The CEO of a major American technology company once said, “Privacy is dead. Deal with it.” U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney may have become the latest politician to learn that harsh truth of our digital age.
On Monday, the American news magazine Mother Jones posted on its Web site a secretly taped video of Romney at a private $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Florida in May, at which the Republican nominee said of President Obama, “there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it…these are people who pay no income tax.”
That comment, followed by another video that showed Romney saying at the same event, that the “Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace,” has set off a firestorm in the U.S. media.
But political gaffes are nothing new in American presidential campaigns.
Check out the video below that shows Romney’s recent controversial comments, followed by 11 other moments from past U.S. presidential campaigns that haunted the candidates, and in some cases, may have cost them the election.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry forgets the names of U.S. government agencies at a debate in 2012.
At a private fundraiser in 2008, presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama was recorded saying that some voters “cling to their guns and religion.”
While running for president in 2008, Senator John McCain said, “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.” The statement was used by Democrats to connect McCain to President George W. Bush’s economic policies.
Picked to be Senator McCain’s running mate in 2008, vice presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin failed in a TV interview to name which newspapers and magazines she reads.
With the U.S. fighting two wars abroad in 2004, President George W. Bush responded to a question during a presidential debate about whether the military draft will be reinstituted. He responded with the grammatically incorrect statement: “I hear there’s rumors on the internets that we’re going to have a draft.”
As he tried to fire up the crowd in 2004, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean let out a yell that played very loudly on TV. The scream was repeatedly mocked by television comedians and in YouTube remixes.
In 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry tried to explain his vote against an $87 billion appropriation bill for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kerry’s comment came off confusing in the end, as he tried to say that he had voted for an earlier version of the bill before opposing its final passage.
Michael Dukakis’ response to a CNN anchor’s question about whether the Democratic presidential candidate would support the death penalty if his wife were raped and murdered was criticized as being cold and detached.
President Gerald Ford said, “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe” during a 1976 televised debate with Jimmy Carter. Democrats used the statement to claim that the president was incompetent on foreign policy.
Upon returning from the Vietnam War’s front lines, Michigan Governor and Republican presidential candidate George Romney (Mitt Romney’s father) said in 1967 that he “just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get when you go over to Vietnam.” His opponents used the comments against him.
In America’s first televised presidential debate in 1960, Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee, sweated profusely under the strong studio lights. His opponent, Senator John Kennedy, came across as being more photogenic and confident.