Did Perry Mean to Add Interior to His Target List?

In a radio interview Friday morning, Rick Perry was asked again which federal departments he planned to shut down if elected president. This time he remembered to name three — but not the same three as before.

Gov. Rick Perry during his caucus night speech on Jan. 3, 2012, in Des Moines, Iowa.

BLUFFTON, South Carolina — The Rick Perry Gaffe-O-Meter may have recorded another incident.

In a radio interview Friday morning on Savannah, Georgia's WTKS-AM, Perry was asked which three departments he planned to shut down if elected president.

“Three right off the bat, you know, Commerce, Interior and Energy are three that you think,” Perry answered.

Those weren’t the three voters are accustomed to hearing, however. Perry usually says he would shutter the Departments of Commerce, Education and Energy.

It’s not clear if he meant to add the Interior Department to the list of agencies he would chop.

During a short speech later in Hilton Head, Perry did not propose to ax the department but suggested Interior should be pared back.

"I talked about the Department of Interior this morning, an agency that we need to either consolidate or truly rework," the governor said.

After his address to about 70 people at the Hilton Head Diner, Perry said: "I’m talking about a lot of agencies that we would either – you know, EPA could rebuild.  I think all the agencies are fair game to look at either eliminate or consolidate."

Perry spokesman Mark Miner said it “shouldn’t be surprising the governor is talking about another federal agency that needs to be looked at and cut.”

Later in the radio interview, and during his remarks in Hilton Head, Perry made clear he would do away entirely with the U.S. Department of Education.

The question of how many departments Perry wants to close down produced Perry’s most memorable gaffe back in November during a nationally televised debate in Michigan. For nearly a minute, Perry struggled to remember the Department of Energy.

He finally gave up and uttered a word that now seems to be permanently attached to his 2012 presidential campaign: “Oops.”

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