Rick Perry To Close Three Agencies: Education, Commerce, and Oops!
The theory that Rick Perry is not a complete moron took another serious blow in last night’s debate.
Politico (“Rick Perry crashes, Herman Cain cheered at GOP debate“):
The Rick Perry comeback hit a potentially disastrous snag Wednesday night, as the Texas governor again froze on the debate stage — this time, while attempting to list three federal agencies he’d eliminate as president.
After saying confidently that he’d do away with the Departments of Education and Commerce, Perry struggled through a long, awkward moment that ended with an “oops.”
“I would do away with Education, the — Commerce and, let’s see, I can’t,” he said. “The third one, I can’t.”
Perry used his next question, several minutes later, to clarify: “By the way, that was the Department of Energy I was reaching for a while ago.”
But the damage may already have been done for Perry, whose campaign initially veered off course in late September when he fumbled in back-to-back debates in Florida.
Business Insider, which terms this “The Moment That Officially Killed His Campaign — For Good,” has the transcript:
Perry: And I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when i get there that are gone. Commerce, Education, and the — what’s the third one there? Let’s see…Okay. Commerce, Education, and the —”
Ron Paul: EPA?
Perry: EPA, there you go.
Moderator: Seriously — is epa one you are talking about?
Perry: No, sir, no, sir. we are talking about the – agencies of government — EPA needs to be rebuilt. >>
Moderator: you can’t — you can’t name the third one?
Perry: The third agency of government I would — I would do away with Education, the – >> Commerce…Commerce and, let’s see. I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.
About 15 minutes later, Perry said “It was the Department of Energy that I was reaching for before.”
Here’s a rather grainy video. The epic part begins at the 1:00 mark.
UPDATE: Someone on Perry’s staff is apparently smarter than he is, trying to capitalize on this embarrassing moment with humor. Charlie Spiering reports:
Anxious to put a positive spin on Rick Perry’s debate meltdown last night, the Perry campaign sent out the following email after 2:00 a.m. this morning.
Friend & Supporter,
We’ve all had human moments. President Obama is still trying to find all 57 states. Ronald Reagan got lost somewhere on the Pacific Highway in an answer to a debate question. Gerald Ford ate a tamale without removing the husk. And tonight Rick Perry forgot the third agency he wants to eliminate. Just goes to show there are too damn many federal agencies.
The governor said it best afterwards: “I’m glad I had my boots on, because I sure stepped in it tonight.”
While the media froths over this all too human moment, we thought we would take this opportunity to ask your help in doing something much more constructive: write us to let us know what federal agency you would most like to forget.
Is it the EPA and its job-killing zealots? The NLRB and its czar-like dictates? The edu-crats at the Department of Education who aim to control your local curriculum?
Send your answer to email@example.com, and if you are on twitter join us in using a new twitter hashtag: #forgetmenot. And, if you could, throw in a $5 contribution for every agency you would like to forget. We hope you have a long list. And we promise we will write down every last idea. So we don’t forget.
Still standing in our Boots,
Clever. But methinks not enough to save a sinking ship. Apparently, his fundraisers agree.