No one sounds clever all the time; at some point or another, we’re all going to bungle our words and trip over our tongues. But somehow when politicians do it, it’s that much more funny, depressing, and disastrous as our minds work through the stupidity triggered laughter to comprehend that we’ve elected these individuals to make enormously important decisions that impact our daily lives. Plus, some of them have access to the nuclear codes. The perfect recipes for laughter to tears in ten seconds flat. Plus, while we’ve all made the occasional mistake, when politicians fail, they seem to fail big. There are limits to the merits of never doing anything halfway.
So, without further ado, we have a nice collection of poorly chosen words from politicians on both sides of the aisle — a bag of assorted nuts as it were — three Democrats and three Republicans.
1. Senator Ted Cruz
I’m excusing all of the quotes from his filibester-esque speech on Obamacare in September of last year, because you can’t talk for that long without saying some ridiculous things about White Castle, Duck Dynasty, and Green Eggs and Ham, or making fun of junior senators for not having facial hair. He also quoted Ashton Kutcher. Time has a great list of the best here.
Luckily, we can look back to another time Cruz acted the stubborn roadblock; the government shutdown in December, which as we may all recall occurred because Congress was unable to pass a budget and increase the debt ceiling because provisions were continually added that made the bill un-passable. This meant America got frighteningly close to defaulting on its debts, and Obamacare was far from removed. It was at this time that Senator Cruz said: “I think it was absolutely a mistake for President Obama and Harry Reid to force a government shutdown,” according to The Huffington Post.
2. Former Governor Sarah Palin
Rather than go with the classic “I can see Russia from my house” for Sarah Palin — which is actually a misquote popularized by SNL — we’ll jump into some fun new content. By the way, originally she said: “They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.” We needn’t depend on Tina Fey to supply us with ridiculous comments — Palin does that just fine on her own.
Now, Congress may not be making much headway on bipartisan cooperation under our current President and Vice President. Yes, it’s been shown through polls that some wish they’d voted for Mitt Romney instead of President Barack Obama. Yet there aren’t many polls showing they wish they’d voted for John McCain, and it’s interesting to imagine what Congressional divide would look like with a vice president who says:
“Do you know why those clownish little kumbaya humming fairytale-inhaling liberals want to be tough all of a sudden and control your guns? It’s cause guys like Al Franken and Harry Reid, they are not satisfied with just taking your money and your job and your truck and your property and your rights and your healthcare.”
3. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Gay marriage had a bumpy ride in California, as it is still seeing in states all across the United States. Proposition 8 was eventually ruled unconstitutional, and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has since given way to present Governor Jerry Brown. But once, not so very long ago, we had gems like this gracing our ears: “I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.
Terminally clumsy phrasing from the ex-Hollywood star. To his credit, the governor is actually pro-same-sex marriage and has made sensible comments on the subject too; ones where he came across as well-versed in the legal details, rather than confused on the definition of “gay.”
1. President Barack Obama
Moving on to Democrats and their many, equally ridiculous mistakes. Yes, our commander-in-chief, well-known for being a better speaker than his predecessor with his exact and careful rhetoric, messes up behind the podium every once in a while. One particularly notable gaff came at a town hall meeting when a student asked him to address America’s involvement with Israel.
Struggling to get the crowd to quiet down after such a divisive question, the President launched into his rather too-all-encompassing explanation, saying that, “The middle east is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries.” Thanks, buddy. That’s like saying politics are an issue that have plagued the presidency for centuries.
2. Vice President Joe Biden
What with all the noise about Jeffrey Barton, a civilian in Washington, shooting his gun in the air because he was doing “what Joe Biden told me to do,” according to CNN, it only makes sense to go with one of Biden’s many amusing quotes on shotguns. Yes, some of them are improved with context and you can get the general gist of what he’s trying to say — but that’s true of most politicians misspeaking. Given context, many of them look slightly better, but none of them have us beaming with patriotic pride.
Some other advice given by Biden on shotguns — this time not in relation to the air at all — he said: “Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.”
As a quick honorable mention, with a blue innuendo ribbon to boot, he made this comment:
3. Senator Claire McCaskill
Last but not least, we have Senator Claire McCaskill and her “good news,” which was a bit insensitive, even if your heart is set on lowering emission rates. “The good news is our emissions are way down because of the recession. We are — I mean, you know, really, if you want to find a silver lining in the cloud, the number we were looking for — we are well, well above where the emissions would have been assuming, for the purposes of the recession, cap-and-trade was passed a few years ago, because we have had such a real drop in manufacturing output.” She quickly self-corrected, calling her positivity sarcasm, but it certainly had the lilt of poorly chosen words. Silver lining indeed, Senator.
More From Politics Cheat Sheet:
- 5 Quotes That Prove Sarah Palin Doesn’t Need Less Filter
- Boehner Takes Aim: Is Immigration Reform Imminent?
- Here’s Why Some Conservatives Aren’t Ready for a Tea Party
Follow Anthea Mitchell on Twitter @AntheaWSCS