Tags: gingrich | perry | debate | debacle

Gingrich: Perry Better Shape Up, or He’ll Have to Ship Out

Friday, 11 Nov 2011 11:56 AM

By Newsmax Wires

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich isn’t afraid to address the subject of his competitor Rick Perry, who risks flaming out of the race after his debate snafu Wednesday. Former House Speaker Gingrich says he carries to animus toward the Texas governor, who simply must improve his campaign performance or get prepared to be booted from the race, The Hill reports.

Gingrich is seeking to take over Perry’s former mantle as the chief conservative competitor to front-runner Mitt Romney.

“I'm very sympathetic to Gov. Rick Perry. He's a very smart man,” Gingrich told Fox News. “He's the longest-serving governor in the history of Texas.”

In the debate, Perry forgot the third federal agency he wants to eliminate – the Department of Energy, with Commerce and Education the two he remembered.

Gingrich said he goes into debates worrying that he will make the same sort of gaffe that Perry did. “So I mean, my heart goes out to him. I wasn't gloating at that point. I was thinking, 'Wow, that could have happened to any one of us.'”

And Gingrich was happy to offer Perry advice. “My recommendation to him would be do lots of town-hall meetings. Let people ask you lots of questions. He's either going to get a lot better at it or he's not going to be in the race.”

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