Poor Cory Booker. The Newark mayor (and Obama “surrogate”) is now trying to scrape the shoe leather off his tongue after saying the attacks on Mitt Romney for his predatory role at Bain Capital were “nauseating to the American public.”
He’s certainly not the first politician to say something incredibly stupid. Geek that I am, I stayed awake last night remembering some other classic examples of political foot-in-mouth disease.
Let’s pile everybody in the DeLorean and go back to the political past (and future):
Richard Nixon in 1973: “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.”
Actually, he was. And it was Nixon’s press secretary, Ron Ziegler, who introduced the idea that you can deny something simply by declaring that your previous statement was now “inoperative.” In my dad’s day, they called that “lying.”
Gerald Ford in 1976: “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration.”
By “domination,” Ford apparently meant there were no leather-clad Russian women with whips wandering the streets of Budapest, punishing the local citizens. Tanks, maybe, but no spanks!
Ronald Reagan in 1987: “A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.”
For those who don’t speak “Reagan,” let me translate: “I’m a nice guy. Don’t be mad at me. Who wants jelly beans.”
George W. Bush in Every Year of His Life:
- “You’re workin’ hard to put food on your family.”
- “We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease.”
- “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.”
- “I couldn’t imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah.”
- “It’ll take time to restore chaos.”
- “I know that human beings and fish can co-exist peacefully.”
I have to stop. My eyes are bleeding.
Mitt Romney, last week: “I stand by what I said, whatever it was.”