Rick Perry?s giddy speech raises eyebrows, questions
By Aman Batheja and Maria Recio / McClatchy Newspapers
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - Added 3 hours ago
FORT WORTH, Texas -- A spirited and giggling Texas Gov. Rick Perry showed up to deliver a speech in Manchester, N.H., on Friday and the resulting video became a YouTube hit Monday.
His campaign insists Perry was simply "being passionate," but the video drew a slew of jokes and questions about whether Perry was under the influence of anything during the speech.
Perry was the featured speaker at the Steward of the Family Banquet put on by Cornerstone-Action, a conservative group in Manchester. During his speech, which lasted approximately 23 minutes, Perry spoke giddily about primary opponent Herman Cain; the New Hampshire slogan, "Live Free or Die"? and his own tax plan while at times rambling, making exaggerated gestures and appearing to stifle giggles.
At the end of his speech, when a host of the event gave Perry some New Hampshire maple syrup, calling it "liquid gold," Perry broke into a fit of laughter.
But clips from the speech drew strong reaction from pundits and political strategists Sunday and Monday as it spread quickly via websites. Portions of Perry?s speech were played on cable news programs and some pundits questioned whether Perry had been drinking or was experiencing the side-effects of medication.
An edited version of the speech focused on some of Perry?s odder moments had been viewed nearly 200,000 by Monday afternoon.
TIME reporter Jay Newton-Small, who attended the speech, wrote Monday that "something was clearly off on Friday as Perry hemmed and hawed his way through the speech, at times ... hooting and smirking at his own jokes and staring googly-eyed at a jar of maple syrup he was given, turning it upside down and watching the syrup ooze downwards, while exclaiming, ?Awesome!?"
Austin, Texas political consultant Bill Miller, who has clients in both parties, said, "I think he was just being cute and funny." Asked if he had ever seen the governor that way before, Miller laughed and said, "No."
Perry?s performance renewed speculation Monday as to whether he has been taking prescription painkillers due to back surgery he received during the summer.
Perry received a spinal fusion on July 1 to treat a recurring back injury. To help speed his recovery, Perry also opted for an experimental injection of his own stem cells, a controversial therapy that isn?t FDA approved.
"The governor was being passionate in his speech," Perry campaign spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said. She did not respond to questions about Perry?s back surgery or his health.
Perry?s uneven performance in the first few presidential debates initially brought about speculation that he was still experiencing back pain and might be taking painkillers. At the September debate in Orlando, Republicans in the debate hall said Perry looked unwell, according to The Miami Herald.
Jim Geraghty, a blogger with the National Review Online, said he liked the Perry he saw in the New Hampshire video.
"If this is a side effect of his medication, more back meds, please!" Geraghty wrote.
Despite the puzzled reaction the online video has received, the audience at the dinner appeared to enjoy Perry?s speech. Perry drew repeated laughs as he cracked far more jokes than he has traditionally delivered in stump speeches in the past. At the end of the speech, the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Rick Perry - Full, uncut "drunk" Cornerstone New Hampshire speech - Friday, 28 October, 2011
Drunk? Medicine? Pot? Stupid? READ MORE: politicalgates.blogspot.com
[COLOR="rgb(255, 0, 255)"]Rick Perry gets slurry in New Hampshire, Oct. 28, 2011 (excerpts)
Appearing at times to be channeling Crispin Glover, Elwood P. Dowd and the Church Lady, Gov. Perry flaps his blue index card, salutes Hugo Chavez ...[/COLOR]
[COLOR="rgb(255, 0, 255)"]Perry heckled in New Hampshire, asked about evolution
At an event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire Thursday, a mother urged her son to ask Gov. Rick Perry (R-Tex.) about evolution. Just feet away, a ...[/COLOR]
[COLOR="rgb(255, 0, 255)"]cnn - bilderberg rick perry heckled outside new hampshire cafe
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is greeted by protesters as he meets with voters in New Hampshire.[/COLOR]
amazing the sheeple buying a 20% flat tax on a postcard don't realize that statistically that would double taxes on most americans, so only the rich get the simpler/quicker tax system ALONG with paying 1/3 less taxes
and to make up for that we will cap spending, so money will be cut, not from defense, not from oil subsidies but from medicare and SS, so screw you middle class!
that will certainly help the economy....just amazing....