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Rick Perry's debate troubles. Take 2

Earlier, we noted that Republicans last night were concerned with Rick Perry's bad debate performance. This morning and afternoon, his problems continued:

By Alex Leary and Michael C. Bender

ORLANDO -- Diane Tropia came to P5 unsure who she liked for president. Last night's debate provided clarity.

"Yesterday definitely solidified my vision of Romney over Perry," said Tropia, a 46-year-old court reporter from Jacksonville. "I like Romney more as he goes on. He's very presidential."

A survey of delegates (we sought out people not wearing campaign stickers) turned up more than a few people who noted Perry's uneven debate performance and moderate stance on illegal immigration. They said they will vote for someone else in tomorrow's straw poll, or at least are reconsidering Perry.

A straw poll is, well, a straw poll. And Perry clearly has broad support here and in scientific polls. But the reaction underscores a growing weariness among some conservatives that Perry is not the strongest candidate to take on President Obama. "I hated him in that debate last night," said Rayma Murray, 78 of Vero Beach, who also said she's leaning toward Romney now.

"I came here ready to vote for Perry," said Ken Parrish, 72, of Gainesville. "I just felt like Romney came across more forceful than what I thought he was in the past. It changed my mind."

Rebecca Walker, a Fernandina Beach retiree, said she is still sticking with Perry for one reason: jobs. “It’s the biggest issue,” Walker said.

Walker acknowledged that she “wasn’t 100 percent happy” with Perry’s debate performance, but said the record of job creation in Texas was more important. “Texas is as big as two states put together, some of them,” Walker said. “If you can create jobs in a place that big, you must know what you’re doing.”

"I’m confused,” said Leonard Hall, 68, of Panama City. Hall, a retired teacher, left the Panhandle ready to cast a ballot for the Texas governor. But Hall said he’s not sure where Perry is on education while businessman Herman Cain has been “tremendously impressive.”

“I was kind of leaning toward Perry,” Hall said. “But I don’t know.”

Jim and Michele Tedrick, a Fort Lauderdale couple in their 60s, were both leaning toward Perry when they left South Florida. But his debate performance has them rethinking their votes in the straw pole.

“The debate last night just turned me off with that man,” Jim Tedrick said. “This back and forth of you-said-that, I-said-this - enough already. Just tell me what you’re going to do.”

Michele Tedrick said Perry’s not tough enough on immigration for her.

“That was disappointing,” she said. “Build a fence. Do whatever we need to do.”

Despite their trepidation about Perry, both are unsure of the man they’re most impressed with this weekend: businessman Herman Cain.

“Every time I hear what he has to say I’m more impressed,” Michele Tedrick said.

Both wondered with Cain is “electable.” For that reason, Jim Tedrick is thinking about supporting Newt Gingrich instead. “He’s the smartest guy and actually has a plan."


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Donna Adams

GOP VS GOP barbs included:

Huntsman: I wish Mitt Romney and Rick Perry would bludgeon themselves to death.

Mitt Romney looking snidely at Rick Perry: At least I didn't inhale.

At the end the GOP contenders would not think of having Perry or Romney as Vice Presidential candidates.

I frankly wouldn't want coked out Rick Perry as my bus driver or my Burger King cook.

Donna Adams

When did Rick Perry get the lobotomy?

Donna Adams

There is more: Herman Cain and Ron Paul were at least interesting to listen to last night. If you like to hear solutions which are not practical or remotely possible of working in the near future. Have a plan for the issues today or get off stage. That goes for all of them. What is Bachman but a yes or no puppet waiting for a VP spot? The Do Nothing / Know Nothing Republicans AKA Crazy Glue Michel Bachman is out of touch with reality and stuck in the mud without a paddle. These plans of the panel are half baked, F grade failuring material. Awful substance. I may read Mitts book. He seemed cordial. Newt is in the La La Land of the 1980s and is just showing up for the donuts. Repugnants were out for blood. As the others have said real cheap audience members. They should have an IQ test for anyone before giving a right to vote. If you are so retarded that you think anarchy is the only policy than you are for the Koch Brothers Tea Party. If you have a brain you need not apply to them since you are not controllable. You are not a puppet or a Manchurian Candidate just doing Koch Brother business. Governor Medicare Fraud King Rick Scott is such a felon. Is their a count yet to how much bribe money our incompetent Governor has racked in behind closed doors?

Sobering Thought

You can't build a fence along the Texas/Mexico border because....THERE'S A RIVER ON THE BORDER. What are you going to do? Build a fence in the middle of the river? Or cede to Mexico our portion of the border.

Why is this so difficult for people to understand?

steve i

Hey rebecca walker-you might want to question rick perry's 'record' on job creation. Since 2008, 66% of those jobs were created in the public sector-that's right the dreaded big GOVERNMENT sector.sounds pretty much like OBAMA huh? granted texas' population growth is responsible for some increase but seriously this perry guy is a LIBERAL dressed in a bagger/neo-con disguise. check the out of control spending, HUGE deficits (actually greater than that of dreaded 'liberal' California)and the dagger to the heart cuts to the poor and working people in texas. They mirror washington directly. go ahead rebecca-be a fool, vote for more of the same.


Nicole | September 24, 2011 12:50 AM
Rick Perry's Bush imitations flat out bother me! Does the rest of the country think that Texans all act like this? We don't. He clearly tried to re-invent himself like Bush and now I think he can't break the habit.

But, everything he does ... it's like a Saturday Night Live actor imitation of Bush.

He raises his shoulder when he laughs ...
His pronunciation of "A MAR i ca" is the same ...
He walks with his arms way out and his chest back (only his "strut" is far worse than Bush)
He's really "touchy feely" and constantly pats people when he's mingling with a crowd, something only unique to Bush ...

It's everything. That alone totally turns me off. He's come to just remind me of a cheap actor they would get to play an older Texas suitor in a soap opera. Sorry.


I'm a registered Republican. However, the careening downward slide over time in GOP candidates IQs starting with GWB, then Palin, then Bachmann, then Perry, makes me embarassed to admit it. Why are my fellow Republicans so proud of their nominees' stupidity?

Go read some of what Barry Goldwater wrote toward the end of his life if you want to know what the GOP used to stand for. Or Reagan.


I am a democrat but I listen to all the debates and the only republican I think makes any sense is Herman Cain. Can the republicans be sensible enough to be behind BLACK man for president of the elephant party?


Again, all the myths about Perry.
No, the government is NOT the main source of employment in Texas.

And, no, Texas debt is not the buggerboo that detractors would like to make it. Texas is 4th lowest debt in the U.S.

Here's something else to read if you want to know the truth about Perry, not the lies.

Of course, if those that want to continue with the false smears so their guy/gal can win.....go right ahead. Just makes him/her/you look bad.

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