Is N.H. speech Perry's "Dean scream"?
After a highlights reel of a Rick Perry's speech in New Hampshire last week went viral on YouTube, some commentators compared the video, in which the Texas governor appears giddy, even giggly, to Howard Dean's infamous "Dean scream" - an excited whoop the candidate unleashed during televised remarks in 2004 that also vent viral (and which some considered the death knell of his presidential campaign).
On Sunday's "Face the Nation," however, a handful of Republican strategists disputed the comparison, arguing that Perry's speech was heavily edited - and that the American people would be able to sense that the video was a "clip job."
"There's a big difference between the Howard Dean scream and this YouTube video," GOP strategist Ed Gillespie told CBS' Bob Schieffer. "For one thing, people were watching Howard Dean live. Remember, it was his response to the loss in the Iowa caucuses, so there were millions of voters around the country who saw it unfiltered and unedited.
"I think that people kind of see this YouTube video and it is a clip job. They think there's probably some selective editing of it. According to the reports out of the rooms that evening, you know, [Perry] got rave reviews, standing ovation, as I understand it."
Perry support Ken Blackwell said Perry's speech was merely taken out of context - and that in person, "the crowd responded fabulously to his presentation."
"I think it's about a heavily edited YouTube presentation of a 25-minute speech," Blackwell said. "What they show on YouTube is about 3-7 minutes, depending on what version you get. The crowd responded fabulously to his presentation because in that 25 minutes he talked about how to get America growing again ... What folks did on YouTube was condense, you know, it down to a very small version."
He added that Perry "has been under tremendous pressure" and that "he's been told you're uptight; you're too serious; loosen up. He does it ... Somebody cuts it down and makes it look like that was the substance of his speech, which is totally false."
Even if Perry's speech is no "Dean Scream," however, some Republicans argued that the candidate's self-presentation has room for improvement.
"Nobody has made a worse first impression than Governor Perry, who has been an extraordinary governor," said GOP strategist and former Michele Bachmann campaign manager Ed Rollins.
Rollins said he didn't think the speech marked "the end of the Perry candidacy" but that he would have to "live with" the remarks in his debate performances, which many have criticized as stiff and lackluster.
Rollins pointed out that, thanks to the omnipresence of cell phone videos and cameras, a speech that may play well to one particular audience will inevitably end up on the Internet - and that a national audience will likely be less charitable.
"What [presidential candidates] need to know is that the day of the casual speech in front of a New Hampshire audience or an Iowa audience is gone," Rollins said. "Everything is now on a camera, on a telephone or something. Any attempt at humor, if you're not a comic, or any attempt at basically saying something stupid, is going to be there, out there with you the rest of the campaign. You have to live with it."
Still, Republican operatives appearing on "Face the Nation" blasted the media's coverage of the campaign as a distraction from the real issues.
"I find this all pretty frustrating," said Republican strategist Liz Cheney, who is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. "This country faces huge, huge challenges. You know, frankly watching a morning show like this one where first we're talking about Herman Cain allegations and a YouTube - "
Schieffer pointed out that "We're covering the campaign, Liz."
Cheney fired back that "the issues matter" and that "we ought to be talking about" the economy.
"With all due respect, the American people are out there afraid," Cheney argued. "They're afraid the economy is going off the cliff. They're afraid the president wants higher taxes and more spending and bigger government. In the midst of all of that, that's what we ought to be talking about."
"I've just got to imagine that the people who are watching this morning and, you know, voters all across this country want to know who is going to help put this country back on the right track. Not, you know, who was able to put together a mash-up of, you know, clips out of a speech that Rick Perry gave."
- Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.Follow on Twitter »
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