Pelosi Declines Rick Perry Debate Challenge

Nov 17, 2011 12:41pm
gty nancy pelosi ll 111117 wblog Pelosi Declines Rick Perry Debate Challenge

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi brushed aside an invitation today from Texas Gov. Rick Perry for a debate next week.

Perry, who is seeking the Republican nomination and has suffered numerous gaffes during the GOP debates, challenged Pelosi to a one-on-one debate while he is in the nation’s capital next Monday.

“I am in Washington Monday and would love to engage you in a public debate about my Overhaul Washington plan versus the congressional status quo,” Perry wrote in a letter to Pelosi.  “I think it would be a tremendous service to the American public to see a public airing of those differences. Let the people decide.”

When Pelosi was asked whether she would accept the challenge, she indicated she was busy, but delivered a soft jab at Perry.

“Monday, I’ll be in Portland in the morning. I’m going to be visiting some of our labs in California in the afternoon. That’s two,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said as she played off the governor’s infamous debate gaffe. “I can’t remember the third.”

With the House out of session next week, Perry, who struggled to recount the three government agencies he would cut if he was elected, seemingly anticipated that Pelosi might have prior commitments. In the letter, he also offered to debate Pelosi in Iowa “over the course of the next month to discuss these issues in front of the people of America’s heartland.”

As her news conference ended, Pelosi only smiled as she walked off the stage, refusing to answer whether she’d engage Perry in Iowa at an alternative date.

Perry’s letter to Pelosi was first reported by the Hill.

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