Texas Gov. Rick Perry says his dramatic fall in the polls is because he chose to debate his GOP rivals too much in a process designed to tear down frontrunners.
Perry told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that his greatest mistake since entering the Republican presidential race in August was his decision to participate in any of the five debates that have happened since.
“These debates are set up for nothing more than to tear down the candidates," he said, in remarks reported by The Christian Science Monitor.
"It’s pretty hard to be able to sit and lay out your ideas and your concepts with a one-minute response. So, you know, if there was a mistake made, it was probably ever doing one of the [debates], when all they’re interested in is stirring up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people.”
The RealClearPolitics average of national polls shows that Perry led the GOP field with 31.8 percent support on Sept. 12 – five days after his first debate. That was a 12 percentage point lead on Mitt Romney. Now, he's at 11.6 percent, some 13 points behind both Mr. Romney and Herman Cain.
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