1. Rick Perry, on "the three agencies"
For GOP candidate Rick Perry, it's not so much what was said as what wasn't in this especially memorable 2011 gaffe. In an initially cocky statement about which three federal agencies he'd like to eliminate if elected president, Perry sounded off on the first two and drew a complete blank at the third, totally forgetting what he'd planned on saying:
''I will tell you: It's three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone: Commerce, Education and the—what's the third one there? Let's see. ... OK. So Commerce, Education and the... The third agency of government I would—I would do away with the Education, the ... Commerce and—let's see—I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops.”
It ultimately turned out to be "the Department of Energy" that had been on the tip of his tongue all that time, but unfortunately, his revelation occurred a little too late: Perry's bumbling debate moment had already turned into one of the most defining of his run. And our choice for the year's dumbest politican quote. Congrats, Rick!