Already effectively an afterthought in New Hampshire primary polling, Texas Governor Rick Perry took to Fox News Wednesday and referred to the Granite State's first-in-the-nation contest as "caucuses," instead of primaries.
"Americans haven't decided yet at all who they want to lead the Republican nomination," Perry said in response to a question about the emerging narrative that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are breaking away from the rest of the pack. "And we're going to be talking about that and we're going to be talking about it in harsh and strong terms over the course of the next four to five weeks as we get ready for those New Hampshire caucuses."
Later asked if he'd realized the mistake, Perry responded, "I did. I'll do that from time to time."
(See video above at the 1:45 mark)
NBC reporter Carrie Dann astutely caught the gaffe and tweeted:
It's just the latest hit for Perry, who has continued to tumble out of the top ranks of the GOP primary field with a number of high-profile slip-ups, including one earlier this week in which he appeared to suggest that he believed the voting age was 21, not 18.
"Those of you that will be 21 by November the 12th, I ask for your support and your vote," Perry said at a speech in New Hampshire. "Those of you who won't be -- just work hard."
He then proceeded to refer to "November the 12th" as Election Day, which will actually fall on Nov. 6, 2012.
Perry addressed this flub during his Fox News interview.
"From time to time we all will get something wrong -- the President of the United States said there was 57 states one day," he said.
New Hampshire primary voters are set to make their selections for GOP presidential candidate on Jan. 10.