The conservative commentariat spoke with near-unanimity Friday on Rick Perry’s debate performance: The Texas governor didn’t just lose, he bombed.
There was no election-ending gaffe or singularly disqualifying remark. But his second consecutive weak outing set off alarm bells on the right, where too many cringeworthy moments raised questions about Perry’s durability, his seriousness and ability to compete on a stage with Barack Obama. Worse, after a near-flawless August rollout fueled his rise in the polls and quieted critics who fretted about the quality of the GOP field, Perry’s nationally televised face-plant revived dormant talk—and hopes—about the possibility of new candidates entering the race.
After another rocky debate performance, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a candidate for the White House, said in a Friday speech that Republicans should not necessarily back "the smoothest debater" for president.
"As conservatives we know that values and vision matter. It’s not who is the slickest candidate or the smoothest debater that we need to elect. We need to elect the candidate with the best record and the best vision for this country," he said at a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida. "The current occupant of the White House can sure talk a good game, but he doesn’t deliver."