Force vs. Reason: Rick Perry Gets in Ron Paul’s Face

During a commercial break at Wednesday’s Republican debate, Rick Perry and Ron Paul continued their spirited exchange on stage. Suddenly, Perry grabbed Ron Paul’s forearm while aggressively pointing his index finger towards the Congressman’s face. Alerted by Perry’s menacing gestures, Ron Paul’s bodyguard (front left) rushed to the stage and put his protective hand on the podium, demonstrating that he was ready to defend the Congressman.

Update: On Thursday, a Rick Perry spokesman stated that the two contenders were having a cordial conversation about border security. Ron Paul laughed off the incident, saying that he did not particularly focus on Perry’s body language during the exchange. And Ron Paul’s campaign chairman Jesse Benton came out swinging:

“What it shows is that Rick Perry is a very aggressive, in your face person. He puts his hands on people, he tries to show that he’s the alpha dog, he tries to psychologically intimidate people and gets in people’s faces. Some people like that, but other people like someone who’s going to be a more thoughtful president, not a bully.”

  • rev.mesick

    This is typical…the mindset of those weak in thought and message are usually the one’s resorting to physical force. If we disagreed, I cannot ever remember even touching an “intellectual” competitor. If there is any display of difference that people should note when it comes to the behavior and methods of our “leaders,” I fear for my son should Parry ever become president and have a disagreement with another country…tell me that is the face of a president…looks more like a hit man for the mob…especially the one with Huntsman in between them.

  • Politiks

    A new strategy. Please join.

  • Keith

    Has anyone read the resignation letter Dr. Paul wrote to the Republican party back in the 1980s? Perry posted the letter on his campaign website as if it’s a bad thing. The letter is the most honest thing on Perry’s whole website and I don’t see how it can’t backfire against Perry. What conservative can read Ron’s letter and not realize Perry is exactly the neo-con crook Ron was leaving the party to get away from?

  • If Ron Paul would have taken action to defend his person, a brawl could have ensued on the stage. Ron Paul’s bodyguard was close at hand and that bodyguard is trained to break bones and take people out when Dr. Congressman Paul is threatened.

    This is why we have laws that make assault and physical menacing illegal, to preclude brawls and fights brought on by physical intimidation.

  • Hey Ron,

    Why do you have to make so much sense?

  • vallan

    Are you sick of Freedom? Do you hate the Constitution? Do you believe that the solution to America’s problems are more wars in the Middle East? Then vote for any candidate except Ron Paul and you will not be disappointed. We promise. – A message from the Department of Establishment Security, a privately-owned, Tax-payer funded subsidiary of Lib/Con Scams, LLC.


  • Ron Paul Supporter

    I don’t know what Rick Perry was thinking or saying…My husband is a Perry supporter as of now; after watching the debate last night and seeing the photos above…even he raised his eyebrows in shock @ Perry!!!!

    I keep telling him there is plenty of time to change his mind 😀

    GO RON PAUL 2012!!!!!

  • TFO

    I’d welcome Rick Perry to try and accost someone who isn’t a 76 year old man with a career to worry about. I’d bet his governorship that he lacks the testicular fortitude to try that same BS with someone of the same physical stature as him.

    With that being said this just shows the immaturity and the lack of restraint Rick Perry possesses. Is this really somebody that you would want having the keys to our country, let alone our military.

    There is a proper way to conduct oneself in a professional setting Mr. Perry. Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with such etiquette before making another public appearance.

    • Nigel

      Since I can’t “Like” this I am making a reply to “Like” it” 🙂

  • Maribell

    Perry is mad because he knows Dr Paul called him out and got SCHOOLED by Paul even though Perry thought he could try and call Paul out and embarrass him. Backfired big-time, didn’t it!?!

    I really am amazed at how intelligent Dr.Paul is and how well he is able to debate and especially defend his positions and any attempts to try and make him look silly or bad. He rarely stumbles or gets caught off guard because he knows his history and reasons for maintaining his positions. He is aware of the traps and knows how to hit them straight on and rise above in a superior and intelligent way but without being arrogant about it either! It’s because he isn’t phony and truly cares for making real improvements for our country and wants to make his points with elegance, respect, and to educate others about where he is coming from and why he takes on many strong positions on issues.

