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The Biggest Mitt Romney Gaffes

Though they're not nearly as controversial as the Sarah Palin gaffes or Michele Bachmann quotes, the biggest Mitt Romney gaffes include more than a few times when the Republican presidential hopeful has put his foot in his mouth.

Be it from when he tried to tell people he was a life-long hunter to when he attempted to relate to common folk by joking that he is unemployed to suggesting that we "hang" President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney is no stranger to the occasional gaffe and these few are the absolute best.

The Biggest Mitt Romney Gaffes Anything
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  1. 1
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    Too Much Time at Harvard

    April 5, 2012 - Speaking in Philadelphia, Mitt Romney suggested President Obama is out of touch because of all the time he spent at elite Harvard University - where Romney also went to school.

    We have a president who I think is a nice guy, but he spent too much time at Harvard, perhaps...
    Romney spent 4 years at Harvard, earning his JD/MBA. Obama only got his JD at the Cambridge, MA, institution, which means he was a Harvard student 1 year less than Romney.

    This is not the first time Romney has bashed his own alma mater. In September 2011 and again in March 2012, he attacked Obama for taking his advice from the "Harvard faculty lounge." Romney seems to have forgotten that one of his own top economic advisers is Harvard professor Greg Mankiw - and that he has received at least $32,000 in contributions from Harvard faculty and administrators.

  2. 2
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    Mitt Romney's 47 Percent

    In September of 2012, the website Mother Jones posted a video of Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida. At the event, held in May of 2012, Romney is seen and heard telling wealthy donors that roughly 47 percent of American voters see themselves as "victims" who are entitled to government help.

    Among other things, Romney said:

    Well, there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, 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. That that’s an entitlement and government should give it to them.

    Romney then went on to explain to the donors that it's not his role "to worry about those people," adding: "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

    Romney didn't stop there. He also went on to basically call his wife annoying (duh). When a donor asked about using Ann to attract more female voters, Romney said:

    We use Ann sparingly right now, so that people don't tired of her, or start attacking.

    In a hastily arranged press conference (after the video went viral, sparking a host of hilarious Internet reactions to his dismissal of half the country), an unapologetic Romney said:

    It's not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. I was speaking off the cuff in response to a question. And I'm sure I could state it more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that.

    Not surprisingly, Ann Romney defended her husband's remarks, saying they were "taken out of context." Then she lit into Mittens for dissing her in front of her wealthy friends, threatening to strap him to the top of her Escalade and ride him around town, Seamus-style.

  3. 3
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    I'm Also Unemployed


    "I'm also unemployed."

    Speaking to an unemployed group from Florida, Romney attempted to joke and relate to the audience by telling them that he too is unemployed, just like them. Though the group laughed, seeing as how Romney is worth an estimated $200 million, the joke didn't go over well upon further evaluation. So much for relating to struggling Americans.

  4. 4
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    We Ought to Double Guantanamo


    "Some people have said we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is we ought to double Guantanamo."

    Speaking at the South Carolina Republican Debate in May of 2007, Romney expressed his support of the controversial prison Guantanamo Bay. Despite coming under fire for its use of torture to interrogate terror suspects, especially using waterboarding, Romney spoke to the hearts of the Republican voters when he said he'd want to expand the prison, not close it down.

  5. 5
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    Corporations Are People


    "Corporations are people, my friend. We can raise taxes...Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? People's pockets. Human beings, my friend."

    While speaking at the Iowa State Fair in August of 2011, Romney was asked by an audience member about Social Security. (Specifically, the question was about including Social Security in the deficit negotiations, even though it does not add to the deficit.) Romney suggested that one way to save entitlements would be to raise taxes on individuals, and some hecklers in the crowd suggested instead taxing corporations more. Romney's answer was the above quote.

    Romney received some jeers from the audience after opining that corporations ARE people, and even had a chance to clarify that he meant corporations are seen LEGALLY as people. But instead of clarifying, he dug in a bit deeper, stating that corporations are people because they are made up of human employees and managers. (A Romney spokesperson hit the point home even more in a follow-up tweet, noting that corporations are groups of people who create jobs to bring on even more people.)

    Obviously, the wording led to some criticism of Romney from bloggers as well as political opponents. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the comment was an indication "that Romney and the Republicans on the campaign trail...have misplaced priorities" and called it a "shocking admission."

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    Supporting Our Nation


    "The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that's the way we're going to keep it. [O]ne of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I'd be a great president."

    One of many Mitt Romney gaffes that came as he sought the Republican presidential nomination for the 2008 election, one supporter back in 2007 asked the candidate if any of his five sons were serving in the U.S. military, and if not, what were they doing to fight the war on terror. Though Romney supported the war in Iraq, the gaffe came with his answer and the impression that his sons helping him win the election is more important than serving in the military.

