Beyond “Oops”: Selection of Perry derided by critics
washington» He ran for president twice, but Rick Perry may be best known for two made-for-TV moments: uttering “Oops” when he forgot the Energy Department was one of the agencies he pledged to eliminate and being a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars.”
The former Texas governor is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to become energy secretary, two people with knowledge of the decision say.
If confirmed by the Senate, Perry is likely to shift the department away from renewable energy and toward oil and other fossil fuels that he championed during a record 14 years as governor.
Perry, 66, left office in January 2015 and launched his second ill-fated bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
He was a harsh critic of Trump, even calling the billionaire businessman a “cancer to conservatism,” but Perry lasted only three months in the race for the 2016 nomination before dropping out.
Perry later endorsed the Republican nominee and said he’d be willing to work in a Trump administration. He re-emerged in the public spotlight in a brief appearance on this season’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
Democrats and environmental groups derided Perry’s expected nomination, noting that he is on the record both forgetting about the Energy Department and then remembering he wanted to eliminate it.
Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, called it “an insult to our functioning democracy. Putting Perry in charge of the Department of Energy is the perfect way to ensure the agency fails at everything it is charged to do.”