On Leno’s show, Perry laughs off recent gaffes
December 2nd, 2011
12:39 AM ET
7 years ago

On Leno’s show, Perry laughs off recent gaffes

(CNN) - Rick Perry, who's no stranger to poking fun at himself, made light of his recent mishaps in an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” Thursday night.

Asked about his debate "brain freeze," in which he forgot the third of three agencies he would cut as president, the GOP presidential candidate joked: "Well, you know, one, two, and then - uh, uh. It happens, man. Let me tell you."

Perry said it wasn't the only time he's made a mistake.

"Every now and then I call my dogs by the wrong name,” he said. "I get that wrong, too."

The Texas governor also made headlines this week when he flubbed the nation's voting age at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, telling students in the audience he'd appreciate their vote if they were turning 21 by Nov. 12.

The official voting age is 18, and the election next year takes place on Nov. 6.

Perry told Leno he was thinking of the drinking age at the time he made the comment.

"You've got to have an excuse, right? So that's mine, and I'm sticking to it," Perry said, laughing.

This isn't the first late-night show gig for Perry. He made fun of himself while presenting the "Top Ten List" on the "Late Show with David Letterman" the night after he failed to recall the name of the third agency.

He also bookended his appearance on "The Tonight Show" Thursday with commercials that aired in Iowa, again mocking the gaffe and arguing that Americans weren't looking for the "slickest" debater.

Leno thanked Perry for being a good sport and providing the comedian during the campaign "with a lot of material."

"It's what I do," Perry joked.

Filed under: 2012 • Jay Leno • Rick Perry
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Did Leno ask him anything important ?

    December 2, 2011 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  2. chuck weidemann

    Keep being a comedian....much better at that than president!! A lot less dangerous for our well being.

    December 2, 2011 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  3. Don

    There are comedians that are funny naturally and those tha tcraft their work. Rick is neither. He's just sad.

    December 2, 2011 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  4. brian

    lets hope he's laughing all the way back to texas

    December 2, 2011 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  5. David Smith

    Aren't excuses what we use when we don't want to take personal responsibility for our actions or behaviors.

    December 2, 2011 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  6. Indy

    Perry runs to the late night shows everytime he gaffes, he probably thinks he could count on Dave and Jay everytime he starts a new war if he were to become President. The best thing Perry can hope for is some royalties for the comedy movie that will come out about this little run for POTUS.Not ready for primetime whatsoever !

    December 2, 2011 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  7. PuzzledInPeoria

    The President of the United States should have a sense of humor, but he shouldn't be a goof.

    December 2, 2011 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  8. Independent In Albany

    Meanwhile potential voters laugh off Perry.......

    December 2, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  9. Liz the First

    This guy is the joke. the voters should laugh him off the national stage and back to Texas! Does anyone in their right mind think someone who revels in his stupidity should be the leader of the free world? look what happened the last time some folks thought so, two off-the-books wars and the economy in ruins. vote smart, vote Obama!!!

    December 2, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  10. diridi

    8.6 percent Unemployment is good sign. this nation is on right track. Obama2012.
    I have full confidence in Obama. Never vote any GOP idiots. Please.

    December 2, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  11. indyreader

    Perry reminds me of a kid who's basically a goofball and a little bit of an attention-ho. The kind who, in gym class, playing softball, would occasionally get a solid hit, start running the bases, and not be able to resist showboating and cutting up 'cos he fundamentally doesn't take the game earnestly and can't really even pretend to before getting picked off between second and third. He's not seriously in this race – that's why he can maintain such a good-humored air.

    December 2, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  12. CitizenJP

    Mr. Perry is a perfect example why you should not judge a book by its cover. The cover is not too shabby in this case.

    December 2, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  13. WhatWouldRonnieDo?

    "Ho, ho, ho ... ha, ha, ha ... my candidacy is going down the toilet ... ha, ha, ha ... hee, hee!"

    December 2, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. ronvan

    Texan's should be totally embarassed over this clown!

    December 2, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  15. detada

    If Perry cared at all about the people of Texas, he would drop out of the race. He is making us all look bad.

    December 2, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  16. petshopbear@yahoo.com

    People act like Perry is running for Student Body Class President. Hello America he is running for the POTUS, our leader. He will have to have complete knowledge of Foreign Policy as well as command our military. He is not running for class clown or some wild game hunter. I am sure he is fun to be with and drink and party with, but do we really need a 50 or 60 year old fratboy running our country again?

    December 2, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  17. Seattle Sue

    I don't think they were gaffes, I believe this is the real Perry, just dumb.

    December 2, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  18. Jack in Florida

    Just the way George Bush use to laugh off his gaffes.......Please Texas, take him back......keep the entertainment locally, not nationally.

    December 2, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. SqueakyVoice

    Ah yes, the ole "it's cool to be stupid" defense. Rick Perry is the latest poster child for that new American epidemic.

    December 2, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  20. Pragmatist

    Leno thanked Perry for being a good sport and providing the comedian during the campaign "with a lot of material."
    "It's what I do," Perry joked.
    If you must know, Perry wasn't joking with his last statement, that is what he does!

    December 2, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  21. nancy

    I adore him. I love a man that can admit his flub up and laugh over it ! SO admirable... ! I don't want a slick talker or a shiny debater... I want a Leader. The thing I like most about Rick Perry is that he is not a whiner. I have never heard him whine about not getting the coverage he deserved or thought he deserved or blaming his problems on anybody but himself. Most of the other candidates have all whined about the media, other candidates or were misunderstood,etc,etc. And best of all he has a great record to show for it which most of the candidates don’t.

    December 2, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  22. mdn

    Those Texans are so funny. I still remember what the last one left for us at the end of his term.

    December 2, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. beevee

    The voters are not laughing at his gaffes. They now know his ability to be the president of USA- zero.

    December 2, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. Annie, Atlanta

    Seriously, this field of candidates is the best the Republicans have to offer? Gaffes? This man wants to be the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, and he doesn't even know the voting age in this country. For God's sake, he's a governor! The destruction of this country will arrive on the tails of our ignorance. Maybe we can stop it in time, maybe not. Does anyone even care anymore? The media gives us infotainment with a slant, based on the will of their corporate owners, and we get candidates who more appropriately belong in a darn three ring circus. And this is acceptable to us? Sad, very sad.

    December 2, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    When does defending one gaff after another via the late night comedy circuit become more embarrassment than cutesy bravado?

    December 2, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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