12 Worst Political Gaffes of 2012


1) Legitimate Rape 

Was there any doubt what would appear at number one? Todd Akin appeared to be an idiotic, crazy ideologue. Akin offended women everywhere with his assertion that not all rapes were “legitimate” and offended scientists with his nonsensical explanation that women can prevent pregnancies.

2) The 47% comments

The secretly-taped speech was divisive and demeaning. The incident severely damaged Romney’s campaign and may have dissuaded independents from voting his way. Incidentally, the final Romney votes came out to 47.3%.

3) Benghazi

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

I suppose I could have just put a link to John Stewart clips for all of these gaffes.  But the ending line fits this gaffe so perfectly: “The attack on our embassy was planned and coordinated. The response to it — not so much.”  It may not have cost Obama his job, but it cost Susan Rice her promotion.

4) "I’m not concerned about the very poor."

Romney may not have meant to denigrate struggling Americans. But quotes such as this contributed to the perception of Romney as a rich man not concerned for others.

5) "You didn’t build that."

Obama made a big mistake when speaking about the help that we all receive along the way to success. He said that if you have a business, you didn’t build that. He may have been speaking about the nation’s infrastructure, but it doesn’t matter. In giving the Republicans one of their convention themes, the damage was done.

6) Perry Painkillers

I’m not certain who thought it was a good idea to go ahead with a campaign event when Rick Perry clearly under the influence of something.

7) Oops

At least the New Hampshire speech can be explained away.  During a GOP debate, however, Governor Perry could not remember the third federal agency he would eliminate.  The disastrous moment was followed by the disintegration of his campaign.

8) Binders full of women

Presidential advice – when addressing workplace gender inequality, don’t use the phrase “binders full of women.”  300,000 likes Facebook likes later, the awkward phrasing still doesn’t look any better.

9) "Put y’all back in chains."

What was Biden doing?  And why?  Please, someone tell me how he thought that this was a good idea.

10) "I like being able to fire people."

When trying to appear likeable, politicians generally empathize with the workers. Not the people who just handed out the pink slips.

11) 10,000 bet

Normal people don’t bet each other with that many zeros involved.  I’m pretty sure most politicians don’t bet with that many zeros involved.

12) Empty chair

Clint seemed to do exactly what he planned. I’m not sure anyone in the Romney camp knew what was going to unfold though. And that is a huge gaffe.