Gaffe Watch #6

At this point, Rick Perry’s general knowledge of history and current events is just laughable. The GOP Presidential hopeful had yet another “oops” moment today, this time referring to the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il as “Kim John the Second.” Perry made the gaffe in an email which was posted on his website, then subsequently corrected. Interestingly enough, Perry incorrectly referenced his name three times, but then used the correct “-Il” once. Another interesting observation is that Perry wrote in the email that he was “a vicious dictator,” but then referenced him three times as though he were a monarch.


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Gaffe Watch #5 – Charming, Mitt

Well, Romney has been fairly quiet on the gaffe front so far, as have all the candidates (where’s a GOP version of Joe Biden when you need one), but Mitt Romney came out with a corker the other night.

At a dinner hosted by some lobbying group or other with the usual po-faced unimaginative yet sinister name, Americans For Prosperity, he drew comparisons to the ‘misery index’ attacks on President Carter by Ronald Reagan in 1980. He said, “We’re going to have to hang the Obama Misery Index around his neck…Housing foreclosures, bankruptcies and higher taxation: we’re going to hang him with that”.

He did attempt to correct these remarks by adding, “So to speak, metaphorically, you have to be careful these days”.

Careful Mitt, you’re in danger of sounding like a Mormon or something.

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Pawlenty Has A Point

Tim Pawlenty aimed his guns at Mad Dog Michele Bachmann on sunday’s edition of Meet The Press. He said of the Congresswoman from Minnesota, “Her record of achievement in Congress is non-existent”.

A salient point indeed. Does Michele Bachmann have anything else to offer other than being a reactionary, photogenic, partisan loudmouth? Foreign Policy? No. Executive experience? No. Achievement in the private sector? No. How about her work in Congress…

– Jan 2007: She voted against the troop surge in Iraq (which worked).
– Jul 2007: She voted against the Higher Education Finance Bill (God Forbid students are given lower interest rates for College tuition).
– Jul 2008: She was a leading advocate of further oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because petrol reached $4 a gallon. (try living in Britain Mish)

However, in the interests of fairness, it would be remiss not to mention that she introduced the Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act. Millions of lightbulb buyers thank you Michele.

And this is just her Congressional record. We will return another time to her views on Intelligent Design, Iran, and her interesting (and entirely consistently paradoxical) views on same-sex marriage.

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Gaffe Watch #4 – Clowning Around with Michele Bachmann

Mad Bad Michelle Bachmann served up a doozy today. A moment before officially announcing her candidacy for the Republican nomination from her town of birth in Waterloo, Iowa, she did a piece for Fox News.

She told the interviewer, “John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit I have”.  She went on to repeat this to an NBC camera crew saying, “I’m not pining for nostalgia back in the 50’s and 60’s, that isn’t it…But that sensibility of how we’re grounded here is so important. For instance, another American that was born in Waterloo was John Wayne.  We were a very patriotic ‘yay rah rah America’ city and nation, and I think that’s what Americans are looking for again”.

A number of problems with this total guff.  The main one being she got her John Wayne’s mixed up.  The hero of The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and The High and The Mighty, famous for his conservative politics and inimitable slouched walk was actually born in Winterset, Iowa.

The John Wayne that Michelle Bachmann was mistakenly referring to was John Wayne Gacy, the “Killer Clown”.  Gacy was born in Chicago but grew up in Waterloo, Iowa and was executed for the rape and murder of 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978.  On weekends he volunteered at hospitals and various charity events as “Pogo the Clown”.

Easy mistake to make?  Not really.  But Michele might be pleased to know Mr Gacy was an active member of the Democratic Party.

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Early Lead for Romney and Bachmann in 2012 Race

A new poll coming out of Iowa shows Mitt Romney and tea party nut-job Michele Bachmann leading among the state’s GOP (fanatics) caucus-goers.

The poll conducted byThe Des Moines Register shows Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, with support from 23% in Iowa. Bachmann, the Minnesota representative who launches her campaign in Iowa later today, has 22 percent support.

Romney was the No. 2 finisher in the caucuses in his bid for the 2008 GOP nomination. Bachmann is a three-term congresswoman and newer face in the 2012 White House mix.

The results are based on interviews with 400 likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers from June 19 to 22. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Romney has said he plans to run a scaled-down Iowa campaign, compared to the all-out, $10-million effort he waged for the 2008 caucuses.

Tim Pawlenty has been the most aggressive about campaigning in Iowa, having lined up top Iowa and national consultants, been a frequent visitor to the state and ran the 2012 campaign’s first Republican candidate television advertisements last week.

However, only 6 percent of Iowa Republicans expected to attend the 2012 caucuses prefer the former Minnesota governor as their choice, according to the poll.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose campaign has struggled since widespread staff departures this month, has support from 7 percent, the same as Texas Representative Ron Paul.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has 4 percent, followed by former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has said he will not campaign in Iowa, with 2 percent.

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Gaffe Watch #3 – Not funny this time

A serious error by President Obama this week whilst speaking to members of the 10th Mountain Division at Ft. Drum in New York.  He said, “I had the great honour of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the medal of honour to who actually came back wasn’t receiving it posthumously”.

Unfortunately Sgt Monti was killed in June 2006, and the President subsequently gave the medal of honour to his parents in 2009.  He was mistakenly referring to Army Staff Sgt Salvatore Giunta.

Of course one can have some sympathy for President Obama, for what was obviously a terrible mistake, with no upset or offence intended.  However, there is also the argument that he is The President.  A clever and accomplished person no matter where you stand on his politics, with vast resources and a capable and intelligent staff.  Mistakes like this can and should be avoided.  Does it display a rather cavalier attitude in such matters? Perhaps.  Hopefully in future, when making any remarks concerning military personnel, off the cuff speeches should be avoided or at least vetted with more care.

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Pawlenty and Bachmann make gains…Gingrich out of sight

An AP-Gfk poll threw out some interesting numbers today.  A large gain this month for ‘Mad Bad’ Michelle Bachmann whose favourability increased from 41% to 54%, largely based on the strong performance in the NH GOP debate.  Doesn’t change the fact she’s nuts though.  Arguably more interesting is the rise for Tim Pawlenty, from 33% to 43%, strange considering how his classic “ObamneyCare” quip went down like a lead balloon and his stark refusal to bang Romney on health during the same debate.

Newt Gingrich’s bad run of form continues, seemingly hemorrhaging staff as quickly as electoral support.  His favourability has sunk from 61% to 43% in the space of one month, whilst Mitt Romney is still in the lead at  61%.

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