- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 30, 2011

Despite his poor performances in recent Republican presidential primary debates, Texas Gov. Rick Perry believes he would have no trouble holding his own against President Obama next fall.

“I’m not worried a bit that I’ll be able to stand on the stage with Barack Obama and draw a very bright line, a real contrast,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Political pundits regularly have panned Mr. Perry’s performance after each debate, and many believe he’s withered under attacks from other candidates, particularly former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the front-runner. But Mr. Perry believes there simply have been too many debates, and he would much rather spend his time traveling the country and meeting potential voters.

“Eighteen debates is, I think, way too many,” he said, referring to the total number of GOP debates during the primaries.

He also readily admitted that he’s “not the best debater in the world” but said that fact is of secondary importance to his record of job creation and plan to reduce government spending if elected president.

Mr. Perry, however, will continue to take part in the contests and hopes to reverse his recent freefall in the polls, which now show him in the single digits in Iowa and far below Mr. Romney and businessman Herman Cain nationwide.