Taking a page from Ronald Reagan, Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Saturday sought to use humor to rebound from his much-noted debate flub earlier in the week. That flub, a 53-second brain freeze that was replayed endlessly on news shows, had him forgetting the name of the Department of Energy, the third federal agency he pledges to eliminate.
So Perry was quick to cut off CBS’ Scott Pelley, one of the debate moderators in South Carolina, when he began a question, saying, “Governor Perry, you advocate the elimination of the Department of Energy. If you eliminate the Department of Energy…”
“I’m glad you remembered it,” interjected Perry with a big smile as the audience broke into applause and laughter. Pelley responded, “I’ve had some time to think about it, sir.” And Perry shot back again to even more laughter, “Me, too.”
Far from being uptight after his earlier stumble, Perry was loose even before the debate. Backstage before the TV lights came on, Perry said to fellow candidate Rick Santorum, “So tonight if I need a lifeline, I’m just gonna look to you, OK?”
Santorum laughed and offered to “fill in the blanks” for the Texan. The two men then high-fived each other. At that point, they laughed about Rep. Ron Paul telling Perry after the Michigan debate that “everybody has that happen, most people just don’t do it in front of four million people.” In South Carolina, Paul laughed and told Santorum, “I was trying to make him feel better.” Via National Journal