Twenty four hours after a much-discussed memory lapse at a presidential debate, Rick Perry capped off a Thursday of damage control with humor, this time of the intentional variety -- as opposed to the awkward “oops” that accompanied his nationally televised brain freeze.
In an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Perry continued a charm offensive that began with a round robin of early morning news show interviews by presenting the evening’s top ten list – excuses for why he forgot the name of the third Cabinet agency he intends to cut if elected president.
10. “Actually, there were three reasons I messed up last night. One was the nerves,
and two was the headache, and three…um…uh…oops.”
9. “I don’t know what you’re talking about – I think things went well.”
8. “Hey, I was up late last night watching ‘Dancing with the Stars.’”
7. “I thought the debate was tonight.”
6. “Hey listen. You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude.”
5. “Uh, El Nino?”
4. “I had a five hour energy drink, six hours before the debate.”
3. “You know, I really hoped it would get me on my favorite talk show, but instead I ended up here.”
2. “I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.”
1. “I just learned Justin Bieber is my father.”
Before Perry emerged on stage, he was the butt of several of Letterman’s opening jokes. Among them: “The governor explained it was not him, he explained it was part of the test of the emergency alert system.”
But the host did throw Perry one bone: “It’s nice to see a guy running for president who’s only groping for words.”
As bad as it is to be Rick Perry, it still might be worse to be Herman Cain.