Rick Perry's "Oops" Moment

Rick Perry's "Oops" Moment

Part of a series on Rick Perry. [View Related Entries]

Updated Aug 11, 2015 at 02:27AM EDT by Brad.

Added Nov 10, 2011 at 01:46PM EST by Brad.

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Rick Perry's Debate Gaffe refers to a momentary lapse of memory experienced by the Republican Governor of Texas and former presidential candidate nominee Rick Perry during the nationally televised primary debate in November 2011. The on-air blunder was met by humorous commentaries in the news and social media, as well as a series of musical remixes and parody videos on YouTube.


On November 9th, 2011, the ninth Republican Party presidential debate was held at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. During the course of the debate, Rick Perry attempted to name three federal government agencies that he would seek to eliminate if elected to presidency, but he failed to recall his third choice. After more than 50 seconds of memory lapse on stage, Governor Perry eventually gave in and uttered "oops." Later on, the third agency was revealed as the United States Department of Energy.

“It is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, education and the … uh, um, what’s the third one there. Let’s see … ”

Notable Developments

Within minutes of the mishap, Twitter users reacted to Perry's on-air blunder with colorful commentaries using hashtags like #oops and #CNBCdebate According to Trendistic[4], the aforementioned hashtags began trending on Twitter as early as 9 p.m. (ET) on November 9th.

The footage from the debate was near instantly uploaded onto YouTube[1], where it took over Herman Cain's videos relating relating to his harassment scandals on YouTube Politics channel's Top 5 Hot Videos list.[2] The link to the YouTube clip was also submitted to Reddit[3] and made its way to the frontpage within hours.

Perry Stumbles on Agencies He'd Eliminate TOP 5 Perry Stumbles on Agenciesby AssociatedPress CNBC 307 views 3 Things About Rick Perry From The GOP Debate CNB 219 views HOT POLITICAL VIDEOS Mike Tyson Plays Herman Cain On 'Funny Or Die'flv 4,078 vlew MONEY :) | * THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE * NOV 09, 2011 VB VOTE NOV 0B, 2011 Obama's Green Giveaway 768,963 views NoV 07, 2011 4) 0:41 / 1:08 360p ouTube NOV 06, 2011 November 7th, 2012 351 views NoV 05, 2011 by S

Meanwhile, the online customer review site Yelp[6] released its latest update for the iPhone mobile app, which included a joke referencing Perry's gaffe from the night of GOP debate:

Yelp By Yelp Open iTunes to buy and download apps. View More By This Developer Description Looking for a burrito joint open now? An Irish pub nearby? A gas station you can drive to before your tank hits empty? Yelp for your iPhone is here to help. Use us to search for places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play then read reviews from an active community of locals in the know. Yelp Support Application License Agreement ...More What's New in Version 5.4.3 New in 5.4.3 There are three types of bugs that are now gone: - Bookmarks-related bugs -ioss styling & layout bugs -And the um.. uh, what's the third one? Let's see... Bookmarks, ioS layout, and the um... the third one we can't recall. Oops. View In iTunes This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad

News Media Coverage

Rick Perry's gaffe episode was widely covered by many American daily news publications as well as political commentary programs, many of which had pointed out Perry's lack of experience in public speech prior to the night of the GOP debate. In addition, CBS Late Night show with David Letterman announced via its Twitter feed[5] that Perry will make a guest appearance on the show on November 10th to read the talk show host's signature "Top Ten List" segment.

Rick Perry's Response

In a conspicuous effort to control the damage of his gaffe, Rick Perry made several appearances in the news media on the following day, including ABC Good Morning America and Fox News and CBS Late Night with David Letterman.

The campaign team also launched a new poll[9] on the following day, asking the visitor: "what part of the federal government would you like to forget about the most?" Among the list of options provided in the poll included a playful choice which read “Submit your suggestion to forgetmenot@rickperry.org.”

What part of the Federal Government would you like to forget about the most? Your Vote Department of Energy ● Department of Education ● Department of Commerce ·Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ● Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ● Department of Labor ● National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) ● Legal Services Corporation ● Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) ● Marine Mammal Commission (MMC) ● Other Submit your suggestion to forgetmenot@rickperry.org

Notable Examples

The earliest known remix of Perry's gaffe video was created and uploaded by John Willie Hallford, an audio-visual freelancer behind the music blog Dubnasty.com.[7] Soon, several other musical remixes followed suit, as well as a parody skit by Funny Or Die.[8]

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