  7. 7
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    Peacetime Spending

    "[Obama's stimulus program is] one of the biggest peacetime spending binges in American history."

    Explaining why he opposed the economic stimulus plan presented by President Barack Obama, Romney, in April 2011, made the mistake of referring to the United States as in "peacetime." The comment angered many, including the troops stationed in three theaters around the world at the time and numerous veterans domestically. Romney later apologized for the gaffe, stating that he really didn't mean to say "peacetime," rather remark that it was the biggest spending binge since World War II.

  8. 8
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    Rich People Are Smart

    "You might say, yeah but still, why don't you just raise the taxes on the rich some more?...I'd read an article in the Boston Globe some time ago that said the problem with rich people is that many of them are smart."

    This quote, which made the rounds - first on Talking Points Memo and later on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" - in mid-August 2011, just doesn't make a ton of sense. Is Romney saying that it's pointless to try to tax the rich, because they'll just get out of it? Or that the rich are smart, and therefore shouldn't have to pay more taxes? It also seems to imply that poor people are NOT all that smart, which may not be the best position to take for a presidential candidate going into an election year.

  9. 9
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    Who Let the Dogs Out?


    "Who let the dogs out? Who, who."

    Not so much a gaffe, so much as a cringe-worthy and utterly tone-deaf display of pandering. This embarrassing clip of Romney made the viral rounds back in January of 2008.

  10. 10
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    The10,000 Dollar Bet


    "You know what, you've raised that before Rick and you're simply wrong. Rick, I'll tell you what...10,000 bucks? 10,000 dollar bet?"

    During a debate, Rick Perry brought up that in Mitt Romney's first book, it stated that his mandate should be implimented throught the United Stats, it was subsequently removed from reprintings. But it was there to start, to this Mitt Romney extends his hand to Rick Perry and offers him a 10,000 dollar bet that he is wrong.

  11. 11
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    A Man and a Woman... and a Woman... and a Woman

    "I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman... and a woman... and a woman."

    Though he opposed same-sex marriage during his time as Massachusetts Governor citing a need to "protect the institution of marriage," Romney, a Mormon, made this joke about polygamy in both 2005 and 2006. The gaffe was pointed out by supporters of same-sex marriage in their campaign against him, making the joke considerably less funny both times he used it.

  12. 12
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    I Like To Fire People


    "It also means if you don't like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people that provide services to me. If someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I want to say that I'm going to get someone to provide that service for me. So that's one thing I'd change."

    On Monday (01/08/12) morning, addressing the Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Mitt Romney said he wants individuals to be able to choose among different health insurance policies as they seek coverage. "That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them," he said. He should have stopped there, but instead he continued and that gaff landed at number 12 on the list.

  13. 13
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    I'm a Hunter, or I'm Not


    "I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much all my life."

    "I'm not a big-game hunter. I've made that very clear. I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will. I began when I was 15 or so and I have hunted those kinds of varmints since then. More than two times."

    During his 2008 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney gave speeches just two days apart in April of 2007 and offered very differing views of whether he's a hunter or not. After stating that he supports the second amendment and has been hunting all his life to an NRA supporter, Romney clarified that stance 48 hours later by noting that when he means he's been hunting all his life, that means he's been hunting twice. Pretty sure anyone can do something more than two times but that does not qualify as doing it all of their life.

  14. 14
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    Osama... Barack Obama


    "Just look at what Osama... Barack Obama said just yesterday. Barack Obama calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types to come together in Iraq."

    Years before Fox News and others confused the United States President and the terrorist leader following the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, Mitt Romney was doing it during a speech in 2007. As then a Republican presidential hopeful, Romney stated that Barack Obama was calling on radicals to unite for terrorist acts. In reality, it was Osama bin Laden organizing the terrorist efforts, not the man that would in a few months become the 44th President of the United States.

  15. 15
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    We're Going to Hang Obama


    "Reagan came up with this great thing about the 'misery index' and he hung that around Jimmy Carter's neck and that had a lot to do with Jimmy Carter losing. Well, we’re going to have to hang the 'Obama Misery Index' around his neck... I'll tell you, the fact that you've got people in this country really squeezed, with gasoline getting so expensive, with commodities getting so expensive, families are having a hard time making ends meet. So, we're going to have to talk about that, and housing foreclosures and bankruptcies and higher taxation. We're going to hang him with that, so to speak, metaphorically."

    Though he caught himself almost immediately after saying it, Romney made this gaffe during a campaign stop in New Hampshire in April of 2011. Despite clarifying that he only meant to hang President Barack Obama "metaphorically," Romney's campaign later bashed the critics of the comments, calling the situation "a ridiculous exaggeration of his actual comments."

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