In a new book by Dan Balz, Collisions 2012, Texas Governor Rick Perry’s debate mishap and several other incidents from Perry’s failed presidential run are recounted.
For instance, Perry’s strange encounter with Herman Cain prior to the debate:
Perry said he had no recollection of a debate prep room in turmoil. In fact, he said he felt as well prepared for that debate as any other he did. Before going onstage the night of the debate, he took his customary trip to the restroom. He saw Herman Cain standing just behind him. The Michigan debate came shortly after Politico reported that two women had accused Cain of inappropriate behavior when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association. The Cain campaign accused one of Perry’s new advisors of leaking the story, a charge that was denied by Perry’s campaign. Perry recounted to me later what happened next. “He looks over at me and he’s always got that big smile on his face and I said, ‘Herman, how you doing, you big stud?’ That’s a term of endearment that I would use. Then he kind of had a funny look on his face and I was like, ‘God, I bet he thinks I’m making some kind of derogatory remark at him because of what’s happened here in the last week.’ I walked out of there and I came in and told that story [to his own advisors] and everybody was laughing.”
Perry could never get out of his own way during his effort to win the GOP nomination, or, it seems, when using the restroom.