Ted Cruz Pulls a Rick Perry at the GOP Debate, Minus the Oops


Roughly one hour into the Republican's fourth presidential debate at the Milwaukee Theater in Milwaukee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz trod familiar ground when he listed a number of federal agencies he would cut as president to ensure the solvency of his ambitious tax reforms.

"Today, we rolled out a spending plan. $500 billion in specific cuts," Cruz said. "Five major agencies that I would eliminate: the IRS, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, uh, the Department of Commerce and HUD."

But read that again.

When listing the agencies, the Harvard debate champion stumbled, naming the Department of Commerce twice on either side of a pregnant "uh."


The stumble, while smoothly glossed over, represents another notable failure of a Republican presidential aspirant to name a list of expendable federal agencies.

During the comparatively staid 2012 Republican primary contest, brief front-runner and Texas Gov. Rick Perry famously made a similar misstep where he attempted to cite three agencies he would do away with.

"It's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone – Commerce, Education and the um, what's the third one there? Let's see. Oh five – Commerce, Education and the um, um," Perry said.

After being pressed by moderator John Harwood, Perry ultimately gave up, uttering an excruciating "oops." The moment was largely credited with sinking his campaign. The nomination ultimately went to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.