Perry files for New Hampshire primary, but focus still eludes

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 28 at 6:42 PM

After filing for New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary, GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry pitched his new jobs and flat tax plans Friday to regain support among the state's Republican voters.

"I'm comfortable that they'll make the right decisions about who can best lead this country and who's got the record and who's got the rhetoric," Perry said.

And they may work... if he'd let them.

As he rolled out his detailed economic plan this week, Perry's campaign talked of him skipping some future debates.

But then again, maybe not.

"Well, I don't know whether or not we're going to forgo any debates or not, you know," Perry told reporters in Concord on Friday. "There's going to be a lot of debates. I mean, shoot... I may get to be a good debater before it's all over with."

Along with that self-deprecating humor, he bounced off questions whether he thinks President Obama was born in the United States, also attributing that to humor.

"I don't consider making fun of something being a mistake," Perry said. "Donald Trump and I were having dinner... I mean, the president is the president, and that's a fact."

Journalists covering Perry, such as Emily Ramshaw, assistant managing editor of the Texas Tribune, think he's chipping away at his chance to reset his campaign.

"There were other things this week that sort of came up where he clearly wanted to be talking his tax plan, but he kept stepping in it on these other issues — really, at his own prompting," Ramshaw said.

What Perry owns in New Hampshire is just 4 percent support among likely GOP New Hampshire voters, according to a Rasmussen Poll this week... and time is dwindling to bring those numbers up.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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