Perry: “It’s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone: Commerce, Education and the, uh, what’s the third one there, let’s see… Oh, five, okay, so Commerce, Education and the … uh … uh.”
Moderator John Harwood: “EPA?”
Perry: “EPA, there you go.”
Harwood: “Seriously, is EPA the one you were talking about?”
Perry: “No sir, no sir. We were talking about agencies of government. EPA needs to be rebuilt. No doubt about that.”
Harwood: “But you can’t name the third one?”
Perry: “The third agency of government I would do away with, the Education, the uh, Commerce. Let’s see. I can’t. The third one… Oops.”
Later in the debate he remembered the answer he meant to give: “And by the way, that was the Department of Energy I was reaching for earlier,” he said.