Anita Perry, Rick Perry's Wife, Says Debate 'Oops' Was 'Very Painful'

12/07/2011 11:31 am ET

In the wake of Rick Perry struggling to name three federal agencies he would eliminate if elected president during a recent Republican primary debate, the Texas governor's wife is opening up about how she felt when she watched the misstep.

"It's very, very painful," Anita Perry told the Christian Broadcasting Network.

After Perry indicated he would abolish the Commerce and Education Departments at the event last month, he failed to name a third agency he'd put on the chopping block. "What's the third one there?," he said. "Let's see." An awkward exchange ensued, at the end of which the Lone Star State Republican concluded, "Commerce and, let's see. I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops."

Reflecting on the incident, Anita Perry told CBN, "I'll be honest with you, I couldn't think of the right word either." She added, "I'm sitting there going. 'What is that word?' I froze in time just like him. You know, it was a very human moment."

Perry himself has made light of the gaffe in recent weeks. In an ad recently released by the Texas governor's campaign, the Republican hopeful pokes fun at himself, saying at the end of the spot, "I'm Rick Perry, ahh, what's that line again? I'm Rick Perry and I approve of this message."