Once considered a front-runner in the GOP presidential race, Texas Governor Rick Perry has suffered some less-than-flattering moments in front of the camera in the past and during Wednesday night's CNBC presidential debate was no exception.
In response to a question from Caterpillar CEO Douglas R. Oberhelman, Perry tried fruitlessly to name all three government agencies he would eliminate if elected president.
“It’s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone – Commerce, Education and the um, what’s the third one there? Let’s see. Oh five – Commerce, Education and the um, um,” Perry faltered.
Mitt Romney tried to help by offering, “EPA?”
But that answer apparently didn't satisfy Perry, who tried again.
“The third agency I would do away with…the…ahh…Education…ahh…Commerce, and, let’s see. I can’t...the third one. I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”
Some 15 minutes or so later, the elusive name finally came to Perry: The Department of Energy.
Addressing reporters directly after the debate, Perry said, "I'm glad I had my boots on tonight. I stepped in it out there."
He added, "I may have forgotten Energy, but I haven't forgotten my conservative principles."
When asked whether his blunder was embarrassing, Perry replied, "I stepped in it, man. Yeah, it was embarrassing. Of course it was."
Regardless of his performance, Perry told reporters that he still plans to be in South Carolina on Saturday.