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. Brian2913

    Funny, nothing here on CNN about Obama calling the Embassy in Iran 'English' Pretty sure we won't see that on the CNN ticker

    November 30, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Terry

    .....and you guys thought "W" was dumb!

    November 30, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. N/A

    I've notice after reading 40 or so of these comments that Democants have nothing better to do than bash GOPs. Its sad you all have so much idle time on your hands. If you all was working like us Republicans, there wouldn't be 98% democants bashing GOPs on here.

    November 30, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Jeff

    Pretty petty to call him out on stupid things like this, 99 of Americans would not remember exactly which date the election is going to be on this far away. Especially when it comes from people stanchly in support of the President of all 57 states, with a Muslim/Christain faith.

    November 30, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. normajean @ verizon ,com

    I have never berfore seen anyone who had so much trouble getting ONE statement out without screwing it up somehow. !! GIVE IT UP Perry!!! Take the cowboy boots out of your mouth or just shut up!!!!

    November 30, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Mike


    Weak. I'm a Democrat that's going to vote for Obama, but these type of attacks are lame. Who cares if he got minor things wrong.

    Now the Herman Cain Libya moment. That is important. It is important for a candidate to know what's going on in the world. This minor stuff in this story is not.

    November 30, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. hjs3

    God help us ....This poor man just doesn't get the hint that he's
    not ready for prime time or anything else.....There are no gotchya questions in play here
    as he seems to insist either.....Voting age? Election date ? I know middle schoolers
    that all over this information...Candidates really should be too.

    November 30, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. TxJim

    I live in Texas.. which is an open primary state.. and I will be voting for Rick Perry..

    Just for the fun of it.. keeping him in the race as long as possible is comic relief..

    November 30, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. normajean @ verizon ,com

    To compare this man "GAFFS" to any slip by another person is laughable. We all make mistakes but this clown can't talk without making them!!!!!

    November 30, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Brian2913

    Jeff, this is the GOP bash Ticker from CNN, 99% of the readers are going to be Libs who can't defend O's policies and instead try to call their opponents stupid

    November 30, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Stephen

    Wow! A lot harsh words here from folks who would be begging for mercy if the shoe were on the other foot.

    November 30, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Southerner01, you really had to strain to dredge up 3 gaffes in 3 years. Perry, Bachmann, Romney, Cain, and Gingrich can manage that in a space of minutes, so what can you possibly say to defend such a lack of discipline? These are the people who want to repalce a sitting president: has the GOP really set the bar so low?

    November 30, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Name Stephanie from Pittsburgh

    It is human to error but this happens way to frequently I'm starting to wonder is he in the early stages of Alzheimer

    November 30, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Roger

    Gee N/A aren't you working? PS – I am a realistic voter that would vote for Romney but the GOP are too busy destroying him for flip flopping which Thomas Jefferson would actually have called compromise. What a concept! Compromise and work together...not a current Republican concept.

    November 30, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. Dan

    I think he's decided to try out for a guest spot on "Beavis and Butthead" and bag the presidential candidate thing.

    November 30, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. JohnRJ08

    Perry's lack of attention to detail is one of the reasons most of his policy ideas are stupid. As an American, I find it embarrassing that one of our major political parties is fielding such a group of incompetent, ignorant, backward, unethical ideologues for the highest office in the land.

    November 30, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. NateFromIndiana

    This is just Perry's early Christmas present to late night TV comedians.

    November 30, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Brian2913

    Real Tom Paine, were you aware that England now has its own Embassies?

    November 30, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Liz the First

    This guy didn't step in it, he LIVES in it! he makes Bush look like a Rhodes scholar. do we really want another idiot from Texas running the country into the ground? we have an intelligent, caring, capable president now who is doing the best possible job considering the mess left him and the entrenched opposition from the people who made the mess. if we toss him aside for another rethug, we deserve to have this country go down the drain!!!

    November 30, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. jordans

    I think Mr Perry correctly assumes that a voter must be 21 so they can throw down a few before they punch that chad beside his name. He is a complete boob and another embarrasment to a once grand old party.

    November 30, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Ron

    That's a brand he'll never shake he is so far out of his element and now he is just a deer in headlights...

    November 30, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Squigman

    Any chance this moron has/had, is small at best. If he gets the nod, then gets elected, none of us have enough bread crumbs in our pockets to mark a trail home.

    November 30, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Julia

    Come on, this is more like Obama's "57 states" blunder than anything else. I'm going to give the guy a break on this one, and so should everyone else.

    November 30, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. MiketheElectrician

    Yet the GOP never ceases to use the presidents full name, as if we are going to associate him with the the deceased ex-leader of Iraq. I will defend the Presidents policy to have the richest of the rich pay their fair share. I will defend the policy that health care should be a right and not a privilege that congress gets. I will defend the president's policy to go after OBL, and other top terrorists. I will defend the presidents going big on the deficit cutting...which by the way was scaled back by the GOP, I will defend the President's position on being a positive father role model.

    November 30, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Patrick

    Poor Rick Perry..................he needs to go to the doctor for his 'foot in mouth' disease.

    November 30, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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