Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - Ditching a blazer for a bomber jacket, suit pants for Wrangler jeans, Texas Gov. Rick Perry exuded confidence working a Veterans Day parade in Columbia Friday.
The presidential candidate, who's been in damage control mode ever since he drew a blank and uttered "oops" at the Wednesday debate, is showing no sign of succumbing to the campaign obituary storyline.
Perry and two other presidential candidates spent the federal holiday in the first Southern primary state, which boasts a significant veteran and active military population. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann trailed Perry in the same parade, walking with U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney met with veterans in the upstate.
His Air Force unit badge on his green jacket sleeve, the former C-150 cargo pilot was in his element walking down Sumter Street behind Fort Jackson troops, saluting veterans and thanking them for their service.
Later in the day, Perry was peppered with questions about foreign policy, teeing up Saturday's debate on the same topic, during an interview with The State newspaper.
Perry is trying to put the debate gaffe behind him. "It is what it is. It's behind us," he told the newspaper. "Other than forgetting the name of a federal agency, I thought our debate preparation and performance was fine."
State Reporter Gina Smith asked the two-term governor if he's concerned about sinking in the polls in South Carolina.
"I did that with my wife, too. It just took a while for her to kind of come back around, but at the end of the day I was successful," he said with a smile and a wink.
–Follow Shawna Shepherd on Twitter: @ShepherdCNN
Wonder if he could name 3 vets?
Rick , thank you for your military service .
I'm sorry , I can't vote for you , you don't have enough understanding of foreign policy in regards to a planet with 7 billion people on it !
Well remembering the vets is easy. I remember the vets and think they should be 1st when it comes to the job market.. I thank them EVERYDAY! perry is such a dope. Has he remembered the 3rd government group he would dismantle? probably NOT! he is such a joke. when I look at him or hear him speak, I think of the dumbbell sarah palin( thank you mcsame!) he needs to go back to texas and continue to jack up that state. We DO NOT need another texan in the White House.
Perry: I remembered...until I didn't, but believe me, I really am qualified to be the leader of the free world. I think.....
Perrys biggest "oops" was when he called Social Security a "Ponzi Scheme' Considering the number of S.S. receivers who are still voters...this has hurt him big time!!!!!So, with the incredible problems surrounding each of the Repub candidates.... it's hard to see ONE that is in any way a solid candidate for president.Arrogance, lack of integrity,little character......there really isn't much there to vote for!!!!!!!!Society is praying that the people will do a lot of listening, reading and learning from now until 2012!!!!
Gov. Perry, thank you for your service to our country. Your debate performance was fine and I especially respect you for your honesty. When Rep. Paul asked if EPA is the one that you were thinking, you could have said yes it is and let it go, but you are so honest that you said no it was not what you meant and you kept thinking. I admire and trust you much more than those lying politicians who can talk beautifully but do not have any real experiences or solid record of achievements. Look at how bad our economy is under the leadership of a talker.
he looks lost in that picture, lmao, what a joke..."Forgetful Perry"