In the aftermath of the 2012 primary, Governor Rick Perry stunned the world after his famous “oops” debate gaffe, sending his presidential campaign into a tailspin.
As his campaign aides went away quietly, their biggest talking point was that Perry was suffering severe back pain after a surgery, was on painkillers, and had problems sleeping.
On paper, Perry is a great candidate, strong on defense, great record on jobs and the economy, proves to be a charismatic speaker, and can work a room of supporters with his generous personality and his firm handshake thumbs-up style.
But on the undercard debate stage tonight, he proved that he still struggles to debate well.
When answering questions, Perry appeared over-coached as he stumbled between pre-approved debate lines, trying to exude energy on the stage.
During his answer on the Iran deal, an easy response, Perry nearly had another “oops” moment when he couldn’t remember the details of the terrorist attack in Lebanon that killed American Marines.
At another point, he referred to Ronald Reagan as “Ronald Raven.”
When asked to define Hillary Clinton with two words, Perry replied, “Let’s try three: Good at email.”
The joke fell flat with the moderators and even failed to entertain his fellow Republican debaters. Clinton isn’t good at email; she’s good at destroying hard drives–something that might have struck home a little stronger.
Did Perry do a good enough job? Yes. But that’s not enough to prove to concerned Republicans that his problem of performing poorly in debates has been fixed.