WASHINGTON - Rick Perry plans to participate in at least five more presidential primary debates, his campaign said Saturday, dismissing speculation that the Texas governor's lackluster performances so far would lead him to skip future Republican debates.
Perry, who has struggled through parts of his first five debates, will attend all of the events currently scheduled in November as well as a December debate, his spokesman, Ray Sullivan, told The Associated Press.
The decision comes after questions over whether Perry would bypass some debates to concentrate on other types of campaigning. He has always conceded he is not a strong debater, and has often avoided the sparring matches in his past campaigns.
But he's not giving up.
"Shoot, I may get to be a good debater before this is all over," Perry joked during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Friday.
Perry had already committed to a Nov. 9 debate in Michigan. Added to the calendar are debates in South Carolina on Nov. 12; Washington, D.C., on Nov. 15; and Arizona on Dec. 1. He'll also attend an Iowa forum hosted by The Family Leader, a socially conservative group, on Nov. 19.
Sullivan said the campaign will make decisions about future debates on a case-by-case basis.
Perry rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, hasn't committed to any debates beyond the Nov. 9 event in Michigan. Romney's campaign didn't immediately say whether he, too, would commit to further debates.