After news broke on Tuesday that former Texas Governor Rick Perry would be President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Energy Department, CNN anchors made sure to have fun reminding viewers of the infamous "oops moment" from October 2011 when Perry was unable to name during a debate the third department that he wished to eliminate if he were elected President -- which coincidentally was the Energy Department.
Carol Costello was the first CNN anchor to break the news at 10:00 a.m. ET, and it only took about 30 seconds before the "oops" gaffe was recalled as correspondent Jason Carroll joined her. Costello set up the segment:
We have confirmed now that the former Texas Governor Rick Perry has been selected for Energy secretary. You might remember that Rick Perry at one point wanted to abolish the Energy Department, but Mr. Trump hoping he'll become his Energy secretary very soon. Jason Carroll live at Trump Tower to tell us more. Good morning.
Carroll wasted no time in recalling the embarrassing 2011 incident as he began:
And good morning to you, Carol. You remember it was back in 2011, during that debate, when Rick Perry was asked which three departments he would eliminate if he became President, and he had that sort of an "oops" moment where he couldn't remember which department he wanted to eliminate -- at least not all three of them at first. Then, later on, during the debate, he said, "Yes, one of those departments I would eliminate would be the Department of Energy," the department he has now been tasked with heading up.
At 10:19 a.m., CNN returned to the Perry story and made its own mistake as the network tried to show video of Perry's "oops moment" but instead began showing a clip of RNC chairman Reince Priebus discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on FNC. Then came an extended clip of Perry struggling to recall that the Energy Department was the third government agency he wanted to close.
After the Perry clip, Costello commented: "Okay, so he meant to say -- that was so painful, David (Chalian), and I feel bad about showing that again, it was so painful. But he did mean the Department of Energy, an agency that he maybe will head very soon. So how does that wash exactly?"
At the beginning of the next hour, as she began At This Hour, CNN anchor Kate Bolduan started giggling while bringing up the Perry selection:
Also new in transition this morning, the President has tapped former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head up the Energy Department. Yes, the same Rick Perry who has said that he wants to get rid of that very department, even though sometimes he forgets which department he's talking about. (laughs) We'll get more to that in a second.
CNN correspondent Phil Mattingly then came on board with the latest on Perry and Rex Tillerson, A bit later, at the end of a segment discussing the latest on the Trump transition, Bolduan brought up Perry again with the Dallas Morning News's Todd Gillman and played it for comedy:
I want to get your final thought just because this is obviously an area that you know very well. Rick Perry -- Energy Department -- don't have time to play the soundbite, but we all know the "oops" moment that will never leave him, no matter if he's heading the department or not. How do you think this came about for Rick Perry, do you think?