Perry Fights For Air at South Carolina Debate
While most of last night’s GOP presidential debate had the top tier candidates fighting amongst each other, Texas Governor Rick Perry was just trying to stay relevant.
Just about every time one of the top four candidates took a question in Monday night’s GOP presidential debate in South Carolina, somewhere in the answer there was a slap at one of the other three. Which then lead to plenty of back and forth among the candidates as they debated who was telling the truth, and who would be the best Republican candidate.
But from his 5th place perch on stage, Governor Rick Perry had little influence, even when he launched his own attacks, like challenging former Massachusetts Governor, and current frontrunner, Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.
“As Republicans, we can not fire our nominee in September. We need to know now,” Perry said. “so I hope you’ll put your tax records out there this week so the people of South Carolina can take a look and decide if, you know, we got a flawed candidate or not.”
Romney chose not to respond to that point. Which kept Perry from having any additional chances to jump in. Instead, he had to wait for the next question directed to him. It was a long wait.
In fact, Perry would sometimes go 20 minutes without any attention from the moderators – or his opponents. When he did get more questions, Perry mostly regurgitated lines from his stump speeches. A 20-percent flat tax, a part-time Congress, a secure U.S./Mexico border.
Probably Perry’s biggest splash of the night came when he defended four Marines seen in a video that surfaced last week – urinating on Afghan corpses. Perry criticized members of the Obama administration for calling the Marines’ actions “despicable”.
“Let me tell you what’s utterly despicable. Cutting Danny Pearl’s head off and showing the video of it,” Perry said as the crowd cheered him on, “hanging our contractors from bridges, that’s utterly despicable. For our president for the secretary of state for the department of defense secretary to make those kinds of statements about those young marines.”
But even after cheers from the crowd, the debate quickly moved on to the other candidates. Leaving Perry to watch and wait for his next question.