Thanks CBC. Let’s look at the list.
Here are some other notable campaign missteps:
1. Romney’s father, George Romney, then governor of Michigan was considered an early favourite over then vice-president Richard Nixon in the 1967 Republican primaries. But Romney’s comment that he had “the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get” — a reference to the military and state department officials who had briefed him during a visit to Vietnam — sank his support.
2. During a 1976 debate with Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter, and at the height of the Cold War, then-president Gerald Ford said, that “there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration.”
3. In 1979, days before he officially announced his bid to unseat Carter as the Democratic presidential nominee, Senator Ted Kennedy was asked by journalist Roger Mudd why he wanted to be president. Kennedy gave what is considered a long and rambling answer, that didn’t seem to answer the question. Many believe the interview severely hurt his chances.
4. After a disappointing third place finish in the Iowa Democratic caucuses in 2004, candidate Howard Dean attempted to lift the spirits of his supporters at a West Des Moines ballroom. At the end of the speech, Dean, shouting over the loud crowd, said that they were going to continue to fight on. Listing off a number of states, a spirited Dean ended his speech by saying: “And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! Yaaaaah!” The ‘Dean Scream’ as it became known, went on to become the source of great ridicule.
5. During an appearance at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, in March 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry was asked about a particular vote against funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it,” Kerry said. Republicans seized on the comment, portraying Kerry as the ultimate flip-flopper.
6. In the early stages of the financial crisis and with the Lehman Brothers, one of the most powerful investment banks, filing for bankruptcy, Republican presidential candidate John McCain insisted that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” He later clarified, saying he was talking about American workers, but he was skewered by the Obama campaign for being out of touch.
7. Speaking in Seattle in October 2008, then vice-presidential Democratic candidate Joe Biden seemed to suggest a vote for Barack Obama could spark international turmoil. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like it did John Kennedy,” Biden said.
8. In 2008, at a San Francisco fundraiser during the Democratic primary race, Barack Obama explained the attitudes some small-town residents in Pennsylvania.
“They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
You know what I’m not seeing as a “gaffe”? Not responding and not being responsible to the American people. Why is it that the US has no universal healthcare? Ask the citizenry, they want it. Does it come up at all? No of course not, we get the partisan bickering over how quickly to pay the private medical insurance industry. How about the jobless situation? Barely a whisper, but oh ho, talk about the national debt that most of the public could care less about. Now we can have a discussion about that.
The gaffe every US president has made and continues to make is governing for the benefit of the 1% as opposed to the rest of the nation. That should be on the list at #1.