Perry Comes Unprepared to the GOP Debate

September 7th, 2011 at 6:37 pm | 58 Comments |

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Pre-Debate Analysis:


Tonight will be Rick Perry’s debut at a GOP presidential debate. As we have seen in this cycle, prescription a good debate performance can provide a real boost to candidates and change the dynamics of the race. Michele Bachmann’s strong performance at a GOP debate in June was followed by an improvement in her numbers in several polls and eventually a win in the (unscientific) Ames Straw Poll.

Here is what to look out for in tonight’s debate:

How will Perry do?

Molly Ball at Politico has watched every debate performance Perry has done. While he is self-assured, ask that strength carries some negatives with it:

Confident and folksy, Perry has a talent for coming across as sincere, staying focused on his key themes and answering the questions he wants to answer rather than the ones he’s been asked. He never, ever backs down: In four hours of debates spanning three campaigns, all of which focused on knocking the incumbent — Perry — off balance, not once did he admit error, express regret or acknowledge the merits of criticism.

But Perry’s greatest strength, his poised self-assurance, can also be his weakness. When he goes astray, it is by hamming it up, overdoing the cowboy act at the expense of specifics and appearing arrogant and glib.

Notably, Politico reminds us that Perry did not debate his Democratic opponent in the 2010 gubernatorial election. No one is claiming that Perry will be a stronger debater, but a weak performance by Perry may reduce his lead in the polls.

Will Romney Attack?

After Perry, the candidate of most interest is Mitt Romney. His campaign strategy remains one of stubbornly refusing to be combative against his GOP opponents. He seems to be running a general election campaign in the primary season.

He will likely tout his new 59 point jobs plan, and make a few awkward jokes about how Obama is “A payphone President in a smartphone age”, but how he will deal with Perry is a big unknown.

Will Perry Get Attacked by Everyone Else?

If Romney doesn’t want to attack Rick Perry, then there are more than enough other candidates who are willing to try. Ron Paul has been very aggressive, releasing a web video which argued that Perry was not the true heir to Ronald Reagan, unlike (the video argues) Ron Paul. A pro-Michele Bachmann Super-PAC has also released a video attacking Perry’s lead.

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58 Comments so far ↓

  • Oldskool


    to see if the font buttons work.

  • Balsack

    Here is the most important question to ask Mr. Perry,

    1970, we landed men on the Moon. Now, even the Reds from Mainland China are planning a moon mission. And 40 years after our greatest space based accomplishment, still we cannot get out of near earth orbit.

    The question is: Would the new Republicans be willing to blast Perry on a one way mission to Mars if this might cost half a trillion inflated dollars? And would Perry continue to be a politician at heart once he was ensconced on Mars? And would he vie for votes from the rovers we have already sent to Mars?

    But Perry would be happy there on Mars. He could finally become the leader of his party with robot constituents to elect him every few minutes of the day. With the click of a mouse.

    This is going to be just another Tim Burton type American Election in 2012.
    We can feel it in our bones, already.
    So grab your socks.

  • Oldskool

    The tanning booth guy did a great job on those guys.

    • Balsack

      Tks! Oldskool!

      I may be inane, but the Mars Attacks! film, and Tim Burton, cracks me up!
      Now how long do we need to wait for another great movie, such as Edward Scissorhands?

      Some people like sweet orange juice in the morning.
      Some people like a shot of bittersweet grapefruit juice in the morning.
      But, only real men love napalm in the morning.
      Yes, Sports Fans, who does not love the smell of napalm in the morning.
      Still others walking among us have never viewed a REAL film, unless
      they have taken in Tennessee Williams’ true work of art
      BABY DOLL! 1956,
      With Eli Wallach and Karl Malden, two fantastic actors.
      And you can keep your On the Waterfront, or Stella! any old day.

      Just tell me please.
      Where will the new Republicans find the money to send Perry to Mars?
      Will they rely on Ben Bernanke to create a half trillion out of thin air?
      Or will Ben, again, find a few trillion in his beard?
      Or, what?

      I would gladly contribute 10 bucks to send Perry to Mars.
      Would not you?

  • armstp

    It is tough to watch even 5 minutes of this. So many blatant lies, exaggerations and bullshit. The constant repetition of talking points, narratives and bumper sticker slogans is mind numbing…..

    • Oldskool

      This is why we need pro football seven nights a week, year round.

      • Balsack

        Either NFL, NBA or, better yet, basket weaving.
        BASKET WEAVING is better than NFL Pro Ball.
        Weaving baskets does not waste resources.
        But still is a device to divert attention from crucial issues which need thinking about.

    • Smargalicious

      Well, it beats watching the Dems promise their constituents that the gubbermint checks will still keep rolling in.

      • medinnus

        Speaking of brainless bumper-sticker bigots… hush, fool. Adults who actually watched the debate are talking.

  • valkayec

    I must be doing something wrong. My comments are not showing up in the feed.

    • Balsack

      Yes they are. But your comments were so good that they were cancelled by Perry for being just too challenging.

    • medinnus

      Most of mine weren’t showing up, either – its a moderated chat.

      The comment of yours I did see I totally agree with, though – Huntsman won, but won’t in the commentariate.

  • anniemargret

    As a Obama-voting Dem, I’ve got no dog in this race. But is clear to me that both Huntsman and Romney sound the most sophisticated, and polished. They lead the pack, and frankly, the group should have been narrowed down to only 4 or 5 at this point.

    The others pale by comparison. Paul sounds too radical, although I love his honesty. Bachmann speaks in tongues. Gingrich is just….nasty.. and condescending. Cain and Santorum are inconsequential, although sincere.

    If I were voting Republican, I would be praying the TP doesn’t keep its stranglehold on the party, and keep the two who sound at least, borderline sensible.

    Go Obama 2012!

  • Oldskool

    This is probably how debates sounded in the Confederacy, everyone cheering for states rights and complaining about the president. They should consider a rebel flag in the background.

    • Smargalicious

      Well, if you examine the city of D.C. today, you’d wonder just what the Union accomplished back in 1865.

      • medinnus

        They freed an entire race from slavery?

        Yeah, what a shame, eh redneck bigot? What’s next, actual freedom of religion? Not being able to legally discriminate against minorities, women, and GAY PEOPLE?

        (All caps because I know it makes you especially happy to know your closet-dwelling homophobic ass hates them with a passion reserved for the self-loathing).

  • Balsack

    Texans have such great Presidential Body Language. Poking fingers in the air.

    Even Lyndon Johnson loved to poke a finger into chests when he wanted what he wanted.
    But if that did not work,
    Then he would poke his johnson at one from behind.
    And people were afraid of this man.

    Texans are just so, well, basically UNCOUTH!
    They are Marlboro Man without the refinement.
    Even a prairie dog would never vote for a Texan.
    Then, why should we?

    If I had my way, these days.
    Out of all the dogs running in this race?
    Then I would have to choose that dog Romney.
    He is probably the least likely to screw up America, fast.
    AND, he is NOT a Texan.
    And, he also has great hair.

    Recall the Alamo!
    Not exactly a good outcome.
    But the survivors of the Alamo,
    they will not require Medicare or Social Security.
    And neither do we.

    Now just pass the buck.
    Over to BofA.

    Ohayo Gozaimasu, Noah-san.

    • Jimbobaker

      Your writing excels in both style and substance, thanks.

      • Balsack


        But it was one of our local stray dogs over here that was doing most of the typing.
        This dog was almost beaten to death while Bob Byrd was crying before Congress.
        Something about Michael Vick and the NFL.
        And as anyone must know, Robert Byrd is one of the few people that both Democrats and Republicans love to love. A true coal miner, perhaps. But a fine gentleman and a self made scholar.

        On FrumForum, as you know, the powers that be, just love dogs, too.
        And I can tell you. There are no better parasites in the world, than Man’s best friend.
        We have three canine parasites over here.
        And we love them almost all the time.

        Robert Byrd? Please rest in peace.
        Some guys on FrumForum, love you as if you were a Republican.
        And you were a Republican, back in the good old days.
        When coal miners could become Senators.

        If only we could have about 10 more of you, today!

      • Balsack

        And as we all know. If we wish to read good writing. Then we might as well head on over to the New Yorker. Those guys are not pretenders. There is something truly satisfying to the soul when we read good writing. My personal favorite of the New Yorker is that drunken Irishman, Cheever.

        But then, whom among us does not enjoy reading the works of a good American Fruit Cake?
        And John Cheever is one of the best American Fruit Cakes that you might ever hope to read.

