Iowa Gov. Branstad says debate gaffe hurts Perry

November 11, 2011 - 4:15 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry's debate gaffe is one of those unfortunate iconic moments, just like former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's scream was in 2004.

The Iowa Republican tells The Associated Press that it isn't fatal that Perry forgot the name of the third Cabinet agency he would abolish. But he says it hurts the Texas governor by reinforcing doubts about his ability to perform under pressure.

Branstad said the episode doesn't help given that Perry hasn't performed well in some earlier debates.

Like Dean's shriek on the night of the 2004 Democratic caucuses in Iowa, video replays of Perry's debate confusion comes as he tries to regain his campaign's footing after losing his top billing in national polls.