Rick Perry Laughs Away the Pain with David Letterman

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Rick Perry offered the "Top 10 Rick Perry Excuses" for his "oops" moment in Wednesday's debate on The Late Show with David Letterman Thursday. "No. 6," Perry said, "You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude." The presidential candidate had rerouted his path on the campaign trail to New York to do just about any chat show that would take him -- NBC's Today, CBS's The Early Show, ABC's Good Morning AmericaFox and Friends, and CNN's American Morning -- as he tried to convince Americans he's not as dumb has he looked at the Republican primary debate Wednesday. 

Update: Here is Perry's full Top 10 list of excuses:

10. Actually, there were three reasons I messed up last night: 1) was the nerves and 2) was the headache and 3) um…uh…oops.


9. I don’t know what you’re taking about – I think things went well.

8. I was up late last night watching “Dancing with the Stars.”

7. I thought the debate was tonight.

6. You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you.  That is one handsome dude!

5. Uh, El Nino?

4. I had a five-hour energy drink six hours before the debate.

3. 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 Bieber is my father.


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Letterman had already dedicated a Top 10 to Perry in October. Perry had stumbled in his first few debates, and the list was called "Top 10 Ways Rick Perry Can Revitalize His Campaign," and No. 3 was "Appear on the Late Show. Everyone knows the road to the White House goes through Dave." A month later, he's gotten even worse at debating -- spending 53 brutal seconds trying to remember which government agencies he was determined to abolish -- and Perry's been trying to diffuse it with humor.  Politico's Ben Smith reports that Republican consultants think his campaign has done a pretty good job -- at least compared to Herman Cain -- of "keeping his campaign on life support" with a whole day of TV interviews. But The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza points out, "Lots of self-deprecating humor only works when candidate has some baseline level of gravitas & intelligence. Otherwise it just seems sad."

The Late Show tweets Perry's arrival, looking happy, if mobbed by reporters:



This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.