    I am so proud of Ron Paul and my prayers are that God will hear our plea for Ron Paul to be our next president. I swear I have never felt this excited over any politician ever before! Ron Paul is our last and only hope! It is that Serious!

  • Shikutz

    I saw a post earlier that asked for the audio, it seems really important to know what was said during that exchange. Does anyone know if Dr. Paul or any other source has reported on the verbal exchange here?

  • James

    Imagine the difference if it were Ron Paul who had confronted Perry… these pictures WOULD be all over the news.

  • William

    I just wanted to say that if Perry had placed his hand on a law enforcement officer, the way he did in the picture, it would constitute assault on a law enforcement officer. I don’t know the full details of the exchange, but the pictures sure make it look like Perry was trying to intimidate or menace Dr. Paul. (And apparently Dr. Paul’s bodyguard thought the same) My 57 year old mother, while amiably speaking with a police officer, put her hand on the officer’s hand and he told her to get her hands off him and that it could be considered assault! Are there similar laws protecting Federal representatives from uninvited physical contact? Not that Dr. Paul would seriously consider charges, but it might make Perry think twice about attempting to intimidate those with opposing ideas.

    • Raymund Dela Cruz

      My understanding of assault is that a bystander can press charges if we witness assault or feel that a person is intentional causing fear/ intimidation. Battery is the actual “touching”. Ron Paul does not have to press charges but the millions of views can.
      Here is the Wikipedia definition of assault. “In law, assault is a crime causing a victim to fear violence. The term is often confused with battery, which is the actual “touching”. The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more limited sense of a threat of violence caused by an immediate show of force.[1][2] Assault in some US jurisdictions[which?] is defined more broadly still as any intentional physical contact with another person without their consent;[3][4][5] but in the majority of the United States and in England & Wales and all other common law jurisdictions in the world, this is defined instead as battery. Some jurisdictions have incorporated the definition of civil assault into the definition of the crime making it a criminal assault to intentionally cause another person to apprehend a harmful or offensive contact.”

  • nathan v

    This is where Ron Paul suporters will demonstrate their power to the main stream media before the election. They think we are over sensitive about media coverage? What if Perry grabbed Bachman? If her bodyguard had to step up to her defense it would have been above the fold of every newspaper. Ron Paul won the MSNBC poll by a landslide, but nobody mentions that. We are used to this type of mis-treatment of Dr. Paul..but Perry just made his life on the campaign trail a nightmare. Perry just galvanized himself as an enemy of liberty by looking like a bully no matter what he intended to convey by pointing his finger in Dr. Pauls face. Most of the county does not realize that this is a revolution. Keep your stinking paw off the good doctor, you damned dirty ape!

  • Cody

    Does that second picture look photoshopped to anyone else? Like Perry’s left arm is crazy black, and Ron Paul’s arm has disappeared. Whats the deal?


      Doesn’t look at all like it was photo-shopped.
      It looks like a neocon taking exception to Ron Paul’s message.

    • Cody

      Scratch that, just crazy lighting.

      • Jim Jones

        Are you crazy man? That’s obviously the photo of a weather balloon.

  • William Ortman

    Scary. What happened with that Dr.?

  • Marcus

    We need more info on this. Because if it’s as bad as it looks, this needs to be front page news or needs to show up in a television ad soon. Rick Perry…you stink.

  • The establishment media and the federal government are one in the same. They are out to surpress the truth so they push the agenda of the globalist. Then try to belittle and undermine Congressman Ron Paul. Turn off your TV to avoid the brainwashing of politics. The truth will set you free!!

  • Pam Montgomery

    I’m a Mississippi River Iowan.


    And I thought John McCain was a little loosely wrapped!
    Couple this behavior with his idea that juvenile girls should have forced vaccinations and you see a clear tendency toward a dictatorial attitude.
    We already had one of those dictator/thugs from Texas stinking up the White House.
    And before anyone makes the excuse that he backed off on the forced vaccinations, ask yourself, what if the public pressure wouldn’t have been so great?And remember he pushed that policy in the first place.


      And he did this with an executive order. Where have I heard that before about a politician from Texas? The parallels are getting more clear. People wonder about Perry’s ties to Al Gore. I’m more worried about him being another neocon dictator.
      If he gets elected maybe Perry could bring back the chickenhawks like Cheney,Rumsfeld,Wolfowitz,and Perle and piss away more money we don’t have maintaining the empire.