Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the Republican candidate who may have the most to gain if Herman Cain tumbles in the polls, did not rush to his rival's defense Monday night during a radio interview – instead stating that scrutiny of Cain’s record was to be expected given his frontrunner status in national polls.
Perry spoke to Fox New host Bill O'Reilly hours after Illinois native Sharon Bialek appeared with attorney Gloria Allred to accuse Cain of making unwanted sexual advances as she sought his help for a job in 1997.
"Any time that you rise to the top of the polls, any time that you appear that you are going to be an individual of substance that those on the left are concerned about, you're going to get whacked," Perry told O'Reilly when asked whether the scrutiny of Herman Cain served as a cautionary tale.
"As you said" – he continued to O'Reilly – "it's Herman's turn in the barrel."
During O’Reilly’s back-to-back interviews with the candidates, a relaxed Perry also did not take issue with the press coverage of his own campaign.
“I figure they are giving me [as] fair a shake as anyone else,” Perry told the Fox radio host. “I mean, you’re running to be president of the United States of America, you better believe you’re going to be watched and taken apart.”
The Texas governor laughed off questions about his recent freewheeling speech to a conservative group in New Hampshire, which was ridiculed on Saturday Night Live’s ‘Weekend Update.’
Perry noted that a number of reporters from Fox and other news outlets were in the audience in New Hampshire and tweeted about his “great applause lines” and the standing ovation he received from the audience.
Of his speeches, Perry said: “Not every one of them is all the same. So if anybody wants to read anything into it, they can. I’m still having great fun on the campaign trail.”
Perry said the biggest shock to him after entering the 2012 race late was that “There are no days off. It’s full bore every day.”