Texas Gov. Rick Perry would like to avoid being compared to his gaffe-prone predecessor, former President George W. Bush, but he didn’t help himself late on Tuesday when he suggested that the American Revolution took place in the 16th century.
Following a Republican presidential candidate debate at Dartmouth College, Perry made a stop at the school’s Beta Theta Pi fraternity house a few blocks away, where he spoke briefly with students and answered a few questions. One participant pressed the governor on the issue of states’ rights.
Perry, a favorite of tea party Republicans, replied, “Our Founding Fathers never meant for Washington, D.C., to be the fount of all wisdom. As a matter of fact, they were very much afraid of that because they’d just had this experience with this far-away government that had centralized thought process and planning and what have you, and then it was actually the reason that we fought the Revolution in the 16th century, was to get away from that kind of onerous crown if you will.”
The American Revolution, of course, was fought during the 18th century. In describing his personal story on the campaign trail, Perry has often said he wasn’t a very diligent student, and the Huffington Post online newspaper has reported that he got poor grades in college, including a C in U.S. history.