Rick Perry May Skip Future Debates?

Appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s show last night Governor Rick Perry was critical of the presidential debates, which isn’t surprising given that he’s performed poorly in them for the most part (pertinent video starts around 8:33):

Now Perry’s campaign is hinting that the governor may be skipping future debates:

Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the issue is using time wisely, and noted their campaign is not alone in that.

“I think all the campaigns are expressing frustration right now,” Miner told POLITICO. “We said we would do Michigan but the primaries are around the corner and you have to use your time accordingly.”

Perry’s criticism is that the debates are more medial spectacles than substantive, well, debates. And he’s got a point. The debates are often gimmicky, with the media and moderators all but treating it like an episode of a reality show in trying to bait the candidates into attacking one another and throw out tabloidy soundbites. The back and forth between the judges on Dancing with the Stars is often more meaningful, quite frankly.

But as a practical political matter, how can a candidate like Perry afford to skip the debates? Like them or not, the public tunes in to them like no other event during these primary races. There is an intense amount of media scrutiny on them, and while the debates can be perilous in that a poor performance can be a major set back to a campaign (something Perry should be familiar with by now), bad media coverage from a debate is better than no media attention at all because you’re not attending, isn’t it?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Guest

    How can the GOP continue to live in denial when they are constantly forced to deal with reality?

  • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

    What? The great gop hope, the Not Romney candidate is playing possum?

    Oh well, more time for Santorum to cover the issues, more time for batsheet crazy Michele to say stupid stuff, more time for the serial adulterer to say “frankly”.

  • mikemc1970

    Bring on Cain vs. Unable in 2012.

    • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

      Mr. 1970, in that Cain story, who was the bad guy?

      • mikemc1970

        The Democrat, it’s always the Democrat.

        • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

          Only morons think in terms of absolutes. It’s all their simple minds can handle. 

          robert108

          • mikemc1970

            I guess he hasn’t met enough Democrats.

          • robert108

            Anything in your own words, liar?

  • I H8 GOPers

    Republicans who open their mouths don’t get elected. The smart ones let FOX “news” campaign for them, and the people find out what they voted for later. Scott Brown, for instance.

  • Guest

    O’Reilly stumped Perry by asking him a direct question.  Perry was left stuttering and changing the subject.  THIS is the best the GOP has?

    LMAO.

  • SigFan

    It will be interesting to see what comes of the Lincoln-Douglas style debate that Cain and Gingrich have planned.  Three hours, face to face, no moderator and no liberal media wonk trying to play gotcha.  Might set a new trend and if so I would be willing to bet that Perry would sign up for something similar.  The current debate format is simply a joke.

  • spud

    Two months plus yet before any actual voting takes place in republican race for nomination.  In politics that is a lifetime.  Only thing that looks like a done deal is that money people and inside power brokers have “chosen” Mitt.  Excuse me one other important element to the story in just about any national poll he hovers in the 21-25 % in the voters choice numbers.  That is scary to him and his handlers.  I have always thought he would be the nominee but mostly based on the republican nominee always seems to be the guy the insiders want not necessarily the “most” conservative guy since Ronald Reagan was the nominee and elected POTUS in two landslides.  I am willing to bet most of you would agree all the nomineees and those the Bush clan who got elected were not “true” conservatives.

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