Rick Perry Couldn’t Count to 4 Before He Couldn’t Count to 3

'Double Down' talks about Perry’s disastrous run.

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Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a Republican presidential debate at Oakland University on Nov. 9, 2011, in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the CNBC-sponsored Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9, 2011, at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Mich.

It was one of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's biggest stumbles during his short-lived bid for the White House. Perry, during the CNBC debate in Nov. 2011, said he was going to eliminate three federal agencies, but came up short when trying to name the third.

"Commerce, Education and, uh, what's the third one there?" the candidate mused, punctuating his gaffe with an "oops" at the end. (The answer was Energy.)

Turns out, this wasn't the first time Perry found himself numerically challenged. As Mark Halperin and John Heilemann report in their forthcoming book, "Double Down," Perry made a similar display when he attended a Koch brothers retreat in Beaver Creek, Colo., in June 2011.

[OPINION: 'Double Down' Reveals the High School Antics of the 2012 Presidential Campaign]

"Raising five fingers, [Perry] declared he had a four-point plan to solve something or other; after ticking off its planks, he was left with one digit extended awkwardly in the air," Halperin and Heilemann wrote. "In the back of the room, one of the Kochs' political advisers thought, If this dude runs, he'll be done after the second debate."

Perry made it through 13 debates before dropping out of the contest in mid-January 2012, after poor performances in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

"Double Down," the sequel to Heilemann and Halperin's best-selling tome "Game Change," comes out Tuesday.


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