Gov. Rick Perry, who is in Pittsburgh today for a major speech on his jobs plan, made appearances on the morning news shows to preview his big announcement.
But the news show hosts wanted to talk more about Anita Perry, the first lady of Texas, and her recent comments in defense of her husband, when she said that the media and the other candidates had brutalized him because of his faith. They also asked Perry about the recent comments of a Pastor Robert Jeffress, who likened Mormonism to a cult.
Perry, though, wasn't biting on the "distractions." While always making his way back to talking about his jobs plan, Perry praised his wife's loyalty and said family members usually take things more personally during the campaign than he does. "I think she's right on both cases," Perry told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. "She said I'm the most conservative candidate, and I'm a Christian."
Asked by Matt Lauer on the Today show about Pastor Jeffress' words about Mormons, Perry said he had distanced himself from the comments and wouldn't allow them to be a distraction.
When asked on the CBS Early Show about his precipitous decline in recent polls, Perry brushed off the numbers. "You're going to have ups and downs in polls," he said. "I don’t get confused this early in the race."
What Perry really wanted to talk about, though, was his jobs plan. He said he would create 1.2 million jobs in the first 100 days of his presidency by opening federal lands and waters for energy exploration, pulling back onerous regulations on businesses and rebuilding the Environmental Protection Agency. "Those three major events can get America working again," Perry told Stephanopoulos.
Below, we've embedded all the videos:
Good Morning America
Fox and Friends