The Fix: gaffes

‘Binders full of women’: Liability or sideshow?

‘Binders full of women’: Liability or sideshow?

The social media and political echo chamber have spoken: Mitt Romney’s remark in Tuesday’s presidential debate about “binders full of women” is the hottest topic in the land.

Romney’s comment about gathering female applicants for his cabinet in Massachusetts was decidedly awkward. But Democrats are insisting it was more than that — indicative of the way in which Romney thinks about females.

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Introducing the Joe Biden Gaffe-o-Meter

Introducing the Joe Biden Gaffe-o-Meter

Whoops, he did it again.

Vice President Joe Biden, speaking at a campaign event in Charlotte, North Carolina today, had this to say about the policies supported by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan: “How they can justify … raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years?

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Romney wanders into the slippery slope of birtherism

The first rule of birtherism is you don’t talk about birtherism unless you want to be labeled a birther.

Mitt Romney is the latest Republican to find this out the hard way.Romney’s decision to crack a joke about his and his wife’s birth certificates at an event in Michigan on Friday is the latest example of a Republican getting tripped up by even getting close to the continued questioning by some on the right of President Obama’s birth certificate.

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How many Republicans agree with Todd Akin on abortion?

How many Republicans agree with Todd Akin on abortion?

Rep. Todd Akin’s statements on “legitimate rape” and his position on restricting abortion have left him with a shrinking number of defenders, even within his own party.

But despite his ill-chosen words, the basis of his position on abortion — that it should be illegal in all cases — is shared by a significant number of Republicans, even as there is a wide range of opinions on how far to go.

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A brief history of Todd Akin’s controversial statements

A brief history of Todd Akin’s controversial statements

When Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said in an interview broadcast Sunday that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy, he triggered a national backlash andwidespreaddenunciations.

Before the interview, Akin was a low-profile congressman largely unknown outside Missouri. But those who have followed his career know that Akin has stoked controversy with his public statements andpositions on a range of subjects. Here’s a look at other controversial things Akin has said (Politicker and MSNBCalso have usefulrundowns):

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Could Todd Akin’s gaffe actually help the GOP in Missouri?

Could Todd Akin’s gaffe actually help the GOP in Missouri?

With a single interview that aired Sunday, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) created a giant political headache for his entire party. But if he ends his Senate bid soon (a big if, considering his apparent willingness to press ahead the last couple of days), he will deliver a huge dose of political aspirin to the entire GOP. And his controversial comments might well end up as a net positive for his party’s chances to reclaim the Senate majority.

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Could Todd Akin’s gaffe actually help the GOP in Missouri?

Could Todd Akin’s gaffe actually help the GOP in Missouri?

With a single interview that aired Sunday, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) created a giant political headache for his entire party. But if he ends his Senate bid soon (a big if, considering his apparent willingness to press ahead the last couple of days), hewill deliver a huge dose of political aspirin to the entire GOP.And hiscontroversialcomments might well end up as a net positive for his party’s chances to reclaim the Senate majority.

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Jim Talent says he won’t replace Todd Akin in Missouri

Rep. Todd Akin says he will stay in the Missouri Senate race and former senator Jim Talent does not want toreplacehim, President Obama holds a press conference, and the DSCC raises $5.84 million in July.

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Todd Akin, GOP Senate candidate: ‘Legitimate rape’ rarely causes pregnancy

Todd Akin, GOP Senate candidate: ‘Legitimate rape’ rarely causes pregnancy

Last updated at 9:02 p.m. with the Romney campaign’s response.

Rep. Todd Akin, the newly-christened GOP Senate nominee in Missouri, said in an interview airing Sunday that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy.

Explaining his no-exceptions policy on abortions, Akin was asked why he opposes abortion even when the pregnancy is the result of rape.

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Rudy Giuliani: Biden’s a joke

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) suggested Sunday that his previous criticism of Vice President Biden might have been a little over the top, but reiterated that he has real concerns about Biden’s gaffes on the campaign trail and labeled the vice president “a joke.”

“Joe’s a laugh riot on Jay Leno; he’s not a vice president,” Giuliani said on NBC’s “Press Pass.” “He’s a joke.”

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Rick Santorum says Biden played the ‘race card’

Rick Santorum says Biden played the ‘race card’

Top Mitt Romney surrogate Rick Santorum said Sunday that Vice President Biden was “playing the race card” when he said last week that Republicans want to deregulate Wall Street and put people “back in chains.”

Biden’s comment, made in front of a southern Virginia audience that included many African-Americans, has drawn fire from Republicans who say it was racially insensitive.

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President Obama booed over Red Sox joke

President Obama (re)learned a political lesson as old as time on Monday night: Don’t mess with the Boston Red Sox in Massachusetts. Like, ever.

The president was reportedly booed at a fundraiser in Boston after making reference to a trade this week between his hometown Chicago White Sox and the BoSox.

“Finally Boston, I just want to say: Thank you for Youkilis,” Obama said, referring to longtime Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was traded to the White Sox on Sunday.

It didn’t go over well with the crowd. Reporters in the room said Obama was booed, as did the White House transcript and Obama himself.

“I didn’t think I’d get any boos out of here,” Obama said. ”I should not have brought up baseball. I understand. My mistake. My mistake. You gotta know your crowd.”

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Why Obama’s hot mike moment stings

President Obama was caught on a hot mike in South Korea suggesting to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” in missile defense negotiations after he wins reelection.

“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama said of incoming Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, who will replace Medvedev in May. “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”

Click to watch the video

This statement is 100 percent true.

“The fact is that we’re in the middle of a presidential campaign,” said former Maine senator and Defense Secretary Bill Cohen in an interview on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” today. “Any issue of great substance is not going to be decided or debated.”

Unfortunately for Obama, it’s also a pretty big gift for Republicans, who were already set to rehash Obama’s first-term health care agenda this week and plan to argue that the president would do bigger (read: more liberal) things as a lame duck president.

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Rick Santorum at odds with conservative base on issue of women in combat

Rick Santorum may have committed one of the relatively few gaffes of his GOP presidential campaign by suggesting Thursday that women shouldn’t serve in combat roles because of “other types of emotions that are involved.”


Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania senator Santorum listens to a student's question at Oral Roberts University, Feb. 9, 2012, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Eric Gay - Associated Press)

Exactly what he meant by “other types of emotions” will be litigated in the hours and days ahead. But it’s also important to note that, even without the reference to emotions, Santorum’s position on the issue is at odds with most Americans and even the GOP base.

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Mitt Romney says he ‘misspoke’ about lack of concern for poor

Mitt Romney said in an interview set to air Thursday evening that he “misspoke” when he said that he was “not concerned about the very poor.”

In an interview with Nevada’s “Face to Face with Jon Ralston,” the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential front-runner said he merely flubbed a line that he has said before.

“It was a misstatement; I misspoke,” Romney said, according to a transcript provided to The Fix. “I’ve said something that is similar to that but quite acceptable for a long time.”

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