At the second presidential debate, Gov. Mitt Romney tried to explain his attempt to consider more women for top positions in Massachusetts by saying organizations presented him with “binders full of women” -- and so a new Internet meme was born.Take a look at other notable missteps candidates and their campaigns have made during the 2012 election season.
At the first presidential debate, it wasn’t so much what President Barack Obama said, but what he didn’t that was the problem. Obama seemed disengaged in the debate and made more than a few Democrats’ jaws drop by not going after Romney on a variety of issues.
Vice President Joe Biden raised eyebrows earlier this month when he proclaimed during a campaign rally that the middle class has been "buried" the past four years. Biden tried to clarify his remarks, but conservatives pounced on them as a reason why voters should elect Mitt Romney.
Two staff members on Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign were recently caught on video making war whoops and tomahawk chops directed toward supporters of Brown’s opponent, Elizabeth Warren. Warren has claimed her family has Native American heritage, which has been a big controversy in the campaign. Brown said he did not condone his staffers’ actions.
A hidden camera at a private fundraiser caught Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney saying 47 percent of Americans would vote for Obama “no matter what” because they "are dependent on government" and believe "that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them." Romney has defended what he said, though acknowledged the remarks were "not elegantly stated."
Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s remarks about pregnancy resulting from "legitimate rape" being rare because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down" have resulted in calls from the top Republicans for Akin to drop out of the race. He has vowed to let voters decide whether he should win the seat currently held by opponent Claire McCaskill.
Vice President Joe Biden told an audience at an August campaign event that Mitt Romney “is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. He is going to put y'all back in chains." Republicans accused Biden of dragging down the tenor of the campaign by making a racially-charged remark.
Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign had several missteps during a European tour in August. He questioned whether London was ready to handle the Olympics, prompting rebukes from British newspapers and the prime minister. He said Israel’s economy was doing better than Palestine’s due to its culture, angering Palestinians. And to top things off, an aide cursed at reporters as they shouted questions about these gaffes to Romney outside Poland’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
President Barack Obama outraged Republicans with this July soundbite: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." The full context of that quote was a statement about successful people getting help from the community along the way, including having infrastructure like roads and the development of the Internet covered by the government.
Rep. Michele Bachmann has dropped out of the presidential race, but she’s still running to win back her House seat. When she and four other congressmen sent letters to several federal departments calling for investigations into whether the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated the U.S. government, some wondered whether she had sunk her campaign.
There were plenty of faux pas while Republicans were picking their presidential candidate, too. Bachmann drew criticism in September 2011, when she claimed the HPV vaccine made a woman's daughter mentally retarded. She later said she was simply relaying the claim made by the woman after a GOP debate.
GOP candidate Herman Cain made waves with his remarks in September 2011 that most blacks have been "brainwashed" by liberals to oppose conservative views.
Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney raised eyebrows when he declared "corporations are people" during an Iowa State Fair speech in August 2011, drawing heckles from the crowd.
The GOP cried foul when President Barack Obama scheduled his economic joint address to Congress the same night as a GOP candidate debate during the primary season. His aides called the move a "coincidence" and moved the speech to another night.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was in the hot seat over the name of his family's hunting range, which had come to be known as "N-head." Perry says his father turned the rock over and painted over the slur, but the Washington Post alleges the nickname "lingered."
In June 2011, GOP candidate Michele Bachmann confused film star John Wayne with serial killer John Wayne Gacy during the official launch of her presidential campaign.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty caught flak in March 2011 when he suddenly adopted a Southern accent in an effort to connect with voters.