GOFFSTOWN, N.H. – Visiting a college campus here on a campaign stop, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave his young audience a good reason to stay in school. Appealing for their votes, the Republican presidential contender on Tuesday asked for the support of the students who will be 21 by the election on Nov. 12.
As most of the crowd already knew, the voting age in the United States is 18, not 21. And Election Day is Nov. 6.
The slip came while Perry was conducting a town hall meeting at the Saint Anselm College Institute of Politics. And even though Perry has had his share of gaffes, including his high-profile memory gap while discussing one of his budget proposals during a candidates’ debate, the audience barely responded. A few members of the audience giggled, but the Texas governor moved on without realizing his mistake.
The event also featured Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who endorsed Perry earlier in the day in Amherst, N.H. One member of the audience booed when Arpaio took the stage, though he seemed unfazed. “Am I hearing boos?” he asked. When an audience member responded with “Yes,” he shrugged, said “OK,” and moved on to his short speech praising Perry.
Perry devoted most of the event to slamming the federal government for failing to secure the nation’s borders, a topic that didn’t seem to interest the audience. They were more responsive to his discussion of economic issues, and Perry’s pledge to end bank bailouts and his opposition to increasing the nation’s debt ceiling when the government’s spending exceeds debt limits. “Raising the debt ceiling is not required in my opinion,” he said.