Complete coverage of Rick Perry's Presidential run

Local Tea Party Leader Says Perry Slipped in Debate

By Omar Villafranca
|  Friday, Sep 23, 2011  |  Updated 7:31 PM CDT
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The head of the Garland Tea Party says Gov. Rick Perry slipped, especially on immigration. Convention Center on September 22, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. The debate featured the nine Republican candidates two days before the Florida straw poll. (Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack-Pool/Getty Images)

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Gov. Rick Perry didn't do so great in the last debate -- just ask the folks at the Weekly Standard. Or the Wall Street Journal.

On Friday, Perry himself just about admitted he flubbed a few answers.

"It's not who is the slickest candidate or the smoothest debater that we need to elect," Perry told a Florida crowd. "We need to elect the candidate with the best record and the best vision for this country."

Katrina Pierson, head of the Garland Tea Party, agreed that Perry slipped up in the debate, especially on immigration and his refusal to support building a wall on the border.

"I don't see these themes going away because, as far as illegal immigration goes, it's a serious issue, and no one wants to talk about it," she said. "You can't have an honest talk about the economy without discussing illegal immigration."

Pierson said she hoped the candidates would talk about the specifics of their plans on immigration, economy and health care. Instead, Pierson said the front-runners, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Perry, avoided specifics.

"I think the front-runners are probably trying to hold back and wait on some of the other ones to drop off," she said. "Unfortunately, some of them ranking lower in the polls are the only ones bringing substance to the debate. They should be careful. If they've got a plan, they need to put it out there."

The next televised debate between the GOP contenders is Oct. 11 in New Hampshire.

Tracking Rick Perry:
For the latest on Rick Perry's run for the White House, click here to see our special Tracking Rick Perry section. View videos, photos, and stories on the Texas governor's presidential run.

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