        And Cheever told us he was a Fruit Cake. Please just read his last book!

  • anniemargret

    Horrible that an audience would cheer that 234 people were executed. They don’t have a doubt? Imagine being nailed in Texas and you didn’t do it? I shudder to think people would be cheering.

    • medinnus

      Ultimate Justice works only if there is no question of guilt.

      Refusing appeals or allowing evidence to trump the verdict is more like the Ultimate Injustice (and I do support the Death Penalty under specific circumstances).

    • kccd

      That was amazing, wasn’t it? One of the questioners even commented on the cheers from the audience when the number of Texas executions was mentioned.

      Also concerning – Perry confirming that he does not accept climate science, claiming that it is not “settled”. Perry also confirmed his opposition to SS, calling it a Ponzi scheme.

      • Smargalicious

        kc, when the economic apocalypse occurs and your neighborhood is invaded by the resulting social upheaval, I hope the fatherless welfare citizen who breaks into your house to take your resources isn’t too kind…

    • rubbernecker

      Perry sent a probably innocent man to his death. For this he should be shunned by his party. Instead, he is leading the polls.

    • Carney

      The audience cheered because a smug liberal MSM poo-bah was operating from the presumption that executions are inherently immoral and TX having a high number is something its governor should be ashamed of and put on the defensive for. They wanted to respond and show public approval of capital punishment, so they rubbed Brian Williams’ face in it, and yours too.

      AND I LOVE IT.

      Perry took care in his response to slog through some of the many many venues a death penalty convict has to have his case re-examined before he finally pays the price.

  • TJ Parker

    Perry: what a dickweed.

  • indy

    After watching that debate, I think Perry has zero chance of winning a general. He does realize FL and PA are, practically speaking, must wins for the GOP candidate?

    • Oldskool

      Yeah, he’s as dumb as a bag of Dubyas. Even has the same mannerisms. Gah.

    • valkayec

      From the ways things are shaping up, it looks like FL will be the must win-state for the election. With Perry reiterating in very forceful terms his belief that Medicare is a Ponzi scheme, he’s lost the largest segment of the GOP base. By default, that puts Romney in the lead, but I think Huntsman performed well and will attract younger voters (18 – 55) who have a more global outlook and understand the need to compete globally. The others were just a side show.

      • anniemargret

        I give Huntsman some kudos who at least had the courage to say that it is important (vital!!!) not to be anti-science, as it is already with the GOP wearing it as some type of honor badge . This is how far down the rabbit hole the GOP has come, that a presumed presidential candidate of the superpower of the world has to defend a stance that thousands of experts – the world’s climatologists- agree on and then take it as a ‘risk.’

        What a party.

        • Carney

          Meanwhile both parties but especially the Dems are frozen in terror by taboo into not acknowledging the increasingly heavy mountain of evidence on IQ and genes, because it refutes egalitarian happy talk.

  • Oldskool

    The whole time I was wondering if anyone’s hair would move if Air Force One cranked up.

  • The GOP Debate | Poison Your Mind

    [...] a fence at the US-Mexico border could wind up keeping our capital in the US, or something. I liked Fred Messner’s line: “Ron Paul hates zoos because he doesn’t know what side of the bars he’s [...]

  • hisgirlfriday

    Disappointed that the moderators couldn’t ask Rick Perry why if he hates Social Security so much he was a member of the party of FDR until 1989.

    • anniemargret

      Don’t you just love these financially comfortable bigwigs who ‘hate’ SS? Why don’t they ask some of the blue collar workers who have been working double shifts or late night shifts for 20+ years if they agree with him that it is a ‘Ponzi scheme?”

      Yeah, a really big bad scheme that just everyone ‘hates.’

      Are these guys on the same planet as the rest of America?

      • valkayec

        Most Americans no longer have a solid retirement plan from their companies. They save for retirement via 401(k)s and IRAs and hope they don’t lose in the stock market. But as we’ve just seen, the market wiped out much if not most of those savings. For those nearing or into retirement, there’s no time to recover the lost assets. That’s why Social Security – an earned benefit – is so vitally important. The money is safe and will always be there, regardless of what happens to stock prices. It’s our back up and our economic safety net. It assures us of being able to pay the bills if the stock market crashes. It’s like life insurance: it’s always there to protect us from worst case scenarios. And it’s an easy fix.

