Perry mocks campaign gaffes, talks GOP field on 'Tonight Show'

Asked about the infamous debate moment where he forgot the third Cabinet-level agency he would eliminate, Perry shrugged and laughed.

"It happens, man, let me tell you," Perry said.

Leno then pressed Perry about a moment earlier this week where he mistook the voting age and Election Day.

"I was thinking of the drinking age — you've got to have an excuse, don't you?" Perry joked. "I'm sticking to it."

Pressed by Leno why he said Election Day was Nov. 12 — it's actually Nov. 6 — Perry conceded that "would be a little late."

"2012! November 2012," Perry explained.

Leno also asked Perry about some of his fellow candidates, and specifically Herman Cain, whose campaign has been beleaguered by charges of sexual impropriety. Perry said he didn't know what the truth was, but that Cain needed to figure out a strategy.

"If there's truth there, he's got to have a long conversation with his family and his supporters," Perry said.

Perry also said that of the field, the candidate he was "closest to" was Jon Huntsman, whom he considered a longtime friend. He also pointed out that Newt Gingrich had written the foreword to his book.

"I've got some really great friends there, just some of them I don't agree with," Perry said.