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. Jay

    Rick Perry reminds me so much of George W. Bush. I thought he was an idiot and completely unfit to be President. We saw and are seeing the result of putting that imbecile in office. The trillions (yes, with a "t") he added to our debt with wars and tax cuts for his rich upper-class members have produced disaster for ordinary people. People would be insane to put another overt fool in office.

    November 30, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. ex-sarge

    You know, if I am yapping around the water cooler and in the course of running off at the mouth I make this kind of mistake, I should be called out it and corrected. But I am not running for President. So why on earth is no one saying anything to this bozo? Do you really want the nuclear football in the hands of this fool? Do you really want to watch a debate that considers this chump to be a viable candidate, but a 4 time congressman, former Governor (Louisiana) can't be "allowed" on the debate floor because HE DIDN'T RAISE ENOUGH MONEY TO QUALIFY FOR THE DEBATE!!! Go check out Buddy Roemer, the only republican candidate to face down OWS and Rachel Maddow.

    November 30, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. wsest

    And yet he's still a better choice than what we have now...

    November 30, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Dee

    The only thing Tricky Ricky has going for him right now is he doesn't have 2 previous wives like Newt, women coming out of the woodwork like Herman, he's not a Morman flip flopper like Mitt, but there is something about him which reminds me of Michelle, maybe it's that dazed look in the eyes?

    November 30, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. gino

    The GOP Comedy in Seven Big Acts–leaving out Ron Paul–is no longer getting laughs; it's become stupid beyond belief. Maybe they ought to brush Dubya off and bring him back as a guest puppet–he could read his much-thumbed copy of 'The Pet Goat'. That'll wow the audience.

    November 30, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Corporations R. People II

    wsest - fortunately the vast majority of clear thinking Americans beg to differ. Your candidates need to get better, don't be bitter.

    November 30, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. It is sad

    Maybe the republican party would be better off sending all these candidates to "Survivor Island" and let them lie and cheat and pull nasty tricks on each other and vote the weak ones off. At the end we will know that we have at least gotten the best backstabbing, lying SOB to take on Obama.

    November 30, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Gerry

    Don't let the door hit ya' where the good Lord split ya'.
    Ba-Bye now.

    November 30, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Jeff--Tacoma WA

    For god sake, can we just pull the completely unqualified ones off the stage; oh, I guess that would leave the GOP without a nominee.

    November 30, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Observer

    Perry keeps proving over and over that he's another George W. Bush.

    November 30, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. john

    Ricky Ricky......time to get back to Texas and help brother George with his crosswords isn't it?

    November 30, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Terry Gloege

    What does this say about those Texans who've been voting for this guy all these years?

    November 30, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. PR

    At first I thought the error that he made had to do with this line:

    "Look I'm a human being …

    November 30, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. What's a girl to do

    Rick Perry says "I drink Brawndo 'cause it's got electric lights".

    November 30, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. SaintM

    Former Republican Now an Independent:

    I hear it is really easy to find your way to Texas: Travel east until you smell it, and then south until you step in it.

    November 30, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    this guy has made more verbal gaffes in a few months than Obama has in his entire presidential tenure

    November 30, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Roger

    I studied Kennedy's speeches to the media when I was in college. The well spoken careful use of our language probably helped keep us out of World War III. Can you imagine a leader that can't get the facts correct trying to lead during the digital age? Very, Very Scary. This man is NOT better then what we have now!

    November 30, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Chuck Anziulewicz

    "Well I don't think there is any question about it. It can only be attributable to human error. This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due ot human error." -HAL 9000

    November 30, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Vaughan

    He didn't make a mistake. He knows that the DRINKING age is 21 and he understands that for anyone to vote for him, they would need to be drunk.

    November 30, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Jasie

    CNN completely leaves out all Obama's mistakes and he has glaring ones. Don't the reporters have something of substance to report.

    November 30, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Egads Perry! You're starting to rival our country's biggest gaff-O-matic, Crazy VP Joe Biden! Maybe Perry is really running for VP???

    November 30, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Jerry

    Waiting for CNN to run a story for 5 days on ANY gaffe made by President Obama or any other Democrat. Waiting........

    November 30, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. Mark Hudson

    Reporting on Perry's use of one word instead of another is not major news. Why not focus on the substance of the speech Perry just gave to the NH Legislature?

    November 30, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Marcus

    Gaffes like these aren't big enough to determine if someone's qualified to run for president. Perry's already made a huge fool of himself by being unable to answer policy questions, but these gaffes here are pretty nit-picky.

    November 30, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. TM

    This blockhead would need the assistance of a tutor to watch "Schoolhouse Rock".

    November 30, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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