Gloves come off for Perry, GOP contenders

September 8, 2011 4:25:14 PM PDT
The gloves are off in the Republican race for the White House. There may have been eight contenders on the stage Wednesday night in California, but it really came down to two people -- Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Gov. Perry is staying in California for a couple extra days to raise money for his campaign and to meet potential voters. After the debate, Perry said he felt a little bit like a pinata, but he got his turn at the stick as well.

The day after his national coming out party, Rick Perry faced an eager and enthusiastic Southern California crowd, pointing out how unfriendly California can sometimes be to Republicans.

"I guess if you want to call it a raspberry in a blueberry pie -- Orange County here we are," said Perry.

After a combative and aggressive performance in Wednesday night's debate, Perry didn't shy away from yet another attack on his rivals.

"With all due respect to my folks who are my competitors, nobody else has got a record like I've got in the state of Texas," Perry said.

It can hardly be a surprise after the debate. Within minutes of the start, Perry was after his main rival, Mitt Romney.

"We created more jobs in the last three months in Texas than he created in four years in Massachusetts," Perry said in the debate.

And most notably Perry didn't back down when called on to defend his comments that Social Security was a failure and a Ponzi scheme.

"Maybe it's time to have some provocative language in this country and say things like, 'Let's get America working again,' and do whatever it takes to make that happen," Perry said.

On Wednesday night and again Thursday morning, the Romney campaign seized on Perry's Social Security remarks saying it makes him unelectable.

On Thursday, Perry didn't talk about that, but he did talk about President Obama's jobs speech saying it was old news and won't work.

"The promises and platitudes that we're gonna hear are not going to cut it; this is about an administration that is the problem," Perry said.

Perry and Romney have a chance to mix it up again in the next debate Monday in Florida.