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Political Gaffes

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

Photograph by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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I Meant What I Said, and I Said What I Meant

A gaffe, Michael Kinsley observed, is when a politician tells the truth. On Sept. 17, a video surfaced showing Mitt Romney at a May fundraiser saying "there are 47 percent who are with [Barack Obama], who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims." Romney called his remarks inelegant and "off the cuff" but stood by them -- and a gaffe was born. Obama survived a similar storm in 2008 when he was secretly recorded at an event saying rural voters "cling to guns or religion." Time will tell if Romney's comments are merely comic fodder or a campaign game-changer. In the meantime, a look at some famous political gaffes of recent decades.