Cruz pulls a Perry at debate; no one notices

Jerry Adler
·Senior Editor

Four years ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry famously blew up his presidential campaign when he was unable during a Republican presidential debate to name the three federal departments he wanted to eliminate. In Tuesday’s Republican debate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz set a slightly higher bar for himself, promising to eliminate five federal agencies. He only managed to name four of them.

In answer to a question about his economic plan, Cruz mentioned “five major agencies that I would eliminate: the IRS, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce and HUD.”

Obviously, Cruz doesn’t like the Department of Commerce, but it hardly seems fair to count it twice. Still, what might have been an epic “Oops” moment passed largely unnoticed.

In his defense, at various times, Cruz has called for eliminating, or cutting all funding for, a number of federal agencies he has disagreements with, including the ones he named above, the Department of Education, the Export-Import Bank and even the State Department.

(Cover tile photo: Darren Hauck/Reuters)