Ever since this Reuters photo, in which Gov. Rick Perry is seen with one hand on the arm of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Surfside, and his finger in Paul's face, emerged after Wednesday night's contentious GOP debate, the media has been aflutter.

Could the "Texas-size rivalry" revealed in the debate, when the two traded charges and counter charges, have become more heated during a commercial break? Even Paul's supporters were worried that Perry had "assaulted" his elder fellow Texan. 

Today Paul responded, revealing what really happened to a group of campaign supporters in California. 

"Everybody, my kids included, has been writing, 'What was he saying to you?'" Paul said to his supporters.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

He told the group that a Des Moines Register reporter called to ask him the same thing. He said he told reporter, "'Well, I'll tell you what, What he was saying to me I cannot repeat.' And he said, 'What? What?' I said, 'I'm just kidding! I'm just kidding!'"

The truth, Paul said, is, "I don't even recall the moment and I don't remember exactly what he said. But we didn't have any cross words." 

At least not during the break. He noted "the most challenging words" were said on stage during the debate.

Video below:

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

Get The Brief

Never miss a moment in Texas politics with our daily newsletter.