POLITICS
11/10/2011 06:35 EST | Updated 01/10/2012 05:12 EST

Perry acknowledges he 'stepped in it' during debate, keeps on campaigning

ROCHESTER, Mich. - Republican candidate Rick Perry says a major mistake in a debate won't be the end of his presidential bid.

"Oh, shoot, no," Perry told The Associated Press Thursday morning, a day after he stood on stage unable to remember the third federal department he would cut. He was asked if his campaign, struggling to regain traction, could survive. "This ain't a day for quitting nothing."

Perry says others have made similar mistakes and that the screw up will humanize him. "The president of the United States said there were 57 states one time. Everybody makes mistakes."

In Wednesday's debate, Perry said he had three agencies he would cut, but couldn't remember them. "Commerce, Education and the — what's the third one there? Let's see," the Texas governor said. Perry's rivals tried to bail him out, suggesting the Environmental Protection Agency.