From Mail Online:
Oops, there goes Rick Perry’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
The Texas governor sensationally self-destructed in one of the most cringe-worthy moments in debate history last night when he forgot one of the chief elements of his own economic plan.
Trying to explain the three government agencies he would axe, the one-time Republican favorite crashed and burned as he tried in vain to remember them all.
‘Let me tell you, it’s three agencies that are gone when I get there. Commerce, Education, and the um, what’s the third one there?
‘Commerce, education and eh, eh…’
Rival Mitt Romney tried to help, suggesting, ‘EPA?’
That wasn’t it, said Perry, although he seemed unsure.
Ron Paul, ever ready to cut big government, put up five fingers and said the governor should eliminate five agencies.
While the other eight candidates – and the millions watching on live TV – continued to squirm, CNBC moderator John Harwood offered Perry the opportunity to redeem himself.
It would have been kinder to move on as the bumbling governor dealt the death blow to his faltering campaign.’The third agency I would do away with…the…ahh…Education…ahh…Commerce, and, let’s see,’ he added, looking down at his podium, ‘I can’t, the third one. I can’t. Sorry. Oops.’
Perry’s challenge had largely collapsed already through a string of lackluster performances in earlier debates.
It was another ten minutes or so before he remembered the third agency.
But by then, it was too late.
‘By the way he said, ‘that was the Department of Energy I was reaching for a while ago.’
After the debate, Perry’s communication director Ray Sullivan said: ‘We had a stumble of style but not substance.
‘It was good he was wearing his boots tonight because he stepped in it … We’ll get through this.’
Speaking to reporters in a post-debate appearance, Perry said: ‘Yeah, it was embarrassing, of course it was. But people understand our conservative principles are what matter.’