Rick Perry Forgetting Which Agency He'd Pledged To Eliminate During A 2011 Live Public Debate Is, Well, Unforgettable — VIDEO
On Thursday, in a move that many are labeling a "comeback," Rick Perry announced his second presidential bid. After a gaffe-laden first campaign that led him to drop out after the Iowa caucuses, the former Texas governor appears to be launching his second bid for Republican nomination as a whole new Rick, perhaps in hopes of erasing the painful blunders of his previous run. But given how memorable those blunders were, that might be hard to do. And it's about to get a bit more difficult, because here's a refresher course on Perry's biggest "oops" moment — on failing to name the third government agency Perry would eliminate.
This time around, Perry is hardly recognizable after trading his signature cowboy boots for black-rimmed glasses and shifting his image from Texas ranger to worldly intellect. Besides his appearance, Perry has also made a deliberate effort to study up on both foreign and domestic policy, meeting with business magnates like Warren Buffett and Rupert Murdoch and economists at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. And he's been campaigning extra hard in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, where he trailed significantly in polls during his first campaign.
But will all of this be enough to erase the memory of Perry's now-infamous fumble on live television during the Republican presidential debates in November 2011? In an apparent momentary brain lapse, when discussing his flat tax plan, Perry couldn't for the life of him name the third federal agency he'd eliminate as president.
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?
At first, the audience finds it endearing that he couldn't think of the answer, laughing along with the flub. But then it sinks in that Perry truly can't think of the third agency he'd eliminate and the moment goes from funny to embarrassing.
The third agency of government I would, I would do away with, the Education, the... Commerce and, let's see... I can't. The third one, sorry. Oops.
It was the "oops" heard around the world, or at least the media, because Perry's campaign came to be defined by that small, sad utterance.
To his credit, given the circumstances — being on live television, a live audience, bright lights burning into your eyes, and seven opponents trying to trip you up — anyone might have experienced a similar mind-blank. But unfortunately for him, it ended up costing his entire campaign and any chances for securing the Republican nomination.
It remains to be seen how his second campaign will shake out, but Perry has a lot of redeeming to do. However, rather than try and distract the public with a whole new guise, perhaps it might be more beneficial for Perry to remind Americans of his effective turn as governor that made him a strong candidate to begin with. Under his leadership, Texas created more than a million new jobs since 2000 while the U.S. lost nearly 1.5 million. It's concrete data like that that will help redeem Perry, not a new pair of glasses.
Watch Perry's infamous "oops" moment below.
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