Rick Perry’s Kim Jong-il Slip, Oops Moment and More Gaffes

The GOP hopeful referred to the recently deceased dictator as ‘Kim Jong II.’ Read about more of his gaffes.

Paul Sancya / AP Photo

Kim Jong-il=Kim Jong the Second

It turns out Rick Perry’s gaffes are not limited to speeches after all. In an email statement about Kim Jong-il’s death, Perry referred to the late North Korean dictator as “Kim Jong the Second.” Perry had posted the email with the gaffe on his website, but then quickly corrected it. The email had some strange inconsistencies: It spelled his name correctly once while having the incorrect Kim Jong II three times.

How Many Supreme Court Justices Are There?

Rick Perry is against activist judges on the Supreme Court—if only he could remember their names, or how many there are. “When you see his appointment of two, from my perspective, inarguably activist judges, whether it was …” Perry said in an interview with The Des Moines Register editorial board. “Not Montemayor …” After a pause, a member of the editorial board prompted “Sotomayor.” Later in the same interview, Perry criticized the “eight unelected” justices, forgetting that there are nine. Perry has struggled to recover from a gaffe during a debate last month when he failed to remember the name of the federal agency he wanted to cut.

The Oops Heard ‘Round the World

There is really no better way to sum up Perry’s many flubs on the campaign trail other than his grand “oops” moment at a Republican debate in Rochester in November. “Let me tell you, there’s three agencies of government that are gone when I get there,” Perry said. “Commerce, education and the, um, uh, what’s the third one there … Commerce, Education and the, um, EPA.” When asked by Scott Pelley if he could name the third agency of government, Perry answered “the third agency of government, I would do away with: Education, Commerce and let’s see … the third one, I can’t. Oops.” Despite sympathy from his fellow candidates at the time, Perry’s oops moment went viral, spawning a number of hilarious tweets with the hashtag oops. Perry tried to do damage control, going on David Letterman to read a Top 10 list of the reasons for the flub, which included “have you ever tried to think with Mitt Romney standing next to you? That is one handsome dude.”

Bad Back

After the series of gaffes in debates and a New Hampshire speech where many speculated Perry was intoxicated, Perry said he had been suffering from a bad back, and that’s why he “wasn’t on [his] game.” “I would suggest to you that I was pretty fatigued,” Perry said. “Looking back and trying to ‘would have, could have, should have’ is an interesting question to ask, but facts are facts.”

Puzzling Prose

The Rick Perry “piñata” returns: During a Fox debate, the Texas governor launched into what can only be called a confounding attack on Mitt Romney. Going after the former Massachusetts governor’s ever-changing record, Perry got into a tongue twister. “Is it the Mitt Romney that was on the side of against the Second Amendment before he was for the Second Amendment? Was it—was before he was before the social programs, from the standpoint of he was for standing up for Roe v. Wade before he was against Roe v. Wade?” Romney’s response says it all: “Nice try.”

What Decade Is It?

Basic math might not be a requirement to be president, but we sure hope it becomes one. When the Texas governor attempted to demonstrate his history knowledge on CNN, he wasn’t the only one left scratching his head. Citing Woodrow Wilson (who was president from 1913 to 1921), Perry urged viewers to note changes in income tax “if you go back a decade ago” to when Wilson was in the White House. Perry might not have his fifth-grade history down pat, but this is one blunder that could have been avoided—with Wikipedia.

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Compares Himself to Tim Tebow

An endorsement might help: Rick Perry said Thursday he hopes to be the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses. “I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses,” he said at the Iowa debate. Perry noted how Tebow had many doubters, who criticized his “throwing mechanics” and said he “wasn’t going to be a very good NFL quarterback.” Perry is currently polling in fourth place in Iowa, with about 10 percent of the vote.

Anti-Gay Ad

In an ad that aired in Iowa, Rick Perry accuses President Obama of a “war on religion” while asking why gays can serve in the military but children can’t pray in school. “You don’t need to sit in a pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school,” Perry says in the 30-second advertisement. He continues on to say, “As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.” The ad will be running in rotation with an “energy jobs” ad that claims, “It’s high time we kick our foreign-oil habit.” The ad reportedly split Perry’s campaign, with Perry’s top pollster allegedly being “against it from the very beginning.

What’s the Voting Age?

In an appearance in New Hampshire, Perry had some trouble with something that is essential to all voters: The voting age. At a New Hampshire town-hall meeting, the GOP candidate (and former frontrunner) asked all the college students in attendance to vote for him in 2012—provided that they’re 21. In addition to getting the voting age incorrect, Perry asked that his supporters cast their vote by Nov. 12. Oops. The election will take place Nov. 6.

Congress’s Duties

In a speech in November in Iowa, the Republican presidential hopeful described his plans to “uproot and overhaul” Washington if elected president, effectively cutting Congress’s responsibilities and salaries in half. He said that his background as a state governor rather than a Washington insider would make it easier for him to completely change D.C.’s culture. Perry played up his argument by pointing to polls that show voters have little regard for Congress. “Congress is out of touch because congressmen are overpaid, overstaffed, and away from home too much,” the Texas governor said. He also pointed out how President Obama had failed to dramatically change Washington, one of the goals he laid down when first taking office.