The Rick Perry comeback tour officially kicked off this weekend, with a raucous speech at Washington’s elite Gridiron Club gala.
According to reports from the dinner, the Texas Governor totally won over the audience with a self-deprecating address that poked fun at his short-lived presidential bid and ripped into Perry’s former Republican rivals.
“Here’s the hardest part for me,” he said. “The weakest Republican field in history — and they kicked my butt.”
Of course, most speakers at the Gridiron Club don’t write their own jokes, so Perry likely had quite a bit of help with his speech. But his winning delivery does signal that the oft-mocked governor might have more of a spark than most members of the media gave him credit for.
On Mitt Romney:
“I like Mitt Romney. I mean, I like Mitt Romney as much as one really good-looking man can like a really good-looking man and not break Texas law.”
Y’know, I say stuff like Solyndra’s a country or that the voting age is 21. But Mitt would say things like his wife drives a coupla Cadillacs, or his pals own NASCAR teams. Y’know, my problem was sayin’ stuff that wasn’t right. Mitt’s problem is sayin’ stuff that is.”
And on standing next to Romney during the debates: “You know, I kept waiting for him to say, ‘Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?'”
On Rick Santorum:
“I used to have SO much fun needling Rick. I’d say, ‘Now, Rick, tell me again, which one of the Village People are you? You’re the policeman? Or you’re the Indian?'”
Perry also noted that he majored in animal husbandry at Texas A&M, which he said is “what Santorum thinks happens as a result of gay marriage.”
On Newt Gingrich:
“I endorsed him because he said he would name me commander of Moon Base Alpha.”
“He’s like this Pillsbury Doughboy, with this really huge brain.”
On Barack Obama:
“I read that he is in Korea, at the DMZ. Would somebody tell me: Why do ya have to go all the way to Korea to get a driver’s licence? Must be something to do with that birth certificate thing.”
On Ron Paul:
“He kinda reminds me of that crazy uncle that you expect to pull a nickel out of your ear.”
On Herman Cain:
“If you can’t make fun of yourself, there’s always Herman Cain.”
On George W. Bush:
“Some have said that my debating style is very similar to that other Texas Cicero, George W. Bush. Only difference between George and me is that I say, ‘Oops.'”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.