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Rick Perry's damage

November 11, 2011 |  3:23 pm

Rick Perry-CNBC DebateThe morning after Texas Gov. Rick Perry's eyebrow-raising "oops" moment during Wednesday's GOP debate -- in which he could only remember two of the three Cabinet departments he wanted to ax -- the editorial board debated whether and why it was a big deal. Before the board members arrived at their opinion for Friday's pages, they wondered what readers thought. Here's a selection of thoughtful comments we got, with the spelling corrected for clarity.

His oops is a misstep that I can forgive, but the fact that he wanted to say "department of energy" shows how ignorant he is of how our nuclear stockpile is maintained and our energy future is determined. Not to mention the other two departments he wanted to eliminate...

--Rich Seymour

Remember, Rick Perry was not the quarterback at A&M, he was a cheerleader. No strategy required, just cheap tricks, a little razzle dazzle, good hair and a high kick or two and you're in. He has not done well as Governor of Texas, despite what he'll tell you. He's an arrogant rock star, blinded by his own possibilities. Shallow as a mirage, he's finished; or as someone said, Texas Toast. Too funny.

--Mike Murphy

Perry's campaign is over. Donors will not support his campaign after this if only to maintain their own credibility. With less than two months to go there is simply not the time to smooth this over, not when this is just the latest issue of its type that has forced the campaign to try to reinvent itself multiple times already. The real issue is that this is just the worst in a series of gaffes by Perry in the debates. And coming on the heels of a New Hampshire speech where his demeanor was anything but presidential, it is obvious that he is just not ready to be our President.

--Thomas Fisher

Absolutely not. The right does not put a high value on intelligence or integrity. All a candidate needs to do is express the correct opinions on the hot issues, and nothing else matters.

--Mitchell Glaser

Here's where the editorial board ended up in its decision:

Far more disturbing than Perry's speechlessness were words that actually were uttered at the debate. In opposing "bailouts," for instance, several candidates played down the relationship between the U.S. and European economies. Suggesting that he didn't think it was necessary to rescue foreign nations on the verge of default, Perry said: "It doesn't make any difference whether it's Wall Street or whether it's some corporate entity or whether it's some European country. If you are too big to fail, you are too big."

That answer ignores the potentially devastating effect on the U.S. economy of cascading failures in Europe. It was a point better forgotten.

You can continue reading the editorial here.


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--Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry during CNBC's debate at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. Credit: Jeff Kowalsky / EPA

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