Perry mocks debate gaffe in new Iowa ad

In advance of a scheduled appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," presidential hopeful Rick Perry rolled out his third ad in the past 24 hours Thursday, this one poking fun at his infamous debate brain freeze.

"You know, we've all lost our train of thought before, but not many've done it on national TV," Perry says in the ad after a clip of his struggle to remember the third Cabinet-level agency he would eliminate if elected president.

The Texas governor then pivots off the acknowledgement that he's not a "slick debater" — a theme the campaign has tried to hit since Perry's initial stumbles on the trail, but which has not been particularly effective in preventing a slide in the polls.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has endorsed Perry, said this morning on MSNBC that voters weren't looking for "the best debater, the best speaker."

The ad concludes with Perry jokingly flubbing the now-routine closing "I'm Rick Perry and I approve this message," faux-stumbling to say, "I'm Rick Perry and ... what's that line again?"

The ad will appear immediately before and after the "Tonight Show" on Thursday night, the Texas Tribune reports.

"While the rest of the GOP field is busy handling scandals, inconsistencies and contradictions on important issues, Gov. Perry's appearance on Leno and his special Leno ad show he is confident enough to use the attention from last month's Michigan debate to highlight his status as the true outsider conservative in the Republican field," said Perry campaign communications director Ray Sullivan.

The commercial is the third debuted by Perry Thursday. Earlier in the day, a pair of ads — one playing to an evangelical base, and the other comparing President Obama to former President Carter on energy policy — were released by the campaign.

By contrast, Mitt Romney introduced his first Iowa ad Thursday, which recycled a previous spot from New Hampshire. Herman Cain is expected to go up for the first time in the state Friday.

This story was updated at 4:10 p.m.