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Perry: AWOL from Future Debates? Perry: AWOL from Future Debates?

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field

CAMPAIGN 2012

Perry: AWOL from Future Debates?

Texas governor’s aides making no promises beyond Nov. 9 debate in Michigan

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry(Chet Susslin)

There appears to be consensus in the Rick Perry campaign that skipping some future debates may be the best strategy for the Texas governor.

In an interview Wednesday with CNN’s John King, Perry’s communications director Ray Sullivan said it would be impossible for Perry to participate in all of the remaining debates scheduled to take place before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

 

"There have been eight Republican debates, we've done five,” Sullivan said. “There are somewhere around 18 debates pending. There is no way to do all of them, particularly as the elections are rapidly approaching in Iowa and New Hampshire."

Earlier in the day, another Perry spokesman, Mark Miner, made a similar comment to Politico, saying that with primaries and caucuses around the corner, “you have to use your time accordingly.”

Perry, who frequently self-deprecates his skills as a debater, on Tuesday told Bill O'Reilly that he might have made a mistake participating in the debates because they were designed to spur fighting among the candidates. In his campaigns for Texas governor, Perry was known for ducking debates.   Perry and his advisers are chafing over the time debate preparations are taking for him chance to interact with voters—or donors.

 

Both Miner and Sullivan said that Perry would participate in the next debate, set for Nov. 9 in Michigan. But afterward, neither adviser is making promises about where Perry will or won’t participate.

 

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