        Anyone who threatens to end Social Security and Medicare, as we currently know it, will be defeated by the largest voting block in the nation.

      • Balsack

        Annie Oakley, or may we call you Phoebe Ann Mosey?

        It is the designed PURPOSE of our present system to keep workers always at risk and always feeling insecure in their jobs. Keeping workers feeling vulnerable so that wages can easily be kept low enough for the rest of us with money to buy cheap trinkets while the fortunate few can live in Greewiich, CT and go sailing on Cape Cod.

        Same goes for student debt. Keep new graduates in debt, so the thinking goes, then they will not get out of hand when they graduate and opt to enlist in jobs which might challenge the system. Or, so the thinking goes among many.

        But, anniemargret, when we finally do get to heaven, then there will be plenty of time for collective bargaining up there. And if they do not give us a Living Wage in Heaven, then that will be the last straw. And we just might begin to get pissed off.

        So far, no Walmarts over here in the country where I live. But I can see the Walton Compound from space on Google Earth. And, I think I can even see good old Sam Walton spinning in his grave. Either it is he, or then it must be a Sam Walton decoy.

        Now can you sing the old Sam Walton tune to get you in the mood for working like a slave for less than a Living Wage? Sam was such a motivator of people. Just a true Dale Carnegie of slave labor. Welcome to the Red China-India-Indonesia way of life. See you in Heaven before Americans get a living wage. And this aint no joke.

  • Balsack

    Pls keep in mind.

    Hu Jin Tao will be out of work in 2012. He is a very smart man.
    Rather than waste his talents in Red China, once he steps down, can we negotiate a Romney/Hu ticket?
    Hu Jin Tao is not a citizen, and cannot become President of the United States.
    But he could be VP.
    And a far smarter VP than Cheney.
    No joke.

    Hu Jin Tao, once every year, even cracks a smile.
    On both sides of his face.
    Cheney cracks a smile sometimes.
    But only below the waste.

  • Watusie

    Freak show.

  • nuser

    With all due respect ; these people are embarrassing!

  • Balsack

    Banty, there are no chambermaids at truck stops.
    Unless you are one of a kind.

    But if there were chambermaids at truck stops,
    then it is high time for me to begin driving trucks.

    Still, if all chambermaids at truck stops look as you probably do,
    then I will just save all my lovin for another day.

    All my loving. Now close your eyes while I kiss you.

    Darling I’ll be true.

    • Banty

      You’re just offensively weird.

      • Balsack

        Very sorry. I thought you were originally jesting in your comment because I never before linked the two terms ‘chambermaid’ and ‘truck stop’ into the same sentence. But if you are serious, then at least 95 percent of America must agree with your original statement. As I am sure that I do, also.

        But just to prove to you that I am also weird. Why don’t you click on this RT site and watch Mad Max?

        Because. If we do not watch Mad Max Keiser, then life is just not worth living, no matter what slave wages we are paid.

        • Banty

          Truck stops have motels, people are hired to clean the rooms in them. I don’t understand why the connection should be so difficult for you. I’ve mentioned my first waged employment in jobs discussions here before. And I really didn’t appreciate the tone of your response.

  • Balsack

    As I say. And I will say, again. I am very sorry.
    I truly thought you were joking.
    Please just pardon me for my ignorance.

    But, honestly, Banty, you’ve gotta admit, a chambermaid in a truck stop?
    This is just something far removed from my bailiwick.

    And I will repeat.
    You should be paid a living wage.
    And you should spend more time viewing Mad Max Keiser on RT.
    Well then, Have You Hun?

  • Balsack

    Ms. Banty, or can we call you Mrs. Calabash,

    Please just do not, again, elect one of those Texans. Texans are, basically, just dumb as posts. Not all Texans. Just most Texans.

    I prefer my USA Presidents from Illinois. Or anywhere else other than Texas.

    In fact, if I were President, than I would move all NASA related projects from Texas to the equator. And I would let Texas just die on the vine. Allowing the guys from Texas to just sink under their 10 gallon hats into the dry sand. While chopping wood and clearing brush like Bush.

    Sure, Ms Banty, or Mrs Calabash, or, whatever your name is.
    We should just let the Texans with six shooters and 10 gallon hats just sink into their Texas sand.