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Perry tries to spin debate gaffe to his advantage

November 10, 2011

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WASHINGTON—Texas Gov. Rick Perry is trying to turn his debate gaffe into a talking point about a supersized government.

The Republican presidential candidate said in an NBC "Today" interview that his forgetfulness in a Michigan debate was not a shining moment.

But he also cited "so many agencies of government that I'd like to forget." Perry appeared a day after he declared three governmental agencies should be eliminated, but could only cite two -- Commerce and Education. He has stated previously he'd close the Energy Department.

But in Thursday's interview, he sought to turn his lapse in thinking to his advantage. Perry said the slip-up helps him make his major campaign point. Perry said, "It just surely gets to the core of the line -- that we've got so much government out there."

"Federal agencies of government -- I bet that there are a lot of Americans out there that would like to forget some agencies of government, too, that are costing them their jobs, that's tearing this economy up," he said in a CNN interview.

" ... That's the seriousness of what we have here," Perry added, "not because I had a brain freeze and failed to remember an agency of government that we do frankly need to do away with, in the form of the Department of Energy."