“Oops” Gaffe Still Haunts Perry

The governor's infamous debate gaffe topped Politico's list of "The 50 Craziest Quotes of the 2012 Campaign." 
Thu April 5, 2012 7:16 pm
Associated Press | David Goldman

Clearly, Politico can't quit Rick Perry. Two days after the headline-grabbing release of its latest campaign e-book about the Republican primary race, the news site ran a slideshow of the "50 Craziest Quotes of the 2012 Campaign," and it appears nobody who's actually still running for president has managed to top "Oops" in the last four months, as Perry's infamous debate gaffe came in at number one.

Perry also made the list five other times, putting him behind Hermain Cain (ten), Mitt Romney (nine), Newt Gingrich (nine), and Rick Santorum (seven).

Considering that Perry didn't join the race until late August, then dropped out five months later, he trails only Cain (who was in the race from May to December) in highest campaign length to quotability ratio.

Politico's six Perry quotes were:

1. "And let's see. I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops."
Can't improve on a classic.

11. 'And you can always follow me on Tweeter.'
Go ahead, do it: read his twits!

But Perry actually said this several months before announcing , so we're not sure about this one. 

17. "The good news is, that little plan that I just shared with you doesn’t force the Granite State to expand your tax footprint. If you know what I mean. Like 9 percent expansion."
This one is here because it's from the New Hampshire "Cornerstone" speech, which, as Politico notes, "went viral and touched off speculation that [Perry] could have been drunk or taking painkillers."

But is the quote itself really that good? Of course, the " maple syrup moment " wasn't really verbal.

30. "One of the reasons we fought the revolution in the 16th century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown."
A Dubya-quality error that was clearly overshadowed in the grand scheme of both that night's debate and Perry's gaffes in general. Many people were too busy marvelling at the phrase "onerous crown" to even notice the historical error. 

36. "Those who are going to be over 21 on November 12, I ask for your support. Those who won’t be, just work hard."
Another classic, as Perry misstated both the voting age and the correct date of the general election. But hey, in Texas, it's pretty hard to keep track of when elections are these days.

48. "Washington has abused the Constitution. You go back to the, a decade ago, with Woodrow Wilson."
This one really does require a fact-check: Politico says the quote is from a November 29, 2011, CNN interview, but it's actually from Perry's  November 4, 2010 appearance on the Parker-Spitzer show to promote his book Fed Up! 

The list also included Mitt Romney's Perry-directed " $10,000 bet " quote.

What it did not include was much Ron Paul. The Lake Jackson congressman's two appearances (an attack on Santorum and some mockery of Gingrich's moon colony proposal) put him behind his Minnesota colleague Michelle Bachmann (three), which is surely fair enough, but also tied with fellow libertarian and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson and was only just ahead of Jon Hunstman and Tim Pawlenty (one). That's obviously not a good campaign-length to quotability ratio. 

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...

Most Read

  • Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 week