Rick Perry blanked out Thursday on a question about a Supreme Court decision he fought against as governor of Texas. At the Blue Strawberry Coffee Company in Iowa, a voter asked him about Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 decision that overturned the "Homosexual Conduct" law in Texas and similar anti-sodomy laws in 13 other states.
Perry started by haltingly repeating the question, about how he reconciles his stance on the case with his views on limited government, then had this to say:
"Listen, here's the issue that I have. I don't dislike government. I just want government to work. We have a federal government that is out of control from the standpoint of spending, and I wish I could tell you I knew every Supreme Court case. I don't. I'm not even going to try to go through every Supreme Court Case. I'm not a lawyer but here's what I do know, I know they're spending too much money in Washington, D.C."
He went on to criticize "I gotcha questions" because "the problem in this country is spending in Washington, D.C., it's not some Supreme Court case." Watch above, via Talking Points Memo.
The question was probably not intended to be a "gotcha" one for Perry, who was an impassioned advocate of the Texas law criminalizing gay sex and once described the Lawrence v. Texas decision as the work of "nine oligarchs in robes."
A reporter later asked Perry to clarify whether or not he knew what the case was, according to the Houston Chronicle.
"I don't," Perry said. "I'm not taking the bar exam."
Despite his memory lapse, Perry has been steadfast in his opposition to gay marriage, a theme driven home in his widely-panned 'Strong' ad.
This is not Perry's first "oops" moment on the campaign trail, or even his first Supreme Court gaffe. Here are some of his memorable mistakes: