Bob Schieffer sat down with a panel that could rightfully be called "Meet the Republicans" on this week's Face the Nation and asked his panel of Ken Blackwell, Ed Rollins, Liz Cheney and Ed Gillespie what they thought about Rick Perry's bizarre Cornerstone speech that left so many people wondering if he was drunk or on drugs after watching it.
Ken Blackwell, a Perry supporter, naturally tried to blame the response to the speech on the fact that it was edited down to seven to three minutes on You Tube depending on which version someone happened to watch. I hate to break it to Ken Blackwell, but watching the entire video really doesn't make it any better.
Schieffer asked Ed Rollins if he thought this would harm the Perry campaign in the same manner as the now infamous "Dean scream" harmed the Howard Dean campaign. Rollins didn't think it would but didn't think Perry was going to come out of this unscathed either. And Liz Cheney basically attacked him for even bringing it up at all.
Ed Gillespie tried to paint a happy face on whether this would harm Perry or not as well and said the difference between what happened to Howard Dean and this event with Perry is that people were watching Howard Dean live and unedited. How badly this does end up harming the Perry campaign, time will tell, but the talking heads and pundits as we saw here sure are going to do their best to make sure the media continues to ignore or gloss over the speech and just how truly bizarre his behavior was.
Full transcript below the fold.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, all right. Let's-- let's shift just a little bit, because I want to talk about Rick Perry who came-- when he announced he shot to the top of the polls, he had a couple of stumbles in the debates, and went right back down. But while all of this was going on on national television, out there on the internet, the story that was getting so much play was this rather-- and I'll use the term bizarre video of-- of Rick Perry making a speech up in New Hampshire. Let's just listen to this. I want to get your take on this.
RICK PERRY (October 28): Today has been awesome gold. Gold is good. If you've got have any in the backyard, just you know it. If they print any more money over there in Washington, the gold is going to be good. I come from a state, you know, where they had this little place called the Alamo and they declared victory or death. You know, we're kind of into those slogans, man, it was like victory or die, victory or death. Breathe. You know, this is pretty easy math. Subtract it and send it in. It's awesome. Why not? That little plan that I just shared with you doesn't force the granite state to expand your tax footprint. You know what I mean. Like ninety percent then it's clench.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So, Ken, you are the Rick Perry-man here today. You know, I must say I was at a-- at a forum the other day with a Republican consultant and a-- and a Democratic consultant. The Republican Charlie Black kind of a Republican--
KEN BLACKWELL: Mm-Hm.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --establishment man put the best face on it. He said that he-- it was his understanding that Rick Perry had back problems and maybe this was something to do with the medication he was taking. The Democrat Steve McMahon just came right out and said I think he was drunk. I-- I'm just telling you this is what--
KEN BLACKWELL: Mm-Hm.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --other people said. What-- what-- and that's what is going on out in the political universe right now. People are talking about this. What do you think this was all about?
KEN BLACKWELL: I think it's about a heavily edited YouTube presentation of a twenty-five-minute speech. What you show-- what they show on YouTube is about three to seven minutes depending on what version you get. You know, the-- the crowd responded fabulously to his presentation because in that twenty-five minutes, he talked about how to get America growing again. He talked about his Texas record in terms of protecting the border. He talked about what he believed was American exceptionalism. And what folks did on YouTube was condense, you know, down to a very small version. And look, the guy has been under tremendous pressure.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well--
KEN BLACKWELL: He-- he's been told you're uptight. You know, you're-- you're too serious. Loosen up. He does it over a span of a speech. Somebody cuts it down and makes it look like that was the substance of his speech which is totally false. So, I think he just needs to keep on going straightforward, be loose as he wants to be, but keep the focus on getting the economy growing again.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You know, Ed Rollins, we all remember back out in Iowa when Herman Dean made that victory speech, what people called the scream now. And I think a lot of people think that's-- that's what done him in--
ED ROLLINS: (INDISTINCT)
BOB SCHIEFFER: --in that race out there. What do you-- what do you make of this?
