The usual post-debate talk of winners and losers went out the window as soon as Rick Perry forgot the third government agency he wanted to cut. Here's a quick recap of what our Patch debate blog panelists had to say about the Texas governor's gaffe:
We The People Founder Jennifer Horn of Nashua: Gov. Perry, Oh no...
Pat Griffin, senior fellow at Saint Anselm College's New Hampshire Institute of Politics: We have been slowly watching Rick Perry lose this race almost from the time he entered it. Tonight he's now officially "toast"... Mitt Romney humming "Hail to the Chief" to himself right about now.
University of New Hampshire professor Dante Scala: There's poor debating, and then there's that horror show we just saw. Oops.... Do you hear screaming? Sounds a little like (Perry advisor) Dave Carney.
Bedford's Steve Poschmann: Perry had worst moment in a debate in recent memory by forgetting the 3rd agency he would eliminate.
Conservative blogger William Smith from Merrimack: Rick Perry: #DebateFAIL.
Salem Republican Jeff Hatch: Not sure of a winner largely because I didn't see the entire debate. But from what I did see, Gov. Perry should save his money and go back to Texas
Former State Rep. Fran Wendelboe: I agree that Perry is probably done, Bachmann has been done, Santorum – we have a phrase for it down south – bless his heart. Cain, sounds good but not sure he can recover from the recent charges.... and I don't think 999 works. So that leaves Romney doing everything he needed to do tonight. He is just like smooth butter, goes on easy. Newt could step in that number two slot. Huntsman can't do it without more than a NH base. Paul, wish we could take a part of him and put it in all the other candidates as to his position on the fed and debt.
Former State Rep. Jim Splaine, D-Portsmouth: Rick Perry continues his adventure. Poor, yes – but this wasn't a nationally-telecast debate. He'll laugh off some of his silly confusion and the election in New Hampshire (Iowa too, though theirs isn't a real election, just a caucus) is well underway.
And here's what the Twitterverse and Facebook had to say:
@AmeliaChasse: #FAIL Rick Perry can't remember the 3rd federal agency he will eliminate as prez...yeesh
@MarcNo: Goodnight Rick Perry. OMG!