Rick Perry oops
In what may go down as one of the most cringe-worthy moments of any modern presidential campaign, the Texas governor froze in the middle of an answer during the Republican debate in Michigan sponsored by CNBC and dealt what could be a fatal blow to his 2012 bid.
Perry, who has frequently admitted he's a poor debater, stumbled in the middle of explaining which government agencies he would eliminate as president—a softball question given the answer is part of his daily talking points on the campaign trail.
"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 said as he struggled to name the third agency.
The governor awkwardly looked at his notes, as one of his rivals offered a lifeline. "The EPA?" someone asked.
"That's it," Perry said, but then retracted his answer.
For more than 30 seconds, Perry shuffled in place and tried to think of the agency he was missing. Finally, he said, "I can't. Oops."
You can watch video of the moment above.
Ten minutes later, Perry finally came up with the answer he was looking for--"the Department of Energy," he said--but by then it was too late. The blunder, the biggest of Perry's three month campaign, undermined the governor's efforts to regain momentum for his 2012 effort--which he admitted in the debate room afterward.
"I'm glad I had my boots on tonight, because I sure stepped in it out there," he told reporters.
But Perry's mistake also granted a lifeline to Herman Cain, whose campaign has been in crisis mode in recent days over allegations that he sexually harassed four women while he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
Asked about the controversy, Cain again denied the allegations and attacked the media and his accusers.
"The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations," Cain said in the early moments of the debate. "This country's looking for leadership, and this is why a lot of people, despite what has happened over the last nine days … [they] have voted with their dollars, and they are saying we they don't care about character assassination They care about leadership and getting this economy going and all the other problems that we face."
Read More: yahoo