Rick Perry says "debates are not my strong suit"

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry listens during a Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Andrew Harrer, Pool) Andrew Harrer

Republican presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry gestures during a Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011.
AP Photo

Updated 8:30 a.m. ET

HANOVER, N.H. -- After a two-hour debate on the economy, earnest GOP operatives headed straight to the spin room to tout the merits of their respective candidates.

As for Texas Gov. Rick Perry,he headed straight to the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house.

"Debates are not my strong suit," Perry told reporters after visiting with about 100 fraternity brothers gathered to see him at the house, a few blocks from the debate site on the campus of Dartmouth College. No keg stands were in view.

While Perry has been adamant about assuring older Americans - those 55 and up - that Social Security will be there for them, he told the students that the popular retirement program is endangered for "your generation" and pushed private retirement accounts instead.

"I'd rather run this account myself than have the government run it," said Perry.

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    Lindsey Boerma is senior video producer for CBSNews.com.

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