CNN decided Wednesday to let Rick Perry into its upcoming Republican debate in South Carolina January 19, despite the fact that he technically doesn’t qualify for it, since his polling average is not that much higher than the average of people who aren’t even in the race anymore. “Oh but he’s fun!,” they cry, and this isn’t so shocking from the network that tries to please everybody by pleasing no one.

“He has met the criteria,” a CNN spokesperson told Talking Points Memo, and when TPM followed up asking what exact criteria that was, they didn’t not “immediately,” and may not ever, receive clarification. CNN’s eligibility requirements for the debate are pretty clear-cut, and Perry just doesn’t make them.

Since it will be awhile until we can experience the anti-anxiety and comedic power of Perry’s performance, TPM also has this delightful slideshow of “things that are less steep than Rick Perry’s drop in the polls.” Specifically, the roofs of historic buildings, with Perry “posing” in front of those buildings, looking like the confused paper doll that he so often appears to be. [TPM]

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  • nounverb911

    Maybe this time Perry'll bring his pet coyote along.

    • Tundra Grifter

      You think he'll drag it in? At this point it probably doesn't stink any more than his "campaign."

    • ProgressiveInga

      I read that as, "Perry'll bring his peyote along" and was thinking that would be an improvement.

      • tcaalaw

        It would probably work better than the mescaline he's been taking before the other debates.

  • Come here a minute

    Oops is good for ratings.

  • nounverb911

    CNN is inviting Perry, it just isn't telling him where the venue is.

    • tcaalaw

      All of 'em, Katie?

  • MissTaken

    Perry could really use Blagojavich's parachute right about now.

    • Ricki, don't lose that number

      You don't wanna call nobody else …

      You tell yourself you're not my kind

      But you don't even know your mind

  • ttommyunger

    But just for comic relief. He is Abbott to Wolfie's Costello

    • Crank_Tango


  • SorosBot

    He's the comic relief.

    • Radiotherapy

      Aren't they all comic relief? I mean, all of 'em Katie.

      • Mahousu

        They're comic, but not much of a relief.

    • chascates

      Without Bachmann Perry is the only entertainment.

    • memzilla

      CNN wants to use its already-coded "Perry Rips Santorum" chyron.

  • hagajim

    Li'l Ricky will be there to debate if he is relevant. Amazing how fast and far these maroons fall once they start down that slippery slope of stupidity.

  • MissTaken

    I hope the hologram is invited, too.

    • Fare la Volpe

      Of course Mitt Romney's coming.

    • Ah, CNN. What's more trustworthy than introducing guests with fake inventions.

      I can't wait until some mid-level producer suggests interviewing Abraham Lincoln on CNN's new "Time Machine".

  • nounverb911

    Will Newt be bringing enough "Pious Bologna" sandwiches to feed the multitudes?

    • DaRooster

      Pious Bologna = Mortadella

    • memzilla

      Served on wry toast.

  • V572 the Merciless

    Buddy Roehmer and Vermin Supreme: call your attorneys!

    And CNN and TPM get downfisted for not knowing that the "criteria" is the plural of "criterion." This data is pissing me off.

    • Chichikovovich

      The media drives me crazy when it does that.

      • Fare la Volpe

        The Illuminati is to blame.

        • Chichikovovich

          Yet one more phenomena they've gotten involved in.

          • BaldarTFlagass

            Very clever.

    • littlebigdaddy

      I had the vermin supreme at a restaurant the other day and it was disgusting.

  • WinterOuthouse

    Every circus needs a clown

    • nounverb911

      It's just that there are so many to choose from.

  • edgydrifter

    It's going to take a heavy dip into his private stash of hydroponic couchlock for Gary Johnson to process that Gov. Brokeback is still being invited to debate.

  • Chichikovovich

    OK I've heard of the expression "Yellow Dog Democrat" for someone who would vote for a yellow dog rather than a Republican. But I don't know of any equivalent, for someone who would vote for anything, however terrible, over a Democrat.

    I suggest "Rick Perry Republican".

  • Callyson

    Oy, does this mean they are grooming him to be a CNN talking head when he finally does drop out? Well, there's another on my long list of reasons not to watch CNN…

    • nounverb911

      Well, in theory, Perry does have a day job.

      • Tundra Grifter

        And they don't seem to be missing him at it, now do they?

        • emmelemm

          "I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob."

    • DaRooster

      While he is a head… talking is not a strong point with this one.

      • Yeah, you have to be pretty quick mentally (not smart mind you, just quick) to do the back and forth of live television. The fact that you can actually see Perry's thoughts form and travel through his neurons to his mouth… the man's "train of thought" moves as if the diesel engine is broken and it is being pushed through a snowstorm by a few average strengthed men is what I'm saying.

  • CapnFatback

    since his polling average is not that much higher than the average of people who aren’t even in the race anymore.

    Yeah, but it's still waaaaaaaaaaaaay higher than his IQ.

    • CapnFatback

      And, not to quibble, as it's not my job to crank out these posts in a timely manner for us Comment Folk to sup upon (and we all thank you for the tasty, tasty gruel), but I initially read the second "average" in the quoted section above as referring to an average of a number of people, not the polling average.

