The Washington Times - November 10, 2011, 08:27AM

Hours after Texas Gov. Rick Perry struggled through one of the most cringeworthy moments of the GOP debate season, his presidential campaign team was busy spinning his memory lapse over one of the federal agencies he has promised to scrap by comparing it to the “human moments” of presidents current and past.

“We’ve all had human moments,” his camp said in an early morning email blast, comparing it to some of what they see as the greatest gaffes from other presidents. “President Obama is still trying to find all 57 states. Ronald Reagan got lost somewhere on the Pacific Highway in an answer to a debate question. Gerald Ford ate a tamale without removing the husk. And tonight Rick Perry forgot the third agency he wants to eliminate. Just goes to show there are too damn many federal agencies.”

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The three-term governor, the email points out, was one of the first to admit he shot himself in the foot.

“I’m glad I had my boots on, because I sure stepped in it tonight,” Mr. Perry said after the debate.

During the debate, Mr. Perry emphatically turned to Texas Rep. Ron Paul and began to rattle off the three agencies he would cut, though he forgot the third.

“Commerce, Education and the — what’s the third one there? Let’s see,” Mr. Perry said, prompting his rivals to suggest it might be the Environmental Protection Agency and one of the moderators to ask point-blank whether he could remember the final one.

Mr. Perry looked down at his podium to what appeared to be notes and then finally said, “I can’t.” It was an embarrassing moment for a man who has put on poorly reviewed debate performances in the past.

When the questions swung back to him later on, he said it was the Energy Department he had been reaching for.

“While the media froths over this all too human moment, we thought we would take this opportunity to ask your help in doing something much more constructive: write us to let us know what federal agency you would most like to forget,” the Perry camp said in the early morning email. “Is it the EPA and its job-killing zealots? The NLRB and its czar-like dictates? The edu-crats at the Department of Education who aim to control your local curriculum?”

Encouraging voters to send their answers to forgetmenot@rickperry.org — along with a $5 contribution for each agency they would like to forget.

“Still standing in our Boots,” the email closes. “Team Perry.”