Texas Governor Rick Perry has admitted he's a terrible debater, but tonight he reached a new low (or high, depending on your political persuasion) during the 10th (!) Republican debate. Here, just watch it—we don't want to ruin it for you:
Spoiler: Perry had been explaining that he'd cut three agencies: Education... Commerce.... and, um.... um, Education... Commerce, and... Here's how the NY Times described the moment:
He couldn't remember.
Not just for a moment or two. Ever. He stumbled, fumbled for the third. He was given extra time. Even one of his rivals finally offered a little help: "The E.P.A.?"
Well, no, Mr. Perry said. The E.P.A. would go, too. But that's not what I was thinking of, he said.
More "ums" and "uhs," and "ums." He looked down at his podium, as if there might be a cheat sheet, though none was there. He started to move on, and a moderator, John Harwood, dug the knife in a little more.
"You can't name the third agency?" Mr. Harwood asked, seemingly incredulous.
Mr. Perry was clearly searching his brain. He offered a bit more fumbling. And finally, with a sad face, said, "I can't."
Perry added, "Oops."
For what it's worth, Perry wanted to get rid of the Department of Energy. Which deals with issues near and dear to Texas, no? Anyway, pundits, including some Republicans, are calling this the death of Perry campaign.