Rick Perry and Mitt Romney may be close in polls when it comes to the Republican presidential nomination for 2012, but the Texas governor has no challenger when it comes to trotting out clichés in debates, Eric Ostermeier says at Smart Politics.

In three September primaries–one in California and two in Florida–Perry racked up 33 clichés, more than all the other contenders combined, said Ostermeier, a research associate at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and author of the often-quirky Smart Politics blog. In the CNN-Tea Party debate in Florida, Perry used the phrase “at the end of the day” three times in a single answer.

Other phrases tallied in the cliché watch included “the bottom line is,” “as a matter of fact,” “the fact of the matter,” “the fact is,” “we know for a fact,” “let me just say,” and “let’s cut to the chase.”

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