Anita Perry Says Debater Husband Will Be ‘Better Prepared This Time’

While her husband travels across the country fundraising this week, Anita Perry made a two-day swing through Iowa, campaigning on his behalf and assuring voters he’ll perform better in the next debate.

As reported by the Des Moines Register, Anita defended her husband’s performance at the GOP presidential debate last week, saying he has had no debate training. “He’s never had a debate class nor debate coach in his life,” Anita told an audience at a breakfast in Urbandale, Iowa , this morning, according to the newspaper. “He’s going to be better prepared this time.”

This video was provided by American Bridge 21 st Century, a progressive super-PAC that is tracking the Republican candidates.

The Texas first lady gave the audience her ratings for each of her husband’s debate performances. She said he did “great” in the first debate, became a target in the second debate and experienced serious attacks in the third debate as his rivals tried to challenge his front-runner status. She even told the audience she was so nervous that she was “biting my nails and sitting on my hands, and wiggling my feet” during the most recent debate.

“Honestly — I’m going to speak frankly from my heart — I think he takes arrows because they want to knock him out from that position,” Perry, 59, said. “I think that’s why he’s the target.”

Perry, who stood by her husband through three gubernatorial campaigns in Texas, shared her surprise about the intense national scrutiny she and her husband have faced since he entered the presidential race six weeks ago.

“I thought I was pretty seasoned, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” Perry said.

While in Iowa, she opened the Perry campaign headquarters in West Des Moines.

The former nurse and her husband were high school sweethearts who met at a piano recital in Paint Creek, Texas. They dated for 16 years before marrying in 1972. They have two children, Griffin and Sydney.