Texas Gov. Rick Perry tried to do damage control Thursday on his mental lapse that was televised Wednesday night on the CNBC GOP debate.
“I think I made an error last night,” Perry said on CBS’ “The Morning Show.” “All of us make mistakes and I’m a human being. And the issue here is that I had a lapse of memory," Perry said.
Perry struggled to recall the third federal agency he said he would cut in government during the Republican presidential debate. “ I will tell you, it’s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education, and the – what’s the third one there? Let’s see.”
After fumbling for a while Mitt Romney asked if he meant the Environmental Protection Agency, which was not the answer. Again, Perry tried to remember the third agency: “The third agency of government I would do away with — the Education, the Commerce, and let's see. I can't. The third one, I can't. Oops.”
His gaffe has been seen as a disaster to his campaign efforts by political observers and pundits.
“Perry’s lack of knowledge about his own political platform was awkward on the stage and immediately raised eyebrows in the Twitterverse, and could possibly be a pivot point in his campaign with longer-lasting implications for the race,” the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake wrote.
Perry is no stranger to the public slip-ups. He has had a series of missteps since he entered the presidential race this summer. "I admit I may not be the best debater, the smoothest politician on the stage," Perry said.
Perry pledged to continue the circuit in South Carolina on Saturday when the Reublican candidates will gather for another debate. The CBS-sponsored event will focus on foreign policy, a topic seen as a weak point for Perry. Perry’s political aides have signaled he may not participate in all the upcoming presidential debates, CBS News reported.