The next nine days could be the most critical of the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

The remaining candidates have to win fans fast in Iowa before most voters turn their focus to the Christmas holidays. Newt Gingrich continues to lead in the polls in that state.

GOP candidate Rick Perry had yet another memorable political gaffe during a campaign event in Ames, Iowa on Sunday. He was referring to government money given to a failed solar panel company called Solyndra.

A no-brainer example of it in this administration sending millions of dollars into the solar industry, and we lost that money, Perry said. I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solyndra.

Solyndra is a company, not a country.

Perry defended himself by saying the American people aren't looking for a robot in their next president.

The Republican presidential hopeful's new campaign ad, Strong, has become a viral video since being released last week but not necessarily for the reasons he might hope for.

By Monday, the ad had registered nearly 650,000 dislikes on YouTube, compared to just over 20,000 likes.

It's also sparked nearly 700 reply videos, including some mercilessly funny parodies that feature people wearing the same kind of jacket Perry wears in the ad. And there's lots of chatter about how Perry looks like a gay cowboy from the movie Brokeback Mountain.

In the ad, Perry suggests that President Barack Obama is waging a war on religion while allowing gays to serve openly in the military. Officials say it's drawn some 6 million views on YouTube.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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