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Pelosi, Perry Trade Jabs

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If the steady diet of Republican presidential debates has left you still hungry for more, well, here you go. Texas Governor Rick Perry has invited House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to debate next Monday.

GUY RAZ, HOST:

The Republican candidate sent a letter to the Democratic leader, writing: I would love to engage you in a public debate about my overhaul Washington plan versus the congressional status quo.

BLOCK: Perry released that plan earlier this week. It includes a call from members of Congress to serve part time and receive half the pay. His campaign explains it this way - the U.S. does not a full-time Congress that is more focused on increasing its perks instead of reducing spending.

RAZ: The debate invitation, as Perry wrote, was a response to criticism from congressional Democrats. Well, today, Pelosi was asked about the invitation at her weekly briefing.

BLOCK: She smiled and explained that she has a very busy schedule.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Monday, I'm going to be in Portland in the morning. I'm going to be visiting some of our labs in California in the afternoon. That's two. I can't remember what the third thing is I'm going to be doing.

BLOCK: Ooh, that jab, of course, mocking Rick Perry's infamous brain freeze during a recent debate.

RAZ: Well, Governor Perry's campaign responded to Pelosi with this Tweet. "Perhaps the third activity you have forgotten is the ongoing insider trading." That's a reference to the issue you just heard about a minute ago from our reporter, Tamara Keith.

BLOCK: And, with that, the prospect of yet another debate was gone. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.