Saturday, October 29, 2011

Perry’s Plan to Skip Debates Prompts Criticism from Gingrich, Santorum

In a question-and answer-session with reporters following an education forum, former Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both suggested it is a sign of weakness for Perry to take a pass on some future debates. At least 10 have been scheduled between now and the end of January. - National Journal

Gingrich suggested that Perry’s reluctance raises questions about his fitness for the fall campaign. “I don’t see how somebody can say that they can’t debate Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul, but they’ll be ready to debate Barack Obama,” he said. “I think Governor Perry would find it an enormous mistake to not go to the debate and I think that frankly he’d look pretty silly.”

Both Santorum and Gingrich spent years in the nation’s premier debating society, the U.S. Congress, and the experience has stood them in good stead at the debates so far. Moreover, as back-of-the-pack candidates, both stand to benefit from the national exposure that they receive at the televised events.