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Perry to Time: "I'll Be Better Every Day"

Rick Perry, still the front-runner in the GOP presidential race but weakened somewhat by a shaky debate performance Monday night, comes out swinging in an exclusive interview in the new issue of Time magazine.

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The Gov is on the cov.

Rick Perry comes out swinging in an exclusive interview in the new issue of Time magazine, which hits newsstands tomorrow. Perry sat down with the magazine's editor, Rick Stengel, and Mark Halperin, its editor at large and senior political analyst; he was photographed for the cover by Platon in a tight close-up.

Portions of the interview are now online, but we've culled a few choice excerpts:

On the Obama administration:

"I still believe they are socialist."

On the "provocative language" of his campaign thus far:

"There may be someone who is an established Republican who circulates in the cocktail circuit that would find some of my rhetoric to be inflammatory or what have you, but I’m really talking to the American citizen out there. I think American citizens are just tired of this political correctness and politicians who are tiptoeing around important issues."

On Social Security:

"I don’t get particularly concerned that I need to back off from my factual statement that Social Security, as it is structured today, is broken. If you want to call it a Ponzi scheme, if you want to say it’s a criminal enterprise, if you just want to say it’s broken –they all get to the same point."

On the prospect of a border fence:

"I do not agree that building a 1,800-mile barrier is thoughtful. It’s an easy answer. I think it’s a cop out for anyone who’s actually been on the border. It’s like building a wall from Bangor, Maine to Miami, Florida."

On how he's faring as a first-time national candidate:

"I suspect I’ll be better everyday."

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