Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 11/11/2011

Will Perry’s self-mockery help him?

The one-time Republican front-runner spent Thursday appearing on every television program he could, making clear he knew he had “stepped in it” by not being able to recall the three government agencies he would close as president in a Wednesday night debate.
Perry reads the “Top Ten” list on the “Late Show with David Letterman” on CBS Thursday. (John Paul Filo - AP)

Appearing on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” (video after the jump) the Texas governor listed the “Top 10 Rick Perry excuses” for not recalling the Commerce, Education and Energy departments as on his chopping block.

The list included “I thought the debate was tonight,” “You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude,” and “I had a five-hour energy drink six hours before the debate.”

Perry concluded the list with “I wanted to take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain” and the No. 1 reason, “I just learned Justin Bieber is my father.”

Before Perry appeared to read the list, Letterman himself joked the weather in New York City was “61 and foggy, like Rick Perry.” The talk show host dubbed Perry “George W. Bush, Jr.”

But the humor may not address the core and very obvious problem: Perry has struggled in debates, a major issue for Republicans desperate for a candidate who will defeat President Obama in the fall elections.

“At this point, I like his energy policies and a lot of other things, but I think it’s going to be tough after that debate debacle,” Hamilton County (Iowa) GOP Chairman Mark Greenfield, a Perry supporter, told the Des Moines Register.

The Republican candidates are set to focus on foreign policy and national security in Saturday’s debate in South Carolina, but it may be too late for Perry.

Perry’s top ten excuses:

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.”

And video below:

By Perry Bacon Jr.  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/11/2011

 
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