Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry says this about debate skills: “I’m who I am. I’m not a perfect debater by any sense of the imagination. But we’ve had probably the best debater in American history, at least presidential history, residing in the White House in the last three years and America is in trouble.”
Two days after a CNBC debate in which he forgot part of his message, Perry did not shy away from the microphone. Instead, he went on David Letterman to present a “Top Ten List” of reasons why he forgot, including #2, “I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.”
The next day, he came back to South Carolina for another debate to be held Saturday night at Wofford College. The candidate scheduled a gauntlet of open-ended, one-on-one, 30-minute interviews Friday afternoon with the state’s press corps.
He reviewed with me the list of policy speeches he has given since he joined the race in August and I asked him if humor as a tactic is working– as he tries to divert voter attention back to these White House plans.
“Do they want somebody who is a human being, that when they ‘step in it’ in some form or fashion, will stand up and say ‘Yep, I did that’? ” he asked.
“I think Americans want to have someone who believes in them,” he said.
To regain his footing, Perry said he will use paid media and will be in South Carolina often to get voter attention.
AUDIO: Perry on the next 50 days (1:42)