Tales from the Trail

Perry does Letterman’s “Top Ten” excuses for gaffe

Texas Governor Rick Perry wrapped up his apology, explanation, damage control (take your pick) tour where it started — on TV with an appearance on David Letterman’s “Late Show.”

Instead of sitting in the guest seat, the Republican presidential hopeful stood center stage presenting the “Top Ten Rick Perry Excuses” for an embarrassing 53-second brain freeze live on national TV at the Michigan debate.

Here’s the Top Ten in Reverse Order:

    10 “Actually there were 3 reasons I messed up last night 1) was the nerves and 2) was the headache and 3) uh, uh.” 9 “I don’t know what you’re talking about I think things went well.” 8 “I was up late last night watching ‘Dancing With the Stars’ “ “I thought the debate was tonight” 6 “Hey listen, you try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude!” 5 “Uhhhh, El Nino” 4 “I had a five-hour energy drink six hours before the debate.” 3 “You know I really hoped it would get me on my favorite talk show but instead I ended up here.” 2 “I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.” 1 ” I just learned Justin Beiber is my father.”

Anyone tuning in for another Perry moment would have been disappointed. The  Late Night performance went well. His delivery, facial expressions and hand gestures were just right — not too stiff, not too overdone.

Perry was at a loss for words Wednesday night when he tried to present his own Top Three list of government agencies he’d cut if he becomes president.  The governor was done in by three words: “Department of Energy.”

Perry’s Thursday TV tour began on the morning talk shows, where he chalked up his memory lapse to human error.

Perry is on for next debate… but after that?

Texas Governor Rick Perry is definitely on for the next  Republican debate  in Michigan  on Nov. 9th.  But after that — we’ll see.

Questions were raised about whether the GOP presidential hopeful would skip upcoming debates after he  suggested in an interview that participating in the previous debates  had been a mistake.

Perry spokesman Mark Miner told Reuters the governor is committed to the Michigan debate.  Miner also said  that with a little over two months before the start of the crucial early primaries the campaign plans to make the best use of its time –  perhaps taking its case directly to voters in Iowa, which kicks off  the nominating race on January 3. (There are a half dozen debates planned between now and then.)

“Birther” talk bubbles up again

The “birther” question rises again in a wide-ranging interview with Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry in  “Parade.”

The Texas governor dismissed the questioning of whether President Barack Obama is a native-born U.S. citizen as a “distractive issue” — after responding to several questions about the issue.

Asked whether he believes Obama was born in the USA, Perry said he had no reason to think otherwise. But the governor suggested he was not certain about the birth certificate released by Obama.

Perry video brands Obama “President Zero”

“Rick Perry – Proven Leadership,” a new campaign video for the Texas governor and Republican frontrunner opens with the voice of President Barack Obama — and footage of dreary, gray scenes.

The focus is on gloomy economic news.

With unemployment over 9 percent and the economy near another recession, the state of the U.S. economy is expected to be crucial to Obama’s re-election prospects for 2012.

The video brands Obama “President Zero”…  and fades to black.

Ron Paul vs. the “pretty boys” – Corrected

The race for the 2012 presidential nomination comes down to this: Ron Paul against the “pretty boys” — at least that’s what some of the most ardent supporters of the Texas congressman think.

The political action committee Revolution Pac , dedicated to Paul’s candidacy, compares their man to “media darlings” Mitt Romney (“this pretty boy”) and Texas Governor Rick Perry (“that pretty boy”) in a new ad branding the congressman  “a  statesman not a plastic man.”

“Wait a minute, can’t we do better?” the announcer asks, referring to Paul’s more popular opponents (who appear in animation) in the polls.

Perry speaks about his faith and failings

The subject was faith not policy in Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Perry’s  speech at Liberty University.

In the 20-minute speech described as “perhaps his most reflective and personal,” the Texas governor made no mention of the biggest issue thus far in the 2012 presidential race – jobs -  or his views on President Barack Obama, The Washington Post reported.

“Instead, the evangelical Christian governor spoke the language of the movement with ease,” the newspaper said.

Obama campaign goes on the attack against “attacks”

The website is dark and ominous-looking.

Pictures of conservative commentator Glenn Beck and leading Republican presidential candidates fade in and out.

Headlines such as “Rick Perry’s massive jobs lie” and “Romney’s job chart shows flawed understanding of the facts” scroll across the top.

Is it a left-leaning blog meant to criticize a “right wing conspiracy”?

Tea Party flavors Republican debate in Tampa

Maybe it was the Tea Party Express influence or maybe it was just being in Tampa where Republicans hold their presidential nominating convention next year.

But the atmosphere at Monday’s  Republican debate had the festive feel of a major sporting event and the stars of the game were the eight candidates vying for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination.

The pregame show began with a video introduction of “tonight’s players”…

Perry says stimulus didn’t create jobs; CBO says it did

Texas Governor Rick Perry, front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, said on Monday President Barack Obama’s  economic stimulus program  created “zero” jobs.

Not so, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan budget arbiter for lawmakers.

Congress in 2009 passed the $830 billion economic stimulus, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included both spending measures and tax cuts.

2012 candidates woo voters on Labor Day

Labor Day is no day off for President Barack Obama and the Republicans who want his job. The holiday to pay tribute to American workers traditionally marks the start of the general election campaign. And although 15 months remain before the 2012 election, you’ll find the 2012 White House hopefuls on the road Monday hoping to score points with voters.

Democrat Obama travels to Detroit on Labor Day to talk about how to create jobs and strengthen the economy, the White House said. With U.S. unemployment steady at 9.1 percent, Reuters’ Jeff Mason writes  Obama’s on the spot to boost hiring and economic growth as he campaigns for a second term in the White House.

Obama also spoke in Detroit on Labor Day 2008 as his general election race heated up against Republican presidential rival Senator John McCain.