a politician (which is a plus with some of us.)
    When Perry screws up, it's usually during a topic HE started, in order to attack his opponent.

    November 30, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. ithink122

    I do understand that people can mispeak and mixing up caucuses vs. primary is a bit of a stretch for a news story. But any "mispeak" which could result in less people voting due to them thinking they aren't old enough or they show up on the wrong date should be be taken very seriously. It could be an honest mistake, yes, but it could also be an underhanded attempt to supress votes. THAT story should be cleary reported so A) as many people as possible who listened to the original date and age realize the error and don't lose their vote as a result and B) so we can pay close attention and notice if it happens again. One time is understandable. Two, after already being publically corrected once, is too suspicious to let go. He gets a pass on this one, but we will be watching.

    November 30, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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