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Mike Huckabee

"He spent more time on the road to Damascus than a Syrian camel driver."

 

McCain-Palin Button

"I never considered myself a maverick."

 

Barack Obama

"Actually, Mitt is his middle name. I wish I could use my middle name."

 

Romney-Ryan Face Tatoo

"[Maybe next time I'll] just put a sign in my yard."

 

Rick Perry

"Education — ah, the, ah — Commerce — and, let's see — I can't; the third one, I can't — Sorry — Oops."

 

Newt Gingrich

"Someone who will lie to you to get to be president, will lie to you when he is president."

 

Donald Trump

"We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided! Let's fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us. This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!"

GOP Quotes: Greatest Hits
of the Obama First Term Era
They said, "What!?"

I limited my quote list entries mostly to GOP principals and conservative media sources. How much more fair and balanced can you get?

Lists are the glue that holds us together: to-do lists, not-to-do lists, errands lists, grocery lists, apologize-to lists, Top 10 lists. So it seemed a list of lists was a natural way to summarize the historic period surrounding President Obama's election, first term, and re-election. These quotes represent Republican players' highlights and hindsights, trials and tribulations, peaks and pits, debates and debacles, soliloquies and super PACs, Mitts and Micheles, flips and flops — that's it — I'm out of consonant pairs.

Full disclosure, I like the president. But that doesn't mean I didn't meticulously, accurately document and reference each of the following quotes and points of interest. Sure, I might have omitted one or two that put Barack Obama in a bad light, but there are plenty of conservative writers to chronicle those.

I put category entries in chronological order. This seemed more practical than trying to individually rate the overall level of stupidity, narcissism, denial, delusion, humor, mendacity (I saw Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), and sour grapes-ishness contained within each quote.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we open with the "Greatest Hits" category, the best of the best.

Greatest Hits

— 1 —
"He spent more time on the road to Damascus than a Syrian camel driver."

(Huckabee, Mike, R-Ark., Fox News host and commentator, 2008 presidential primary candidate, former governor, ordained Southern Baptist minister; Do the Right Thing; referring to Mitt Romney's numerous policy "conversions" during his first presidential campaign; 2008.)

— 2 —
"If General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye."

(Romney, Mitt, R-Mass., 2012 presidential candidate, 2008 presidential primary candidate, former governor; "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt"; The New York Times; 11/18/2008.)

— 3 —
[PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA]: Let me just make this point, John, because we're not campaigning anymore. The election's over.

[SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN]: I'm reminded of that every day. (laughs nervously)

(bipartisan health care summit, Blair House, Washington, D.C.; a publicly broadcast discussion meeting convened by President Obama that included many cabinet officials and congressional leaders; 2/25/2010.)

— 4 —
"I never considered myself a maverick."

(McCain, John, R-Ariz., U.S. senator, 2008 presidential candidate; as cited in "McCain the Maverick Fights for His Soul"; Newsweek. He was referring to his Senate reputation in an interview during his 2010 Republican senatorial primary campaign against a formidable tea party challenger. McCain was attempting to play up his conservative bona fides and play down his reputation as an independent maverick who often bucked his own party and worked across the aisle with Democrats. As PolitiFact lovingly put it: "Debunking this one wasn't a question of 'if' but rather 'how can we avoid piling on?'"; 4/2/2010.)

— 5 —
"Education — ah, the, ah — Commerce — and, let's see — I can't; the third one, I can't — Sorry — Oops."

(Perry, Rick, R-Texas, governor, 2012 presidential primary candidate; presidential primary debate, Oakland University, Rochester, Mich. He was responding to moderator John Harwood's follow-up clarification to Perry's own unsolicited, incomplete statement: "And I will tell you, it's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone: commerce, education, and, the, ah, ah, What's the third one there? Let's see … (jokes with moderator and other candidates about EPA being the third agency; makes last attempt to complete his statement) … No, Sir[, not the EPA.] The third agency of government I would do away with ..."; 11/9/2011.)

— 6 —
"I'm going to be the nominee. It's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee."

(Gingrich, Newt, R-Ga., 2012 presidential primary candidate, former U.S. House speaker; ABC News with Jake Tapper; 12/1/2011.)

— 7 —
"But Mr. Speaker [Gingrich], what you're saying is, 'Folks, Barack Obama is so bad that we'd be better off electing a bald-faced liar to the presidency, somebody that we would never know if he was telling the truth.' That is pretty strong stuff."

(Schieffer, Bob, CBS' Face the Nation moderator; CBS' The Early Show; speaking to 2012 Republican presidential primary candidate and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich who said he would support Mitt Romney if Romney wins the nomination; 1/3/2012.)

— 8 —
"It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again."

(Fehrnstrom, Eric, R-, 2012 Romney-Ryan presidential campaign senior adviser; CNN with John Fugelsang; in response to a question about whether Romney has gone too far right in an attempt to win over conservatives in the Republican presidential primaries, and that he might be positioned as too extreme to win the general election; 3/21/2012.)

