From politician to punch line, in 53 agonizing seconds!
In the midst of Perry's brain freeze at the debate, conservative columnist John Podhoretz tweeted just three words: "Oh dear God."
Even opponent Mitt Romney tried to help Perry recall the third agency he wants to eliminate.
"EPA?" he offered.
Perry said, EPA! There you go!"
But that wasn't it either!
"Seriously? Is EPA the one you were talking about?" the moderator asked.
"No, sir. No, sir," said Perry.
Perry said, "The third agency of government I would, I would do away with, the Education, uh, the...Commerce and, let's see, I can't. The third one, I can't, sorry," he said. "Oops."
Now everyone is wondering whether this disaster spells the end of Perry's White House dreams.
"For Perry this was a political Hindenburg. In front of the whole world, he went up in flames!" says public speaking expert T.J. Walker.
Walker says Perry's big mistake was listing his points by number.
"You don't number in advance and say, 'There's three points!' Just list the ideas you think are important and if you forget one, no one will know!" he says.
INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent paid a visit to the spin room, where the candidates go after the debate to talk about how they think they fared. Governor Perry was there for a very short amount of time talking about yet another memorable debate performance, this debate performance memorable for his lack of memory.
Perry didn't put a spin on his words when he summed up his performance:
"Yeah, I stepped in it man. Yeah, it was embarrassing, of course it was," Perry told a reporter.
And the front-page headlines are brutal:
"'Oops' at Debate When Perry Can't Get to Three," said The New York Times.
"In a debate 'oops', Perry draws a blank," proclaimed The Washington Post.
"I stepped in it. Uh, Um, Um.. Oops!" wrote The Huffington Post.
Even before the debate debacle, Perry's bumbling ways were parodied by Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live.
Despite the disaster, Perry vowed on The Early Show that he's still in it to win it.
Perry said, "One error is not going to make or break a campaign!"
Then again...it just might.