Romney campaign pulls Web video mocking Perry’s debate performances

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign on Thursday removed a Web video mocking rival Rick Perry at CNN’s request, according to a Romney spokesman.

The video was released Wednesday night on the Romney campaign’s anti-Perry site, The video slammed Perry over his GOP debate performances, including Tuesday night’s debate in Las Vegas, which was sponsored by CNN.

"While the use of the CNN clips was fully within our rights under the law, we respect and appreciate the role CNN has played as host in debates over the last several months. For this reason, we are honoring their request to remove the video,” said Romney spokesman Andrea Saul.

According to Romney’s campaign, the video “highlights Rick Perry’s inability to discuss the issues.”


The video, titled “Ready to Lead?” included edited clips of the Texas governor from previous debates appearing to stumble over his words and hesitate before answering. The clips are spliced with newscaster comments on Perry that interpret his performance as “uncomfortable” and “agitated.” 

Perry has faced a string of debates in the past nine weeks since entering the presidential race, and his performances in them have been uneven to the point of Perry and several family members weighing in on the topic.

“It’s not who is the slickest candidate or the smoothest debater that we need to elect,” Perry said late last month. “The current occupant of the White House can sure talk a good game, but he doesn’t deliver."

Perry’s wife, Anita, also defended him last month at a campaign stop in Iowa. “He has never had a debate coach, never had training in debates," she said.

Perry reportedly got coaching before the last set of debates; responses were divided as to his performance in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.

Perry came out swinging against Romney in the debate, hitting him hard over immigration and jumping in on fellow candidate Rick Santorum’s attack on the former Massachusetts governor's statewide healthcare reforms. Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney’s campaign adviser, told CNN Wednesday morning that Perry’s strategy was clearly to “kill Mitt.” He said Perry was looking “to pick a fight” and that it made him look “unpresidential.”

Perry communications director Ray Sullivan fired back on Fox News Channel’s "America Live With Megyn Kelly," saying politics is a “full-contact sport” and that Romney’s campaign was reacting to the exposure of the “flip-floppy nature of his record.”

This story was originally posted Oct. 19 at 5:14 and updated on Oct. 20 at 10:30 a.m.