"Americans are tired of hearing this debate want to go to 'What are you going to do about illegal immigration”?'" Perry said. "For 30 years this country has been baited with that. All the way back to when Ronald Raven signed a piece of legislation that basically allowed for amnesty for over 4 million people and the border is still not secure."
But campaign spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said Perry "clearly said Ronald Reagan."
Perry stumbled several times during his short-lived 2012 presidential run, when he skyrocketed to the top of the pack but dropped quickly after a serious of debate missteps.
Most notably, he made a gaffe during a debate in November 2011, when he forgot the third of three federal agencies he would eliminate as president, a central tenet of his platform.
He said he’d get rid of the Commerce and Education Departments, but after many “um’s” and laughter from the audience, Perry said: “The third agency of government I would do away with -- the Education, uh, the uh, I -- Commerce, and let’s see. I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”
That cringe-worthy moment became known as Perry’s “oops moment” and accelerated the crippling of his campaign.