Huffpost Politics

Rick Perry: Interior Department A New Government Agency He Would Cut

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(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry named a different government agency he would cut as president in an interview on a Savannah, Georgia radio station Friday morning.

"Three right off the bat, you know, Commerce, Interior, and Energy are three that you think," said the Republican presidential candidate to WTKS-AM when asked what he would cut.

Perry later on in the interview talked about the Department of Education, when asked whether he'd do away with it.

"They are blackmailing states with our own money, basically saying here is the national test, and here are the national standards you're going to put into place," Perry said. "One size fits all doesn't work. Well maybe it does in gym socks but it sure doesn't in how we educate our children."

Perry has said previously that he plans to close the Departments of Commerce, Education and Energy -- but not Interior, until now. Perry's spokesman said it "shouldn't be surprising" that the governor is now talking about cutting another agency, however.

In a Nov. 9 debate, Perry infamously struggled for 55 seconds -- which seemed like an eternity -- to name a third agency of government he would cut. "It's three government agencies when I get there that are gone: Commerce, Education and the um, what's the third one there. Let's see," he said. He then looked to his rivals for help. When moderator John Harwood pressed him, Perry said, "The third agency of government ... . I would do away with the Education, the um, Commerce, and let's see. I can't think of the third one. I can't. Sorry. Oops."

Perry recovered in a Jan. 8 debate. "Let me answer the question that you asked earlier: What would be the three areas that you would make some reductions and people would feel some pain," he said. "And I'll tell you it would be those bureaucrats at the Departments of Commerce and Energy and Education." He held up three fingers in triumph and the audience cheered and applauded. His rival, Rick Santorum, also held up three fingers for Perry.

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