DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Gov. Rick Perry, often the butt of jokes on Late Night with David Letterman, flew to New York to poke fun at himself Thursday night.
“Here to present tonight’s Top Ten List, Top Ten Rick Perry Excuses, please welcome Texas Gov. Rick Perry,” Letterman announced to the applauding studio audience.
“Come out, Rick.”
During Wednesday’s CNBC GOP debate, Perry flubbed and couldn’t remember the third government agency he’d do away with if he won the presidency.
“But you can’t name the third one?” asked the moderator Wednesday.
Perry replied: “The third agency is – I would say, education, commerce and, let’s see, Uh – I can’t. Oops.”
He spent Thursday morning smiling through damage control sessions on major morning network television shows, trying to shift the public’s focus back to his campaign plans and away from his self-proclaimed “brain-freeze.”
The governor’s appearance on Letterman was a key part of the damage control strategy.
10. “Actually there were three reasons I messed up last night. One was the nerves, two was the headache and three was, and three, uh, uh. Oops.”
9. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I think things went well.”
8. “Hey, I was up late last night watching ‘Dancing With the Stars.”‘
7. “I thought the debate was tonight.”
6. “Hey, listen. You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude.”
5. “Uh, el nino?”
4. “I had a five-hour energy drink six hours before the debate.”
3. “I really hoped to get on my favorite talk show, but instead I ended up here.”
2. “Hey, I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.”
1. “I just learned Justin Bieber is my father.”
Dallas resident Malachai Boyuls, a Perry supporter, said he was more embarrassed for the governor than anything. He said he was glad to see Perry try to make the best of the situation instead of hiding.
“For him to go on and be self-deprecating, show a little humility, I think it’s a very good thing for him,” Boyuls said.
Dallas-based political analyst John Weekley disagrees. He said Perry doesn’t have a problem with his likeability, “it’s I have command of the issues and would be a good candidate and can beat Barack Obama … that’s the big test,” he said.
That’s why there are so many questions about Perry’s chances going forward, Weekley said. The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus is less than two months away. Many says Perry needs to do better than expected if he wants to stay in the race.
He currently trails Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich in the Iowa Polls.