Huffpost Politics

Rick Perry Talks GOP Debates, Drug Use, Aggie Yell For 2012 Campaign

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Republican Presidential debate hosted by Bloomberg and the Washington Post on October 11, 2011 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Eight GOP candidates met for the first debate of the 2012 campaign focusing solely on the economy. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) | Getty

Rick Perry acknowledged in recent interviews that he is not the best debater, reflecting the consensus of observers.

"A debate is an eight-ring circus, and you have a minute to talk. Sometimes it can be hard to explain your position on a host of issues. I readily admit I’m not the slickest politician nor the smoothest debater," he told Parade in an interview released Monday.

Perry also said that he had not tried illegal drugs: "No, ma’am. Not unless you call caffeine a drug. Or cold beer or whiskey."

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, he said that Iowa voters weren't looking for the "smoothest politician or the best debater" but the "most authentic and real candidate."

New Hampshire voters interviewed by said Perry did not perform well in Tuesday night's GOP primary debate:

"Perry is the talking points candidate," [Amelia Chasse, a Portsmouth Republican] said. “He completely falls apart when talking about any specifics other than Texas stats. Makes him look dumb, although I suspect he isn't really a dumb guy."

Bedford Republican Stephen Poschmann said Romney was "in command," while Cain also fared well. He said Perry "did not do what he needed to do."

Despite not being the best debater, the Register asked him what cheer he would use to urge on his campaign since he was a "yell leader" at Texas A&M:

"Rick Perry. Liberty. Rick Perry. Freedom. Freedom is working. Liberty is working. We’ve got to get America working again," Perry replied.

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