On the contrary, Perry sounds desperate. He is trying to steal some of Herman Cain's thunder by flogging a flat tax -- or, if you will, a massive tax break for the wealthy. When goaded by the interviewer, he takes an obligatory swipe at Mitt Romney ("a fat cat" -- seriously, is it 1969 again already?).
But the most ludicrous exchange is certainly this one:
Q: Why did you choose to keep the birther issue alive?.
A: It’s a good issue to keep alive. You know, Donald [Trump] has got to have some fun. It’s fun to poke him a little bit and say “Hey, let’s see your grades and your birth certificate.” I don’t have a clue about where the president — and what this birth certificate says. But it’s also a great distraction. I’m not distracted by it.
Um .... what? Apparently it's fun to "poke" the President rather than engage in substantive policy discussion; we understand that idea, even if we do not sympathize. But "it's a good issue" about which he claims to have no clue? It's "a distraction" by which he claims not to be distracted? What do those sentences even pretend to mean?
The answer, of course, is nothing, in the sense of grammar and logic. But, between the lines, they say something very clearly: "I, Rick Perry, am a desperate man, willing to pander to any possible constituency, no matter how intellectually and morally irresponsible. Please elect me, please please please."