AUSTIN -- A speech delivered by Rick Perry in New Hampshire has many wondering at the Texas Governor's sudden sense of humor after edited clips went viral over the weekend.
The campaign says Perry was just "passionate about the issues" when he spoke Friday at a banquet sponsored by conservative advocacy group Cornerstone. Whatever the explanation, the video shows a side of Rick Perry that is taking many by surprise.
"Everybody's got their little slogan, right?" Perry joked as he referred to his recently announced "Cut, Balance and Grow" tax plan. "Even Tim Geithner can get his taxes in on time with this, I'm telling you!"
While appealing for donations, Perry laughingly invited his audience to contribute gold as well as cash to the campaign.
"If they print any more money over there in Washington, the gold's gonna be good," he said.
The Texas Governor even had some sport with the official slogan of the Granite State, comparing it to the famous words written by William Barrett Travis during the siege of the Alamo.
"We're kinda into those slogans man," exclaimed Perry. "It's like, 'Live free or die, victory or death.' Bring it!"
Perry's effusive demeanor has even caught many long familiar with the Texas candidate by surprise. Harvey Kronberg, writer and editor of the Quorum Report, explained.
"More so than the actual content and tone of it is the contrast with how he normally is as a candidate, which is very focused, very on message, and very much in control," Kronberg said.
Context is key, and the clips show just parts of a 25-minute-long speech. At Austin's Saint Edward's University, political science professor Brian Smith says viewed as a whole, Perry's speech may tell a somewhat different story than the edited clips suggest.
"He's trying to contrast himself with Romney who's 'Mr. Serious,' 'Mr. Straight-laced,' 'Mr. Shirt and Tie,'" said Smith. "He looks just like somebody trying to get a laugh and sometimes doing well and sometimes going a little overboard, and it not working. Slapstick isn't what we want from a president."
Many candidates have cut loose before and the results haven't always been positive. Many blamed Howard Dean's excited outburst following a third place showing in the 2004 Iowa Democratic Caucus for effectively ending the Vermont governor's presidential campaign.
"For Governor Perry, this could be his moment," said Smith.
The latest poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune shows Perry just behind Herman Cain in Texas, with 26 percent of likely Republican voters compared to Cain's 27 percent -- within the 4.93 percent margin of error. The poll puts Ron Paul in third place with 12 percent, ahead of Mitt Romney in fourth with nine percent.
Of course with plenty of time and cash still on his side, the undefeated Texas politician may yet have the last laugh.