Rick Perry is still trying to laugh off his “oops” moment – and this time he’s going on air with it.
In a light-hearted ad slated to run in Iowa markets before and after his “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” appearance. (The ad was first reported by Politico and then released to via press release email this afternoon.)
The idea appears to be for the candidate to poke some fun at his "human" self and hammer home his "if you want a slick debater in the White House..." schtick. Shades of the strategy in the immediate aftermath of the gaffe, which included a self-deprecating spin room appearance and a “Top Ten” skit with Letterman.
The ad opens with the CNBC debate moment where he forgets the third agency he would cut.
“Department of Energy,” he says assuredly in the ad (while a guitar strums in the background). “You know we’ve all lost our train of thought before, but not many have done it on national TV. If you want a slick debater, I’m obviously not your guy. But if you want to clean house in Washington with a balanced-budget amendment, a flat tax, and a part-time Congress, I’m your man.
The spot closes out with the candidate joshing: "I'm Rick Perry and ... what's that line again?" before nodding, flashing a smile and closing with the "I'm Rick Perry, and I approve this message" tagline.
*** UPDATE *** In the press release that went out this afternoon, Perry Communications Director Ray Sullivan took this shot at the Perry's rivals:
"While the rest of GOP field is busy handling scandals, inconsistencies and contradictions on important issues, Gov. Perry's appearance on Leno and his special Leno ad show he is confident enough to use the attention from last month's Michigan debate to highlight his status as the true outsider conservative in the Republican field."