The Top Campaign Gaffes of 2012
A look at who has put his foot in his mouth on the campaign trail
With Michelle Obama’s Beyonce comments sparking controversy, (read about that HERE) we decided to take a look back at some of the other most talked about campaign missteps and misstatements of the 2012 presidential election news cycle.
Firing people is fun…
January 9, 2012
If there were an Olympics for political gaffes presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney just might be a gold medalist. At the height of the GOP primary, he said the words that are guaranteed to be repeated thousands of times on airwaves in Democratic attack ads, "I like being able to fire people…" Apparently he forgot that most voters are not people in a position to hire and fire but most of us are worried about being hired and fired by someone else so that we can support our families and ourselves.
…and “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”
January 31, 2012
Romney then followed that misstep with one that’s arguably worse, though that may be hard to believe. When he said the words, “I'm not concerned about the very poor,” during an interview ith CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, even supporters shook their heads at how tone deaf he sounded. Though some argued that the remarks in their entirety were not that bad, they were still pretty bad: "I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it."
The Hot Mic heard ‘round the world
March 26, 2012
President Obama was captured on a hot mic assuring Russian president Dmitriy Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” regarding defense missile system negotiations after the presidential election. There was just one problem, make that two. Basing foreign policy promises on a re-election that’s not guaranteed is naïve at best, presumptuous and arrogant at worst. It also allowed conservatives to reinforce the notion that the president is soft when it comes to foreign policy negotiations with other countries.
Working Moms vs. Moms who Work
April 11, 2012
Democratic strategist turned CNN Contributor Hilary Rosen single-handedly re-ignited the so-called “mommy wars,” when she said Ann Romney, wife of GOP contender Mitt Romney had “never worked a day in her life.”
Allegedly these comments were controversial enough to warrant criticism from the Romney campaign, the Obama campaign and non-stop 24 hours news coverage for about a week. That is until everyone finally acknowledged that Rosen’s remarks in their entirety were actually true. Here’s what she actually said:
“What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, 'Well what my wife tells me is that what women really care about is economic issues and when I listen to my wife that's what I'm hearing.' Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She has never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids? How do we send them to school and why do we worry about their future?”
(See my earlier analysis of Rosen’s remarks and how accurate they are here.)
When Surrogates go Rogue
May 21, 2012
There’s usually one primary requirement campaigns have when selecting surrogates to represent the campaign to various audiences: actually be helpful. Somehow Newark Mayor Cory Booker missed this memo, at least that seemed to be the case when he referred to an Obama campaign ad attacking Gov. Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital as “nauseating.” Booker did actually prove helpful to a presidential campaign. The RNC used Booker’s words as the centerpiece of a petition drive launched to stop the Obama campaign’s Bain attacks.