ED ROLLINS: Howard-- Howard Dean is-- is a good friend of mine. Basically, that was sort of the end of his candidacy. I don't think this is the end of the Perry candidacy. But I think it's an image that's going to stay there a long time. And nobody has made a worse first impression than Governor Perry who's been an extraordinary governor. He's been elected to office for twenty-five years, never defeated. Three times elected governor of Texas against very tough opponents. At the end of the day, his impressions here that the-- the American public has and Republicans have, both in the combination of the debates and this speech he's got to overcome. Someone's going to emerge as the alternative to Romney here and become the chaser. Now whether that's Mister Cain or Mister Perry or one of the other candidates that's behind, we'll see. And Iowa will be the-- be probably the-- the-- the trigger out. But he is going to have to live with this. And what they all need to know is, the day-- the old day of the casual speech in front of a New Hampshire audience or an Iowa audience is gone. Everything is now on a camera, on a telephone or something. And any-- any attempt at humor if you're not a comic or any attempt at basically saying something stupid is going to be there, out there with you the rest of the campaign. You got to live with it.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What do you think, Liz?
LIZ CHENEY: You know, I think-- again, I find this all pretty frustrating. This country faces huge, huge challenges. And you know, frankly, watching a morning show like this one where first we're talking about Herman Cain allegations and then we're shown a YouTube mash-up of--
BOB SCHIEFFER: We were covering the campaign, Liz.
LIZ CHENEY (Overlapping): Well, but the issues are what matter, Bob. And with all due respect, you know, the American people are out there afraid. They're afraid that the economy is going off a cliff. They're afraid that this President wants higher taxes and more spending and bigger government. And in the midst of all of that, I think that-- that's what we ought to be talking about. You know, last night in Texas, you had Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich have a very substantive exchange about the issues and a very cordial exchange but one that focused on how important it is to deal with the entitlement crisis, how important it is to create an environment where the private sector's actually going to be willing to invest again. How important it is to look at what's happening in Iraq, you know. Barack Obama likes to talk about what he inherited. He inherited a victory in Iraq. He inherited a AAA bond rating. And right now, you've got a situation where, frankly, he is going down the wrong path on all of these issues. And I just got to imagine that people who are watching this morning and, you know, voters all across this country want to know who is going to help put this country back on the right track. Not, you know, who was able to put together a mash-up of, you know, clips out of a speech that Rick Perry gave on YouTube.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, I mean, I take your point. But I would also make the point that we in the media, it is not our job to make the campaign. That is up to the candidates. The candidates determine what the campaign is going to be out.
LIZ CHENEY: But you guys choose what you're going to cover, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And we show up and cover what's there.
LIZ CHENEY: Right.
BOB SCHIEFFER: So, you and I can talk about this--
LIZ CHENEY: All right, we'll--
BOB SCHIEFFER: --for a long time.
LIZ CHENEY: --we'll talk about it later on.
BOB SCHIEFFER: We have for a long time. Ed Gillespie, do you think that was presidential? Is Rick Perry going to be able to survive it?
ED GILLESPIE: Oh, I think, you know, there is a big difference here between the Howard Dean scream and-- and this YouTube video. For one thing, people are watching Howard Dean live. Remember it was his response to the loss in the Iowa caucuses and so there were, you know, millions of-- of voters around the country who saw it unfiltered and unedited. I think that people kind of see this YouTube video and it is a clipped job and they-- and-- and they think there's probably some selective editing of it. According to the reports out of the room that evening, you know, he got rave reviews, standing ovation as I understand. That said, you know, was, you know, Ed Rollins is right. This is the era in which we live and-- and you can't just give a speech even kind of let loose a little bit without understanding that-- that-- that is out there. Let me just state too, I think Liz is right. The fact is, you know, these process stories are distracting in many ways from what's really going on. I'm here in Virginia. I have been traveling with Governor Bob McDonnell. We have elections on Tuesday for the state legislature here. And I think we're going to win control of the Virginia State Senate. I think we're going to win control of the Mississippi State House--
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.
ED GILLESPIE: --we're going to make gains in New Jersey. People are fed up with what's going on in Washington or frustrated with the Obama economy and-- and you're seeing a harbinger of that here just in these--
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.
ED GILLESPIE: --state elections coming up soon.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I'm sorry, the clocks run out. Thanks to all of you for very interesting--
LIZ CHENEY: Thanks, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --exchange. Back in a minute.