Rick Perry

Rick Perry’s embarrassing political debate blunder


Perry Event 2/1/2010

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The big political story of the week was a political blunder in the CNBC debate last Wednesday night by GOP nominee hopeful, and Governor of Texas, Rick Perry. He could not remember one of the three federal agencies he would like to eliminate, if he is elected  president.

“Turning to Texas Rep. Ron Paul to boast, Perry said: “I’ll tell you: it’s three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone: Commerce, education and, the –uh — what’s the third one there? … Commerce, education and the uh, the uh…” before being interrupted by a question. “The third agency of government I would do away with — education, the, uh, commerce, and let’s see — I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops”

About 15 minutes later in the debate, Perry said he meant to say that the Department of Energy is the third agency he wanted to eliminate.

It was an embarrassing and excruciating moment for Perry, whose poor debate performances have defined his campaign. His poll numbers have declined steadily since his first debate. Critics have noted that his stamina in the two-hour-long debates seems to wane.

PERRY: 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.

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: Five.

PERRY: Five. Okay. Commerce, Education, and the —

[UNKNOWN]: EPA?

PERRY: EPA. There you go.

Q: 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.

Q: 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 —

Q: Commerce.

PERRY: Commerce and, let’s see. I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.

According to Peter Hamby of CNN, Perry showed up at the spin room after the debate and told reporters, “I’m sure glad I had my boots on because I sure stepped in it out there.”