— 9 —
"We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

(Newhouse, Neil, R-, 2012 Romney-Ryan presidential campaign pollster; ABC News; 8/28/2012.)

— 10 —
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what ... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. ... These ... 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. ... And so my job is not to worry about those people — I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

(Romney, Mitt, R-Mass., 2012 presidential candidate, 2008 presidential primary candidate, former governor; private $50,000-per-plate fundraiser hosted by private equity manager Marc Leder at his home, Boca Raton, Fla.; cellphone video secretly recorded by bartender on 5/17/2012, released to public on 9/19/2012; as cited in Corn, David; "Mitt Romney Wanted the Full Tape. Here It Is."; Mother Jones; 9/18/2012.)

— 11 —
"Your vote will affect the future and be recorded in eternity. Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire? This is Mike Huckabee asking you to join me November the sixth and vote based on values that will stand the test of fire."

(Huckabee, Mike, R-Ark., Fox News host and commentator, 2008 presidential primary candidate, former governor, ordained Southern Baptist minister; Test of Fire: Election 2012, Values Voters USA campaign ad; Oct. 2012.)

— 12 —
[GOVERNOR ROMNEY]: I think it's interesting the president just said something, which is that on the day after the [Benghazi, Libya,] attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an "act of terror."

[PRESIDENT OBAMA]: That's what I said.

[GOVERNOR ROMNEY]: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an "act of terror"? It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying?

[PRESIDENT OBAMA]: Please proceed, Governor.

[GOVERNOR ROMNEY]: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an "act of terror."

[PRESIDENT OBAMA]: Get the transcript.

[MODERATOR CANDY CROWLEY]: He did in fact, sir — so let me — call it an "act of terror."

[PRESIDENT OBAMA]: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?

[MODERATOR CANDY CROWLEY]: He did call it an "act of terror."

(second presidential debate, Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.; 10/16/2012.)

— 13 —
"Ultimately, tonight's not about the disagreements Governor Romney and I may have. It's what we have in common, beginning with our unusual names. Actually, Mitt is his middle name. I wish I could use my middle name."

(Obama, Barack Hussein, D-Ill., U.S. president; Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner, New York, N.Y.; 10/18/2012.)

— 14 —
"You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor [Romney], we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting ships. It's what are our capabilities?"

(Obama, Barack, D-Ill., U.S. president; third presidential debate, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla., 10/22/2012.)

— 15 —
"My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that's despicable."

(Wilkerson, Lawrence, R-, colonel, former [Secretary of State Colin Powell] chief of staff, notable white guy; MSNBC's The Ed Show with Ed Schultz; in response to Romney campaign co-chair John Sununu's comment that Colin Powell's endorsement of President Obama was racially motivated; 10/26/2012.)

— 16 —
"[Maybe next time I'll] just put a sign in my yard."

(Hartsburg, Eric, Romney supporter; as cited in Gavin, Patrick; "Mitt Romney Face Tattoo Man Does an About-Face"; Politico; 11/28/2012.)

[Eric] Hartsburg ... was paid $5,000 [from an eBay auction] to get the 5-by-2-inch [Romney-Ryan "R" logo face] tattoo. After the [election loss], Hartsburg had no regrets ... insisting he would never have the tat removed. … Tattoo removal chain Dr. TattOff offered to remove it for free, an offer Hartsburg originally rejected, telling Politico earlier this month, "I still love the ink and I am a man of my word and will keep the tattoo for life." ... But then he heard [Romney's] claim that the president won re-election because of "gifts" given to various constituencies: "It stands ... for a sore loser. ... He's pretty shameful as far as I'm concerned, man. ... I can't ... stay behind that." … Hartsburg [says he now] plans to get the tattoo lasered off, a process that could take a year. (Gavin, Patrick; "Mitt Romney Face Tattoo Man Does an About-Face"; Politico; 11/28/2012.)

Categorized Hits

The following categories each consist of many entries, but mercifully I'm only going to give you the tentative winners here.

Obama Gaffes

I couldn't think of any.

Polling Nuggets

14% of Americans (and 24% of Republicans) believe Barack Obama may be the Antichrist.

("The Harris Poll #42"; Harris Interactive; 3/23/2010.)

Postelection Delusions

"[Romney ran] a magnificent campaign."

(Coulter, Ann, conservative writer and commentator; The Laura Ingraham Show; 11/7/2012.)

Pre-Election Predictions

"Romney 325, Obama 213 [electoral votes]: It will be the biggest surprise in recent American political history. It will rekindle the whole question as to why the media played this race as a nail-biter where in fact I think Romney's going to win by quite a bit."

(Morris, Dick, conservative writer and commentator, Republican strategist; Fox News; 11/4/2012.)

Racial Dog Whistles

"[I don't know] whether he needs large amounts of rest [or] whether he needs to go play basketball for a while."

