I’ve never met Todd Akin, but from listening to him speak in a seven second clip I’m going to go ahead and say that he’s a bad, bad, bad, bad person:
What you may be surprised to find out, however, is that Akin’s “legitimate rape” interview was far from the largest gaffe in American history. In fact, there have been at least ten worse statements by prominent politicians over the years:
10) George W. Bush: “Of course I don’t care about black people.”
After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, the Bush administration’s slow response was ridiculed by many prominent public figures and minority advocates. Also Kanye West. Ye thought that a telethon for the victims of the disaster would be the perfect time to point out that he believed that George Bush didn’t care about black people.
But the true gaffe was made days later when Bush was asked about the accusation in an interview. “Of course I don’t care about black people,” he said. “They’re different from me, ya know? And they never even vote for me. This can’t be, like, a surprise, right?” The interview set off a firestorm among the liberal media with their liberal agenda and liberal viewpoints who somehow interpreted the comments to mean that President Bush had intentionally crafted policies that failed to help the African American community.
9) John Hancock: “I thought that whole Declaration bit was a right good joke we were all having at his Majesty’s expense.”
When John Hancock signed his name to the Declaration of Independence, he remarked to the room that he had signed it big enough for old King George to read it without having to put his glasses on. They all had a nice laugh. Except, Hancock apparently was confused about the entire stituation, believing his statement to be just a smaller joke in a larger prank about declaring independence from the world’s most powerful empire.
The gaffe came years later as Hancock was being billed for a presidential run. His place as a Declaration-signer made him one of the top candidates of 1806 when he sat down for an interview with People magazine.
“Well I certainly never thought I’d be here,” Hancock said. “I remember when Tom and George were first talking about declaring independence and we all had a laugh about the idea then went off to take some land away from Indians so that we could create West Virginia. That worked out, huh? Anyway, I thought that whole Declaration bit was a right good joke we were all having at his Majesty’s expense. Never in a million years thought we’d revolt. After all, we were paying absurdly low tax rates compared to other colonies and we had extraordinary new religious and cultural freedoms. It was just a bunch of whiny bitches who started the whole thing, tbh.”
8) Thomas Jefferson: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
When Thomas Jefferson’s wife Martha confronted him about a half-black slave child living on their plantation who kept writing lengthy Constitutions to govern the land, Jefferson famously declared that “I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Not once have I sent for Sally Hemmings to come to our bedroom while you were out and made sweet, sweet love to her in our marriage bed.”
Moments later, Martha brought Sally Hemmings into the room who quickly announced that if Mr. Jefferson was going to ask for more of the sexi timez, he would have to acknowledge the children he had fathered with her from their many, many instances of intercourse. Jefferson was immediately impeached by the House of Representatives.
7) Joe Biden: “I only took the job assuming Obama would be dead by now.”
Joe Biden has made a career out of gaffes, but when Barbara Walters asked him if ever thought about running for president in 2016, Biden sent shockwaves across the Beltway. “Obviously, I only took the job assuming Obama would be dead by now,” he responded. “The odds of the guy surviving this far are gastrointestinal. There’s terrorists and racists and have you seen Contagion? Good God, the odds that any of us are alive. So anyway, yes I fully expected to be President by now.”
Obama took the gaffe in stride, instructing his staff to hold Biden down and give him forty-four lashes, as is the standard procedure in the White House.
6) Herman Cain: “We should institute my 9-9-9 plan.”
Herman Cain once ran for President. He once led the Republican field. And then he unveiled his platform. “We should institute my 9-9-9 plan,” Cain said. “It would b a good idea.”
Cain’s lead immediately vanished as voters realized that he truly believed in the idea of a 9% income tax, a 9% national sales tax and a 9% business transaction tax. Then ladies said he groped all up on them. But mostly it was the whole 9-9-9 deal.
5) Ronald Reagan: “The orgies have really livened up my meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
Ronald Reagan’s distinction as a symbol of cultural conservatism and a return to family values collapsed in 1986 when he let slip in an interview that his weekly meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff were actually excuses for lengthy orgies. “The orgies have really livened up my meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” the septuagenarian Republican admitted. “Before it was all, ‘The Soviets have missiles located in yada yada yada.’ Now it’s much more about who’s receiving my missile.”
The nation was of course heartbroken when Nancy Reagan immediately died of massive cardiac arrest as she sat next to her husband during the interview.
4) Abraham Lincoln: “Let’s make all the Southerners slaves. You know, for the economy’s sake.”
Much of Abraham Lincoln’s life and legacy were defined by his heroic crusade to save the Union and end American slavery. More of his legacy, however, was defined by his stunning plan to force all white Southerners to be slaves in the aftermath of the Civil War.
“As our friends in Virginia have pointed out, slaves were an integral part of our economy,” Lincoln said in his 1866 State of the Union address. “So let’s make all the Southerners slaves. You know, for the economy’s sake. Someone’s gotta work the fields, amirite??” And so it was that the Second Civil War began.
3) John F. Kennedy: “I had nothing to do with that Cuban Missile business, that was all Bobby. I was too busy stickin’ it to Marilyn Monroe in the Oval Office, which is all I ever do even though I have a gorgeous and intelligent wife.”
To be fair to John Kennedy, this gaffe was never intended for public consumption. Kennedy believed he was writing his thrice-daily letter to his mother updating her on his activities, when he accidentally wrote the address for the Republican National Committee instead.
The GOP went public with the letter days letter, including this sensational tidbit: “This job is really easy, as long as I just spend all my time making smooshy with anything that moves. I mean, I had nothing to do with that Cuban Missile business, that was all Bobby. I was too busy stickin’ it to Marilyn Monroe in the Oval Office, which is all I ever do even though I have a gorgeous and intelligent wife.”
Public reaction to the leaked letter was mixed, with approximately half of the country calling for his public assassination in Dallas, and the other half swooning over his good looks and Boston accent.
2) Kathleen Sebelius: “It’s not really a death panel if it’s just me.”
As Sarah Palin and other Republicans took aim at health care reform in 2009 over what they perceived to be “death panels,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius attempted to allay the concerns by declaring there would be no death panels.
Scandal hit, however, when she followed the declaration with, “It’s not really a death panel if it’s just me. It’s more off a Death Chairwoman. Or a Death Dictator. But yes, the bottom line is I will arbitrarily be killing six seniors a day.” Following the comments, Rush Limbaugh ate Sebelius alive on the radio in a widely derided publicity stunt.
1) Franklin Roosevelt: “Let’s settle the war with a footrace: me against Hitler.”
Likely the worst gaffe of all time, Roosevelt’s challenge of a race to decide the war nearly doomed humanity.
It was during one of Roosevelt’s famous fireside chats in 1941 that he accidentally blurted out, “Let’s settle the war with a footrace: me against Hitler… I used to be quite the runner, mind you, so I think I can show that fatass Fuhrer a thing or tw- Oh fuck. Shit shit shit no fuck no shit fuck ass face no fuck shit hell dammit fuck.”
Fortunately, in the pre-Twitter.com era, the White House was able to quietly bribe the entire nation never to mention it again, and those who refused to accept the bribe were casually shipped off to internment camps.
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