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On Wednesday night, a GOP debate in Michigan brought together eight presidential candidates, but one walked away that night probably feeling pretty bad about his performance.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry seemed to draw a blank when the moderator asked him what the third agency he would aim to shut down in his plan.
“The third agency of government I would – I would do away with Education, the Commerce, and, let’s see. I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.” (Watch the moment in the video below.)
Would that one “oops” be the swan song for Perry’s campaign? Pundits weighed in after the debate on the painful moment.
“You know what I bet Perry is feeling right now? Relief. It’s over, he has to know it, and future knots of tension are dissolving,” wrote Vanity Fair columnist James Wolcott.
CNN contributor Roland Martin wrote, “Damn, he actually forgot the third federal agency he would get rid of! That is THE MOST EMBARRASSING moment of any debate I’ve seen!”
“The slip was nothing short of a disaster for Perry, who badly needed a solid debate performance — for once — if he was ever to put his campaign back on course in the diminishing time that remains before primary voting begins in January,” wrote Molly Ball of The Atlantic.
“He was laying out a line from his standard stump speech, that he would get rid of the departments of Commerce, Education and Energy if he were to win the White House. That he could not repeat a oft-stated line at a debate is likely to underscore to Republicans that he would have trouble in a debate against Democratic President Barack Obama next fall,” wrote Steve Holland of Rueters.
“Perry collapses. Cannot remember a list of three federal government departments he wants to abolish past the first two. Seriously. And then he says “oops.” He has all but disappeared inside his suit in this debate and is now basically done,” conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan tweeted.
“Was that the most embarrassing moment of the campaign –#RickPerry unable to remember the 3rd Cabinet dept he would eliminate?” wrote CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen.
“How can Perry recover from that?” Dana Loesch, a conservative radio host and CNN contributor wrote.
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