Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is just at the borderline of making the cut for Thursday night's first GOP debate, said Monday that being in the top 10 would be a good place to be, but "one debate won't make or break a candidate."
"Our intention is to be on that stage and lay out that record of economic success in Texas, what we have done on the border in border security," Perry told Fox News' "America's Newsroom. "I think people will be looking for an executive that has results that are good economically and somebody who will stand up on the foreign policy side and security side that has the background of doing it."
And while Perry wouldn't say that it would not matter if he ended up in the top 10 or not, "in the long haul it doesn't make that big a difference. This is about who's going to be showing in Iowa, who is going to come into New Hampshire. Who is going to win South Carolina. As we know, that's where the real trajectory curves. It's not just on a debate."
Perry and Donald Trump have been exchanging barbs for a few weeks, with the Texan issuing a challenge for Trump to have a pull-up contest with him, and with Trump making fun of Perry's new glasses.
"I don't know what he was making fun of," Perry said Monday, saying such comments "take it down to the playground-type rhetoric."
Instead, people are interested in more vital matters, such as who is going to have the "real background and record" for securing the border and creating jobs, said Perry.
And while Trump is in first place according to most of the national polls, Perry said that he believes celebrity can be a big drive, but in reality, Americans focus on the issues and what the candidates believe in.
"One of the things I try to remind folks that you have got to remember back in '07, the entirety of '07, Rudy Giuliani, the mayor, was a celebrity in his own right, he and Fred Thompson," said Perry.
Meanwhile, Perry said his own position on immigration calls for securing the border.
"All the way back to Ronald Reagan we saw this conversation that was had that we would allow these people to come into this country and give them amnesty and we'll secure the border," said Perry. "Now we are 30 years away from that and we still haven't secured the border."
Doing that will take strategic fencing, personnel, aviation assets, and more.
Perry also spoke out about the importance of defunding Planned Parenthood, noting that Texas was able to do that.
"We saw this organization that was clear outside the lines of anything the people of the state of the Texas were going to support," said Perry.
Perry also commented about the president's new rule on power plant emissions, saying that he will "destroy people in this country economically if he continues down this path of taking our American energy away from us."
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