Perry on the National Stage: Powerful but Unpolished Staff
Posted: Sep 08, 2011 10:33 AM

Rick Perry’s first debate as a Republican presidential candidate brought out the best and worst of the Texas governor as he seeks to make the leap from brash big-state executive to national party standard-bearer.

He deflected uncomfortable questions about national economic disparities, the high percentage of Texans without health insurance, and his sharp criticism of the New Deal and climate change. At these moments, he looked the part of the Republican front-runner.