Texas Gov. Rick Perry his TV damage-control tour on Thursday, his smile never wavering as he tried to laugh off his latest debate gaffe in an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly.
“That’s pretty brutal, isn’t it,” Perry said after Kelly aired a clip of his "oops" moment: In the middle of outlining his economic platform, Perry blanked on the name of the third federal agency that he intends to eliminate.
“I think it’s happened to everybody before,” Perry said. “The fact is, there are a lot of Americans out there who are not unlike me that as they sit around and think about federal agencies that they’d like to forget—I certainly had that agency of Energy stuck—it wasn’t even on the tip of my tongue.”
Perry repeated comments he made on TV appearences Thursday morning, and tried—unsuccessfully—to shift the conversation away from his debate performance.
“People understand, you make mistakes, things don’t come out of your mouth right, but we talked about a lot of really important issues, like my tax plan,” Perry said.
“If we’re electing a debater-in-chief, don’t elect me,” Perry said. “We have a really good debater in the White House today—a president who is, from my perspective, an absolute disaster for the economy.”
Perry stressed that he can beat Obama on the issues, emphasizing his plan to simplify the tax code, his pledge to balance the budget by 2020, and his proposal to keep Social Security solvent. His campaign can turn around its lackluster performance in the polls if “we keep talking about the issues,” like job creation, he said.