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Oops! Governor Rick Perry Has Memory Lapse in GOP Debate

Posted on the 10 November 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Oops! Governor Rick Perry has memory lapse in GOP debate

Governor Rick Perry. Photocredit: Gage Skidmore.

Rick Perry has already said he’s not much of a debater, but his performance Wednesday at a Republican debate on the economy is nonetheless making headlines for its shocking ineptitude.

The GOP debate in Michigan, broadcast on CNBC, on the 9 November, also included colourful hopefuls Michele Bachmann, who claims to be guided by God; the troubled Herman Cain, who is alleged to have sexually harassed various women; former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich whose Twitter followers were largely fake; and Mitt Romney, the self-proclaimed “red dot in a blue state” who, by default it seems, is becoming the favorite. But it was Perry’s inability to remember his own campaign promise that stole the show.

The debate was meant to be about the economy.  Perry, currently Governor of Texas, managed to stumble over one of his own policies after a mere 53 seconds: He forgot one of three government agencies that he’d get rid of should he become president – to roars of laughter, and incredulity, from the audience. His rivals offered suggestions, including the EPA. “Oops,” said Perry (see video below), before taking more time to remember the other. After the debate, Perry came into the press room to apologize. “I’m glad I had my boots on tonight,” he was quoted on The Daily Telegraph. “I stepped in it out there.” He’s not going to pull out of forthcoming debates, though.

“It’s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone, Commerce, Education and the, er, what’s the third one there? Let’s see…” Rick Perry’s “um” moment in the debate, quoted on The Daily Telegraph.

Wait and see? Brad Watson on WFAA said that some were calling Perry’s mistake “‘devastating’ … even ‘political suicide.’” With only eight weeks until caucuses in Iowa, he “needed a solid appearance.” And though he did speak well about tax and regulations, we’ll to wait and see to assess “just how damaging” the performance was.

Nope, the damage is already done. The New York Times was of the opinion that any other candidate would have brushed aside the gaffe. But Perry has been “consistently undercut” by his performance in debates, and this moment of forgetfulness merely reinforced this.  The paper quoted Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist, who suggested that he may not be able to raise any more money: ““A donor strike will totally cripple what’s left of his campaign.’” Another, Sara Taylor Fagen, called it “a political death knell.” Yikes.

Romney’s on the rise. It was almost all over for Perry anyway, said an opinion piece in The Los Angeles Times. Romney was “polished”, and unchallenged by any of the other candidates. Cain was “relentlessly on message,” but he can’t talk for longer than 28 seconds. The others were “competent”, and weirdly, they don’t seem to disagree on much. When it comes down to it, Romney’s nomination looks cemented already. “His rivals, instead, are fading.” Once again, agreed Tom Dotan on Neon Tommy, a political blog, the tallest guy was Romney – although even his performance was hardly brilliant. He edged into “dangerous waters” when talking about China, but at least he was “human”. None of the other candidates, though, seem to be able to hold a candle to him.

America’s Funniest! A  more light-hearted approach came from Rolling Stone Magazine. Perry, suggested the mag, seems to want to appear on “America’s Funniest Homer Videos.” He’s gone from “frontrunner” to “are-you-kidding-me?” He’s “erratic, alternately sleepy, confused, and vicious”, and hasn’t just shot himself in the foot –“He’s done.”

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