Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rick Perry can't remember which government agency he's decided to eliminate

Nov 9, 2011
The moment Rick Perry’s candidacy collapsed
He provides what may be the most painful, cringe-inducing slip-up in debate history VIDEO
By Steve Kornacki

The good news for Rick Perry is that everyone will probably stop talking about his bizarre New Hampshire speech now. The bad news is: He created an even more cringe-inducing YouTube moment at Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate — one that probably represents the most embarrassing public slip-up in what has been a campaign full of them for Perry.

Video is posted below, but we’ll stick to the transcript up here and pick things up mid-answer, a little more than an hour into the debate, when Perry — who had been mostly ignored by the moderators and his fellow candidates — tried to win some attention by talking about which Cabinet departments he’d eliminate as president:

PERRY: And I will 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? Let’s see…

RON PAUL (holding up five fingers): Five.

PERRY: Oh, five. OK. So, Commerce, Education, and the uh, uh, uh…


PERRY: EPA. There you go.

DEBATE QUESTIONER JOHN HARWOOD: Seriously? Is EPA the one you’re talking about?

PERRY: No sir, No sir. We were talking about the agencies of government – EPA needs to be rebuilt, there’s no doubt about that…

HARWOOD: But you can’t name the third one?

PERRY: The third agency of government I would, I would do away with – Education, the uh, Commerce, and let’s see – I can’t, the third one. The third one there. Oops...

Update: The transcript has been changed to show that it was Mitt Romney — and not Ron Paul — who actually suggested the EPA to Perry. (h/t reader DR) Also, it’s probably worth noting that Perry, in an answer to a separate question more than ten minutes later, said that the Energy Department was the third “agency” he was grasping for.

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