Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
blasted Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s apparent decision Friday to bow out of some upcoming GOP debates, calling it “a disastrous move on his part.”
“This is not the American League in baseball,” Huckabee told Fox News host Neil Cavuto early Friday evening. “You can’t have a designated debater to go out and play the game for you.
“This is big-boy stuff, and if he’s not able to go and be on the stage -- and he said, ‘I’m not a good debater so I’m not going to debate’ -- it’s like saying ‘I really can’t compete at this level. I’d still like to be president, I just don’t want the pathway to get there.’ I think it was a disastrous move on his part.”
Huckabee told Cavuto that even if Perry did not want to debate, “the dumbest thing that his campaign could have done” was to announce it.
Huckabee added, however, that candidates have a right to pick and choose which debates they participate in, if only to ensure the contests remain fair and objective.
Perry communications director Ray Sullivan said Friday Perry will compete in additional debates, but may not attend all of the debates that are scheduled.
“There are something like 18 [debates] being planned,” Sullivan said. “…and given the fact that all the candidates need to spend time without actual voters in primary states, it seems like doing another dozen or 18 debates is not realistic.”
Perry has competed in all five debates held since he announced his candidacy.
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