(Gingrich, Newt, R-Ga., 2012 presidential primary candidate, former U.S. House speaker; Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren; referring to President Obama; 9/25/2012.)

Reasons to Leave John McCain Alone

"Shut up. … I'm getting too old to put up with jerks like you." (sticks his tongue out at the jerks)

(McCain, John, R-Ariz., U.S. senator, 2008 presidential candidate; campaign event for U.S. senatorial candidate Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., podium in front of courthouse, Prescott, Ariz.; 11/5/2012.)

Republican Reasons to Get a Romney Deal in Writing

"I think that the notion that Mitt Romney has been on both sides of many issues is not a surprise anymore to anyone in the country, whether you are Republican, Democrat, Indiana Independent. I think it's baked into the cake at this point."

(Schmidt, Steve, R-, 2008 McCain-Palin presidential campaign chief strategist; MSNBC; 10/17/2012.)

Republican Reasons to Leave Bain Capital off Your Presidential Resume

"They're vultures that are sitting out there on the tree limb, waiting for the company to get sick, and then they sweep in, they eat the carcass … and they leave the skeleton."

(Perry, Rick, R-Texas, governor, 2012 presidential primary candidate; campaign event, Sun City retirement complex, Fort Mill, S.C.; as cited in Kaplan, Rebecca; "Perry Labels Romney, Bain Capital as "Vultures'"; CBSNews.com; referring to venture capital companies like Mitt Romney's Bain Capital; 1/10/2012.)

Republican Reasons to Vote Against Romney

"Someone who will lie to you to get to be president, will lie to you when he is president."

(Gingrich, Newt, R-Ga., 2012 presidential primary candidate, former U.S. House speaker; post-campaign event news conference, 1/1/2012, Junction Bar and Grill, Marshalltown, Iowa; as cited in Morgan, David; "Gingrich: Mitt Romney Is a Liar"; CBSNews.com; referring to Mitt Romney; 1/3/2012.)

Romney Campaign "Clarifications"

[CANDIDATE'S (conflicting with his record) PUBLIC STATEMENT]:
"I have not met with [Kris Kobach] yet."

(Romney, Mitt, R-Mass., 2012 presidential candidate, 2008 presidential primary candidate, former governor; interview conducted by Helen Aguirre-Ferre; Univision America Radio; referring to the man who wrote the Ariz. "your papers, please" law, when asked if Kobach was one of Romney's immigration advisers; 9/17/2012.)

[SUBSEQUENT CAMPAIGN CLARIFICATION]:
"Asked for clarification, a spokesman for the Romney campaign said Romney and Kobach have, in fact, met before at campaign events — but not in formal policy meetings. The aide said that in Monday's radio interview, Romney was referring to policy meetings, which Kobach does not participate in. ... [But] Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of tough immigration laws in Alabama and Arizona ... says he has been counseling Romney for years."

(Hamby, Peter; "Romney: I Haven't Met With Immigration Adviser Kobach"; CNN.com; 9/17/2012.)

Romney Gaffes

"I get speaker's fees from time to time, but not very much," said presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who earned over $374,000 in speaking fees for one year (February 2010 – February 2011), according to his personal financial disclosure.

(post-campaign event news conference, Florence, S.C.; as cited in MacAskill, Ewen; "Mitt Romney Admits: I Pay 15% Tax on $200m Personal Fortune"; The Guardian; 1/17/2012.)

Romney Whoppers

[THE LIE]:
"And these [clean energy] businesses, many of them have gone out of business. I think about half of them — of the ones that have been invested in [by the president's stimulus bill] — have gone out of business."

(Romney, Mitt, R-Mass., 2012 presidential candidate, 2008 presidential primary candidate, former governor; first presidential debate, University of Denver, Colo.; 10/3/2012.)

[THE TRUTH]:
"Romney falsely claimed 'about half' of the clean-energy companies that received U.S.-backed loans 'have gone out of business.' But 26 companies received loan guarantees under a loan program cited by Romney, and three of those have filed for bankruptcy. The three firms were approved for about 6 percent of the loan guarantees. … An independent review of the Department of Energy loan and loan guarantee programs found that the failure rate was lower than Congress had expected."

("Romney's Clean Energy Whoppers"; FactCheck.org; 10/4/2012.)

Sour Grapes

"We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided! Let's fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us. This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!"

(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., billionaire real estate mogul; as cited in Marikar, Sheila; "After Obama Victory, Donald Trump Rants on Twitter"; ABCNews.com; 11/7/2012.)

Unfortunate Rape Comments

"I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

(Mourdock, Richard, R-Ind., 2012 U.S. senatorial candidate; senatorial candidate debate, 10/23/2012, New Albany, Ind.; as cited in Good, Chris; "Indiana Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock: Pregnancy From Rape 'Something God Intended'"; ABCNews.com; 10/24/2012.) ■



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