Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” Thursday to make light of his slip up at Wednesday’s GOP Presidential Debate when he claimed there are three government agencies he would eliminate as President – but then couldn’t name a third.
Pundits have criticized Perry’s gaffe and claim it marks the end of his campaign.
Perry, on the other hand, has tried to recover from the gaffe by poking fun at himself on Letterman’s late night show. He presented “Rick Perry’s Top Ten Excuses” for why he couldn’t remember the third agency he would eliminate. Perry proves to be quite the comedian in the clip, which can be watched below, as he mocks Herman Cain, Mitt Romney’s smile and Justin Bieber. If nothing else, Perry succeeds at making light of his mistake.
Though surprisingly witty, it seems unlikely, however, that Perry’s jokes will help him recover and boost a campaign that has quickly dwindled in support since its front runner status in September.
In fact, Perry’s lighthearted attitude comes off a bit too light. Perry’s campaign has not only tried to remedy the harm done from his “oops” moment, but has actually tried to capitalize on it. In an email sent to supporters, the campaign encouraged donors to “throw in a $5 contribution for every agency you would like to forget.” It has also added a poll to his website where people can vote on the agency they would like to forget.
While his campaign managers may have battled a public relations nightmare with some success, a presidential campaign should be more than just a game. The problem with Perry’s flub Wednesday was not that he was nervous and blanked out – an understandable predicament that many voters might identify with – but rather, that he came prepared to the debate with talking points and, then, “oops,” suddenly forgot his lines. If Perry had well thought out opinions on what agencies to eliminate, he wouldn’t be able to forget them, they would haunt him.
Perry’s flub may not be the end of his campaign, but his failure to prove a real understanding of the problems the American government faces will be. It’s only a matter of time before his campaign can no longer cover up the holes in his well-groomed and comical exterior.
Watch Rick Perry on the Late Show with David Letterman:
Watch Rick Perry's Gaffe at CNBC's GOP Debate Wednesday: