Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, at a town hall meeting at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport Hotel on Thursday, joked about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's gaff.
Perry had a painful 55 seconds -- which seemed like forever -- Wednesday night during CNBC's Republican presidential debate. "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. Finally, after turning to his rivals and the moderator, he said, "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."
Answering a question about cabinet-level reform on Thursday, Gingrich said, "I have several departments in mind." He added, "I've forgotten some of them," according to Slate's Dave Weigel. "I think the place to start is the Department of Energy," he said, referring to the cabinet agency Perry forgot when he was discussing the three agencies of government he would do away with.
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said on Wednesday night, "There's nothing I could say that could darken the night Rick Perry had." Rep. Michele Bachmann said on Wednesday, "All of us felt really bad for him [Perry] tonight."
A new Super PAC also was launched today supporting Gingrich called Solutions 2012; it mimics the name of his now-shuttered PAC, American Solutions. A web video launched by the group attacks the other candidates for attacking each other -- Bachmann attacking Cain, Perry attacking Romney and Romney attacking Perry.
During the town hall, Gingrich reportedly compared the fact that the iPhone is updated once per year to the slowness of developing new weapons systems as proof of government inefficiency.