It has attracted a lot of criticism; most notably, criticism from the right. And deservedly so; Perry’s debate performance was genuinely horrendous. No one has been able to make Mitt Romney look so good to Republican voters, and it goes without saying that Mitt Romney has plenty of flaws.
No one says that Perry doesn’t have time to clean up his act, but he needs to do so starting at the next debate. If he turns in another bad performance, if he gives Republicans yet another reason to believe that he would be unable to take on Barack Obama in a general election debate, Republicans may well desert him in droves, and Romney may regain his frontrunner status in short order. Everyone says that Perry is one of the best retail politicians around, and he needs to inject his debate performances with that retail politician ability to win votes and loyalty. Thus far, he is doing a disastrously bad job of that.