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Why Rick Perry's presidential bid is toast

By James Carville, CNN Contributor
updated 7:16 PM EDT, Fri October 28, 2011
James Carville says Texas Gov. Rick Perry is utterly incapable of running for president.
James Carville says Texas Gov. Rick Perry is utterly incapable of running for president.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • James Carville says Rick Perry is starting to get on his nerves
  • He hoped Perry would give Romney a good fight, prolong interest in the race
  • Instead Perry has been a weak candidate, with poor performances, Carville says
  • Carville: Perry had lunch with Donald Trump and fell for the birther strategy -- a mistake

Editor's note: James Carville is a Democratic strategist who serves as a political contributor for CNN, appearing frequently on CNN's "The Situation Room" as well as other programs on all CNN networks. Carville remains active in Democratic politics and is a party fundraiser.

(CNN) -- Rick Perry is really starting to annoy me.

When Rick Perry announced he was running for president back on August 13, to tell you the truth I got a little excited.

Now I know what you're thinking -- James you are a big Democrat, why on earth would you be excited about Perry running for president? And as Ricky used to tell Lucy -- I got some 'splainin to do.

This was my thinking: Perry would get in and he would be a major force. After all he was governor of the state of Texas, great hair, been around politics for a while.

James Carville
James Carville

He was the bona fide conservative complete with a pedigree to take on Romney. A giant fight to the death would ensue and they would bludgeon each other half to death -- you get the picture.

Honestly, I enjoy nothing more than two Republicans going after each other. Secondly, when politics is interesting it is actually good for me. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a cable television commentator -- the more interesting the campaign, the more coverage, the more I'm on TV -- you get the drift.

Also, as some of you may be aware of, I've been known to give a speech or two in return for remuneration. The people that plan these sorts of things generally hire more political speakers when politics is interesting and in turn I'll make more money and then John Boehner and Eric Cantor will start referring to me as a job creator.

With the way things are shaping up now, the event planners might be more inclined to take a motivational speaker, a magician, or a square dance troop. Hey Rick -- you are costing me airtime and money.

Third, there is a dirty little secret about political people that I'm going to share with you. These political people include operatives, politicians, volunteers, bloviators, journalists, pundits, columnists, staffers -- we actually like politics and campaigns.

Maybe you, like me, are a baseball fan. If you are, you want seven games because you actually like baseball. The same goes for politics -- if you really love it, you hope for a good race that goes on and you enjoy watching people who are skilled at doing this.

It is literally painful to watch Rick Perry as a candidate. The case could be made that Rick Perry is the worst debater to ever run for president.

As far as I know he can't even give a good speech. His appearance before the uber-right-winged Values Voters Summit was universally trashed.

Not only can he not give an interview, he can't even roll out his stupid flat tax plan. He steps all over it by saying, "Oh by the way, it's optional anyway." He has managed to couple the flat tax with the IRS bureaucracy in one sentence. Way to go Rick.

I'll be blunt with all you Perry supporters, it's time to butter your guy because he's toast. Every day it's a new dumb thing. From birtherism, to convoluted tax policy, to inarticulate attacks, to woeful ignorance and even stupidity on foreign policy (Pakistani country? Please), to placing his wife under such stress that she is lashing out at everything around her.

Not only is Rick Perry utterly incapable of running for president, he can't run his state, and in fact can't meet the basic requirement for any politician -- he can't even run his mouth.

As if he hasn't made a big enough fool of himself, he decides to go out and have lunch with Donald Trump and falls for the birther strategy. Good God, can this guy do anything? I guess I should be fair to him, he has shown that he can get the same people he gave contracts to as governor of Texas to contribute to his campaign. Wow, what an achievement.

To tell you the truth, it's gotten so bad people in Louisiana are actually starting to make Texas jokes.

If this thing gets any worse the people in Mississippi will be making Texas jokes -- then you've really hit rock bottom.

Rick, you have managed to embarrass yourself and irritate the hell out of me. So I guess you are good at something after all.

PS: See where the media is reporting that Perry is "retooling" his campaign. I think their problem is with the Indian, not the arrow.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of James Carville.

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