Rick Perry may be riding high from apparently getting the better of Mitt Romney over the weekend by prompting that $10,000 bet but it’s important to remember that he’s still, you know, Rick Perry.
To wit: over the weekend, Perry said that his recent gaffe about the Supreme Court (in which he forgot the number of justices as well as couldn’t name the one he was attacking, Justice Sotomayor) isn’t the kind of thing voters care about.
From Fox News Sunday:
CHRIS WALLACE: How do you respond to those who say, you know, I like Rick Perry, I like his values, but I worry, does he know enough to be president of the United States?
RICK PERRY: Well, obviously, I know there are nine Supreme Court justices. I don’t know how eight came out of my mouth. But the fact is, I can’t tell you, I don’t have memorized all of the Supreme Court judges.
Here’s what I do know, that when I put an individual on the Supreme Court just like I have done in Texas, we got nine Supreme Court justices in Texas: they will be strict constructionists. They won’t be activist judges.
That’s what Americans care about. They are not looking for a robot that can spit out the name of every Supreme Court justice, or someone that is going to be perfect in every way. They are looking for somebody who’s got values that are based with a deep rudder in the water.
And I am consistent in my conservative values. I have been consistent. And Americans are looking for someone who is going to make the right decisions, not someone who can either read a teleprompter perfectly or spit out by memory a list of names. That’s not what’s important to Americans.
So there you have it: Americans don’t want a president who can name the nine (count ‘em) people at the top of the third branch of government.
Update: It may be worth noting that while Perry acknowledged on Fox that he screwed up when he said there were eight members of the Supreme Court, his campaign said the moment wasn’t a gaffe at all.
From the Des Moines Register:
Perry’s campaign today said that the 2012 Republican presidential candidate was referencing a 1963 case known as Abington School District v. Schempp, when the court ruled that school-sponsored Bible reading is unconstitutional. The vote was 8-1.
Perry in the meeting with the Register did not specifically mention the name of the case but did - about five minutes before making the “eight” comment — note a 1962 case while discussing school prayer. (The actual case was argued and decided in 1963.)