WASHINGTON: Rick Perry, the former governor of oil-rich Texas who once vowed to eradicate the Energy Department if elected president, is Donald Trump’s pick for energy secretary, US media reported.
The Texas native, who participated in the Republican primary but was crushed by President-elect Trump early on, was seen Monday afternoon entering and exiting Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Perry once assailed Trump as a “cancer on conservatism” and threw his support behind Texas Senator Ted Cruz after dropping out of the race in September 2015, but he has long been rumored to be one of Trump’s main contenders for the energy post.
NBC and CBS news both reported late Monday that Trump had chosen Perry for the job, citing two sources familiar with the transition process.
The 66-year-old former governor, who also ran for the Republican party’s 2012 nomination, famously fumbled a debate when he vowed to abolish three US departments—but could only remember the names of two.
“The third agency of government I would do away with—the education, the commerce. And let’s see. I can’t. The third one I can’t. Sorry. Ooops,” he told a tittering crowd in 2011, only to remember later in the debate that it was the Energy Department.
The longest-serving governor in Texas history, Perry was the first casualty in a crowded battle for the Republican Party nomination in 2016. AFP