Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) dismissed Internet rumors that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) had tried to intimidate him during a commercial break at the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, saying no “cross words” were exchanged between the two.
A Reuters picture snapped during the break showed Perry walking up to Paul’s lectern, grasping Paul’s arm, and pointing his finger in the congressman’s face.
But at a campaign event Thursday, Paul laughed about the exchange.
“A picture came out last night, it’s on the Internet this morning, with ... I think the governor of Texas, or something? We had several governors up there, but truth was I never met him before,” Paul joked.
Paul said everyone — “my kids included” — had been writing to him to find out what had happened when the men spoke.
“Truth is, I wish it were a much more interesting story,” Paul said. “I don’t even recall the moment that was occurring and I don’t remember exactly what he said and we didn’t have any cross words.”
During the debate, Paul and Perry openly bickered, a surprise to political analysts who had never seen Paul so aggressively attack another candidate — nor seen a GOP front-runner engage his attacker back in such a manner. Paul criticized Perry’s job-creation record in Texas, and highlighted Perry’s support of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket MORE’s attempt at universal healthcare legislation in 1994.
Perry responded by saying that Paul had quit the Republican Party in 1988 over a feud with then-President Ronald Reagan. Although Paul was an early supporter of Reagan, he was highly critical of Republican deficit spending in the 1980s.
To view the video of Paul, click here.