Rick Perry’s gaffe, during Wednesday night’s Republican debate on CNBC, is already the stuff of legend. Boasting that he would eliminate three federal agencies as president, the Texas governor named the departments of Commerce and Education, then forgot the third. This has been taken as an extraordinary campaign disaster, but what happened is that Perry forgot a talking point. And this primary season has been full of rote answers, designed to please rabid corners of the GOP base rather than offer true solutions to complicated problems.
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