Perry Commits To Debates – Rick Perry is seeking to reintroduce himself to the debates on his own terms by returning to the play-it-safe strategy he successfully employed in running for governor of Texas. His decision could cause other Republicans to bow out of some of the dozen-plus forums between now and the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.
The move dismisses speculation that the Texas governor’s lackluster performances so far would lead him to skip future Republican forums.
The candidate who has struggled through parts of his first five televised events, will attend all of them in November and December, according to his spokesman Ray Sullivan.
The decision comes after questions over whether he would miss some meetings to concentrate on other types of campaigning. The Texas governor has always conceded he is not a strong in public appearances, and has often avoided the sparring matches in his past campaigns. But he’s not giving up.
“Shoot, I may get to be a good debater before this is all over,” he joked during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Friday.
Sullivan said the campaign will make decisions about future appearances on a case-by-case basis. He had already committed to a Nov. 9 debate in Michigan. Added to the calendar are events in South Carolina on Nov. 12; Washington, D.C., on Nov. 15; and Arizona on Dec. 1. He’ll also attend an Iowa forum hosted by The Family Leader, a socially conservative group, on Nov. 19.
Perry rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, hasn’t committed to any appearances beyond the Nov. 9 event in Michigan. Romney’s campaign didn’t immediately say whether he, too, would commit further on the schedule.