(CNN) - A visibly flustered Rick Perry was reduced to "Oops" after a painful 53 seconds of trying to remember the name of the third of three federal agencies he would cut at a Republican presidential debate in Rochester, Michigan, on Wednesday.
Answering a question about jobs creation, Perry attempted to name the three agencies he has proposed shutting. He named two, but could not come up with the third, even after appearing to consult notes.
Perry was facing Texas Rep. Ron Paul as he answered the question.
"I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone," Perry said. "Commerce, Education, and the - what's the third one there? Let's see. OK. Commerce, Education, and the..."
"EPA?" Romney offered off camera.
"EPA, there you go," Perry said.
When pressed by moderator John Harwood if the Environmental Protection Agency was indeed the third agency he proposes shuttering, Perry admitted that it wasn't. He then attempted again to remember the details from 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."
Several minutes later in the debate, Perry clarified that the agency he was trying to remember was the Department of Energy.
Saddled with a series of lackluster debate performances and down in the polls, pundits were quick to predict the stumble was one from which Perry wouldn't be able to recover.
On Twitter, reaction was swift.
"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.
CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen wrote, “Was that the most embarrassing moment of the campaign –#RickPerry unable to remember the 3rd Cabinet dept he would eliminate?"
Dana Loesch, a conservative radio host and CNN contributor, asked, "How can Perry recover from that?"
Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Roland Martin exclaimed, "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!"
Appearing in the spin room after the debate, the Texas governor tried to make light of the gaffe: "I'm sure glad I had my boots on because I sure stepped in it out there."
–CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby contributed to this report.
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If Perry did this in a debate against Obama it would be over with. The Liberals want Perry to be the nominee..
If you thought things were better with Bush in the White House, you're going to love it if Perry gets in there.
Will Obama give Perry's son his job back? I wonder how Perry's wife will blame Obama for Rick's poor debate performance?
Poster child of an empty suit. Man he makes Dubya look intellegent
I can't wait to see the Daily Show!
He is the male version on Palin.. lol.. .. There should be a Perry/ Palin ticket .. now that would really b sad but funny
Now don't be sad, cuz two out of three ain't bad.
Bye Rick, take Herb with you.
The Texas 'Tard Twins: Dubya and Flubya...
"What's this red button do? OOPS!"
perry jokes, liberals say drunk. He forgets something, liberals say dunce. When liberals hate someone it shows that person is a true conservative. Perry will be a 'do something' president, a fitting replacement for the 'do nothing' president (oblamer) we have in the 'white' house.
It's called the early onset of dementia. You start by forgetting your own name, the names of your spouse , your children and your pet. But it could also be that man, Barak Obama. I'm told he practices voodoo and he has the ability to cast a spell on his opponents. oops!
Yes, Slick Rick is done worse than a burned Thanksgivign Turkey.
What's the hilarious part about it is that Dr. Paul named five just minutes before (and has doen so multiple times before that!) and he couldn't even remember what Dr. Paul had said and simply repeat it!
This wasn't "stepping in it". This was an EPIC BRAIN FART!
All I can think of watching these GOP/Teatroll dummies during these things is the Shriners driving around in figure 8s and circles and what not on those tiny little cars and bikes when you see them at a parade...with the Yackity Sax song of Benny Hill fame playing in the background.
I say the odds are still looking pretty decent and good that Perry can still get the VP nomination if an anti-Romney wins the GOTP nomination. What, you say. Have I lost my mind and all sense of reason? Nope, nah, not at all. I'm just as good and sharp as ever. I'm just predicting the actions of those who have lost their minds and all sense of reason.
"Everyone has an occasional brain fart."
Cowboy Fonzie and the rest of them are in perpetual brain fart mode, as evidenced from their bloated egos and rhetorical flatulence. The only Bean-O that can solve the problem is education, but it's too late for the current crop.
Russ in Md wrote:
Everyone has an occasional brain fart.
Yeah, we do. But only complete [deleted] idiots are flatulent about it.
Perry go for OMEGA 3 or eat a lot of fish to improve your memory!
We need more debates!
None of the Repubs on that stage are worthy of the office of President of US – emabarassing for all Americans.
Perry can cheer up. Isn't there an execution scheduled in Texas today?