Going into the Republican Debate, all eyes were on Herman Cain as he was in this lewd sexual harassment scandal, but Rick Perry stole the spotlight away from Cain with a verbal-gaffe of his own. LOL.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry unwittingly stole the spotlight from his rival with a potentially fatal verbal fumble that he punctuated with a feeble “oops,” neatly making Mr. Cain's woes look minuscule in comparison in a debate that was already paying them short shrift.
Perry, whose past debate performances raised questions about his readiness for the national stage, stumbled badly in the course of naming three federal agencies he would eliminate.
In the course of promising to repeal job-crushing government regulations, Perry said he would eliminate three government agencies. But in an excruciating minute-long answer full of pauses, he could not remember the third.
"Commerce, Education, and the -- what's the third one there? Let's see," Perry said, looking puzzled and searching his notes.
When he finally named the Environmental Protection Agency after another candidate mentioned it as a possibility, Harwood followed up.
"Seriously, is the EPA the one you were talking about?" he asked.
"No sir, no sir. We were talking about the agencies of government -- the EPA needs to be rebuilt," Perry responded. "There's no doubt about that."
"But you can't name the third one?" Harwood pressed.
Finally, Perry gave up.
"Commerce and, let's see," he said. "I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops."
The moment was so problematic that the Perry campaign made the rare decision to bring the candidate himself into the spin room to explain himself. It turned out the agency he was searching for was the Department of Energy
"I'm sure glad I had my boots on because I sure stepped in it out there," Perry told a pack of reporters. "The bottom line is, I may have forgotten Energy, but I didn't forget my conservative principles."
Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom let the moment speak for itself.
"There is nothing I could say that could darken the night that Rick Perry had," he told reporters. "I would prefer to talk about Gov. Romney's performance."
- CNN http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/09/politics/gop-debate/index.html