Was This the Moment Perry's Campaign Died?

Strategists, pundits think debate flub could finish him off
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2011 3:37 AM CST
Updated Nov 10, 2011 4:12 AM CST

(Newser) – Rick Perry's memorable memory lapse at last night's Republican debate has left a lot of people saying it's time to stick a fork in him—he's done. Perry's inability to name the third federal agency he would abolish was “the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate," a political science professor tells Politico. "He confirms every criticism, every aspect of his candidate subtext, with a moment so painful and embarrassing that it is hard to watch, even if you don’t like Perry. We were all transported back to high school."

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"It was a political death knell,” a Republican strategist who advised George W. Bush tells the New York Times. “There’s just no recovering from a moment like that when you’ve had such a bad record of debates." Perry made light of the fumble afterward, telling reporters: "I’m glad I have my boots on because I sure stepped in it tonight." But with the Texan having fallen from a commanding lead in the GOP race three months ago to a point where even Michele Bachmann is expressing pity for him, "the real suspense around Perry now may simply be whether he bothers to stick around until Iowa," Steve Kornacki writes at Salon. (Read more Rick Perry 2012 stories.)

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