Perry Challenges Pelosi to Debate

As his fundraising and support dries up

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 17, 2011 9:25 AM CST

(Newser) – You might think extra debates would be the last thing Rick Perry would want, but you’d be wrong. The Texas governor has challenged Nancy Pelosi to a mano-a-mano debate on his new part-time Congress proposal, which would halve Congress’ pay, the Hill reports. “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,” he wrote in a letter. Pelosi hasn’t responded.

Perry’s campaign is badly reeling from his grisly debate performances: His once-mighty fundraising operation is in freefall, the Houston Chronicle reports. One fundraiser, for example, says he had 15 donors lined up for an event—but after Perry’s "oops" moment, none showed up. Another fundraiser predicts Perry's Q4 haul will be between $3 million and $5 million—less than one-third of what the governor raked in during the first six weeks of his campaign. But Perry reported $15 million in the bank on Oct. 1—more than any other candidate—and that cash cushion could let him "stay in the game and make a comeback," says one political scientist.

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is greeted by supporters during a campaign stop at a VFW post, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011, in Nashua, N.H.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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