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Oops again? Rick Perry reportedly brain-freezes on Supreme Court

By James Oliphant, Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Numbers. They’re the darnedest things. Just ask Rick Perry.

The GOP presidential contender, whose misfires have become part of the story line of the 2012 race, appears to have made another flub or two Friday in an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board, getting wrong the number of justices on the Supreme Court and blanking out on the name of one justice altogether.

According to reports by the Register and The Associated Press, Perry was all set to call out Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama nominee, as a “activist judge” — except he couldn’t recall her name. He struggled for six seconds before saying, “Not Montemayor?”

“Sotomayor,” one of the editorial board members helpfully said.

Perry then went on to condemn “eight unelected and, frankly, unaccountable judges” in a discussion of prayer in schools.

Nine justices serve on the high court, not eight.

Numbers, of course, famously tripped up the Texas governor in a debate in November when he pledged that, as president, he would eliminate three Cabinet agencies — but then could only summon the names of two agencies.

The candidate is in the midst of a large-scale push to garner support in Iowa in advance of the Jan. 3 caucuses. He’s bought a wealth of TV advertising time and next week plans to begin campaigning by bus across the state.

©2011 Tribune Co.

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