A Reuters photo snapped during a break in appeared to show Perry grasping Paul's arm and pointing a finger in his face, igniting rumors that Perry was attempting to intimidate his rival. But at a campaign event on Thursday Paul lightheartedly dismissed the exchange as an inconsequential moment that has been blown out of proportion.
It's a picture of myself with I think the governor of Texas or something, Paul said to laughter. We had several governors up there, the truth is I'd never met him before.
Paul described a deluge of phone calls and emails from the media, family members and supporters after the photo surfaced. He reassured concerned journalists and voters that he had no memory of what Perry had said.
He didn't have any cross words, Paul said. The most challenging words were said on the stage during the debate. The two Texans traded barbs throughout the night, with Perry questioning Paul's Republican credentials and Paul slamming an executive order, issed by Perry, that mandated 12-year-old girls be vaccinated against HPV.
Here is the video: