Rick Perry says he was just being himself when he gave a speech in New Hampshire last week that became a web sensation, and that he wasn’t under the influence.
In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Perry was asked about the speech, which featured a wilder-and-crazier governor than national audiences have seen. He said the talk was "pretty typical" for him.
“I've probably given 1,000 speeches,” the Texas governor told the Chronicle. “There are some that have been probably boring, some that have been animated, some that have been in between," he said.
Perry was asked about speculation that his back surgery last summer has required him to take pain medication.
"I had spine surgery on the first of July, but I ran this morning," he said, adding that he was not taking pain medication or anything else before the speech. He also addressed Jon Stewart’s suggestion it looked as if he had been drinking. “It wasn't that either," Perry said. "It's not that I wouldn't love to sit down with Jon and have a glass of wine — if he’ll buy.”
From his perspective, Perry said, the speech was a success. “The people there were responding to the speech . . . clapping at all the right places -- and there was a standing ovation at the end," he said.
Perry had been in Northern California on a fundraising swing. He was back in Iowa on Thursday for a town hall event in Johnston.
In New Hampshire on Thursday, conservative activists complained media coverage of Perry's speech had taken the focus off more substantive issues, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
"We’re choosing the next leader of the free world here, and what should be reported on is the content of his speech,” said organizer Jennifer Horn.