Political Gaffes

By Lauren Vicary - 2012-09-20T17:59:04Z

Photograph by Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo

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The Red-Meat Gaffe

Some gaffes can help a candidate with his or her base, especially if they are seen as giving the enemy a good body check. While waving to a cheering crowd at an Illinois campaign event in 2000, George W. Bush was unaware his microphone was open. Pointing to a reporter in the crowd, he said, "There's Adam Clymer, major-league a--hole from the New York Times." Dick Cheney replied, "Oh yeah, he is, big time." Al Gore's campaign jumped on Bush for his language and disregard for the reporter. Bush didn't apologize, and while Democrats enjoyed the gaffe, so did some of Bush's supporters, who either liked the candidate's directness, agreed with his disdain for a member of the press, or both.