      /asshole Composition teacher.

  • Barb

    Will that guy be there? The one who looks like he's the closer at the Cadillac dealership. Mitt something or another.

  • elviouslyqueer

    “He has met the criteria,” a CNN spokesperson told Talking Points Memo

    Has a pulse? Check.
    Has a suitcase filled with unmarked bills? Check.
    Has tried-and-tested fellatio expertise? Check.
    Has demonstrated obvious stupidity and/or batshit insanity? Check.

    This way to the lectern, Ricky.

    • Rotundo_

      Shouldn't that be "Has tried-and-tasted fellatio expertise?"? I think the idiot would flunk the test, but he more than likely has tasted, repeatedly. This is the guy who could only muster a gentlemans "C" in animal breeding. I honestly don't think he could pass a piss test, much less a fellatio test, even if it were multiple choice.

    • hollywooddood

      Then I meet the criteria, too. Except for that suitcase thingy.

  • emmelemm

    Bungeeing implies that he might snap back (up, that is). Thus, incorrect!

    • BaldarTFlagass

      Maybe like that bungee-jumping Australian woman on the Zambezi River.

  • Fawkdifiknow

    You know what would be highly entertaining reading, and worth a ton of laughs? A list of donors to the Rick Perry for President campaign committee.

    I like to know who the fools-and-their-money-separated are, for schadenfreude.

    • nounverb911

      And future emails from "Nigerian" princes.

  • As long as there's a liveblog, I'm sure we'll all welcome the extra entertainment.

    And drinking.

  • BarackMyWorld

    But still no Buddy Roemer.


    • iburl

      Don't forget that, uh, "Mr. New Mexico joint man" guy.

      • BarackMyWorld

        He got so fed up he quit the race and is running as a Libertarian.

  • YouBetcha

    "Wait, did you say Rick Perry? No no, I thought you said JIM CARREY. Rick Perry is not in fact eligible. Jim Carrey will however be joining the debate, and promoting his new film. Glad we cleared that up."

    • MightySix

      'cept Carrey's Canadian. D'oh!

      • emmelemm

        So? Obama's Kenyan, dontcha know?

  • SayItWithWookies

    Rick Perry — the Pluto of GOP nomination candidates. Too bad CNN missed its opportunity to be the Neil DeGrasse Tyson of this metaphor.

  • memzilla

    “He has met the criteria,” [said] a CNN spokesperson…

    By doing what, exactly? Photosynthesis? To paraphrase Molly Ivins, if Perry were any dumber he'd have to be watered twice a day.

    • Mahousu

      He'd have done more good for Texas last summer if he were. (Watered, that is.)

  • lochnessmonster

    Will his performance skyrocket him again to meteoric popularity and make him the nominee?

  • iburl

    Bungee is an unfortunate term to use discussing Rick Perry. He's more of a Bung-er.

  • edgydrifter

    CNN's compromise: Perry is invited to the debate, but he has to stand at the kids' lectern.

  • Mahousu

    Considering his previous performances, I would have thought Rick Perry would be petitioning to be left out of this debate.

    Preferably, by bringing in a (forged) note: "Please excuse Ricky from this debate because he's not feeling well. Signed, my mom."

  • Dr_Zoidberg

    Sweet zombie Jesus, another damn debate?! What the hell is there left to debate about?

  • Good for CNN. Perry represents the Short Bus Candidates. Damn that affirmative action.

    • I'll drink to that!

    • Mahousu

      I'd rather have Sook-Yin Lee representing the Short Bus. Even if she is Canadian.

  • Pragmatist2

    The criterion is that your polling average has to be higher than your IQ.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    After this news was reported, the Doomsday Clock was moved to 4 minutes to midnight.

  • He's the MacGuffin.

  • I"d take Rick Perry if Wolf Blitzer could be disinvited.

    When will we get a debate featuring Basil Marceaux, Alvin Greene, that stripper who was running against Vitter, and the Rent is Too Damn HIGH guy? Clearly the Republicans and CNN fear a discussion of issues that really matter to We the People.

  • This must be the work of the Log Cabin Rethuglicans.

  • MosesInvests

    I hope Gov. Goodhair stays on the campaign trail to the bitter end-Austin is so much nicer without him.

  • Rosie_Scenario

    This is a staple of reality TV. Like when they keep a crap designer on "Project Runway" because he/she is a train wreck/ drama queen, oddball, etc. It's all about ratings. Get the popcorn and grab a seat.

  • neiltheblaze

    Well, hell – why not include Rick? It's no more disruptive than having a potted plant on the stage.

  • KeepFnThatChicken

    This is just to bait liberals into watching. Which is fine, really… call it a "homecoming," since nobody watches CNN anymore.

  • TPM helpfully offers a handy guide to things that are less steep than Rick Perry's collapse in the polls.

  • bureaucrap

    "I just can't quit you, GOP Primaries".

  • I'm not saying they should kick Perry out, but they should let Roemer in.

  • BZ1

    Is he still running? what for???

  • Soylent Green

    Really? A pity invite? Oh well, it got me laid in the 80's.

  • Soylent Green

    Every Lost in Space episode needs a Dr. Smith.

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