Spokesperson Bloopers and Blunders

Spokespeople are supposed to help guide a political campaign, not get it into hot water. Check out some of the worst slip-ups made by political spokespeople.

July 31, 2012

Mitt's Travelling Press Secy. Says "Kiss My ***"

Mitt Romney's travelling press secretary, Rick Gorka, reprimanded reporters traveling with the candidate on his six-day foreign trip to London, Israel and Poland, telling them to "kiss my a**" after they shouted questions from behind a rope line.

As Romney left the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, Poland and walked toward his motorcade parked in Pilsudski Square, reporters began shouting questions like: "Governor Romney, are you concerned about some of the mishaps of your trip."

And "Governor Romney, do you have a statement for the Palestinians?"

The reporters were interrogating from behind the line where campaign staffers had told them to stand. Many of the reporters had been frustrated that Romney refused to answer questions from the American journalists earlier in the week at 10 Downing Street in London. As a response to the unruliness of the reporters, Gorka bit back saying, "show some respect."

"This is a holy site for the Polish people," he added.

"We haven't had another chance to ask a question," one reporter noted to Gorka.

Gorka told another journalist to "shove it."

January 29, 2011

Obama Adviser Mistakes 4-Star Gen. For Waiter

Unintentional faux pas can often be worse than blunt ones. In February, 2011 White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett mistook the Vice Chief of Staff of Army for a waiter- even asking him for a drink.

Jarrett, a senior advisor and assistant to the president for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs, was attending the annual Alfalfa Club dinner and was seated at the head table with other luminaries such as White House chief of staff Bill Daley, Supreme Court justices John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, the German and British ambassadors and Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the vice chief of staff.

Chiarelli was walking by in his dress uniform with a chest full of medals and four stars on each sleeve when Jarrett asked him, "Could I please get another glass of wine?"

Obama's adviser mistook Chiarelli, who previously served as commander of the multi-national corps— for wait staff.

Once Jarrett realized her disconcerting mistake, she said "Oh my God, I'm so sorry!"

According to a bystander at her table, she was "mortified."

The four-star general had a sense of humor about the situation, laughing about it and bringing Jarrett a glass of wine.

July 26, 2012

Campaign Manager Says Bachmann's Crossing "Kook Line"

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's former campaign manager, Ed Rollins, was never afraid to let people know how he felt about Bachmann during her run for the presidential bid in 2012.

Rollins' came at Bachmann in a National Review story regarding tensions possibly rising between Republican House leadership and the potential presidential candidate. Her inability to consult with the leadership on most of her initiatives as well as her recent charges of the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating the government sparked this response from Rollins.

"If she's not careful, she's going to become irrelevant," her former campaign manager said. "She's on the intelligence committee and people assume that she has information that no one else has. So when she goes out and makes a charge, it has added weight. She's close to crossing that 'kook line,' and Boehner and the others may be ready to dismiss her as a serious player."

May 26, 2012

Spokesman Wants to "Hurl Some Acid"

Jay Townsend, a spokesman for New York Rep. Nan Hayworth faced criticism after advocating violence against female Democratic senators in a Facebook post in May.

The official campaign spokesman for the Republican rep. went on an online rant tirade taunting a constituent, named Tom, who voiced criticism about an earlier post on that he had made concerning gas prices. "Listen to Tom. What a little bee he has in his bonnet. Buzz Buzz," Townsend posted.

"My question today... when is Tommy boy going to weigh in on all the Lilly Ledbetter hypocrites who claim to be fighting the War on Women? Let's hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won't abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector."

The gruesome suggestion outraged from constituents who quickly responded. "?'Hurl some acid' Jay Townsend? Do you realize what that means?" one person wrote.

"Acid attacks are particularly brutal, aimed almost solely at women, with the intent to maim and disfigure. I couldn't imagine a worse piece of invective from someone who puts the Republican war on women in quotes."

October, 24, 2011

Chief of Staff Smokes in Web Ad

A rather odd campaign strategy came from Presidential candidate Herman Cain's chief of staff and campaign manager, Mark Block. In October, 2011 the Cain campaign released a quirky web video featuring Block smoking a cigarette.

Block says in the ad, "We need you to get involved, because together we can do this. We can take this country back." At the end of the ad, Block is shown taking a long drag from a cigarette and blowing smoke into the camera lens as Tea Party singer Krista Branch's song "I Am America" provides the background music.

Though the web ad seems like an embarrassing attempt at campaign swagger, Block seemed proud of his creation saying, "We've run a campaign like nobody's ever seen but, then, America's never seen a candidate like Herman Cain."

March 10, 2011

Comments on Prisoner Treatment Cause Crowley to Resign

In 2011, Former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told an audience at MIT that he thought the Pentagon's treatment of alleged WikiLeaks source Private Bradley Manning was "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid."

The remarks were made as a part of a lecture on "the benefits of news media as it relates to foreign policy" at an event organized by MIT's Center for Future Civic Media.

"What's being done to Bradley Manning by my colleagues at the Department of Defense 'is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.' Crowley declared 'None the less Bradley Manning is in the right place'. He continued to explain why in Washington's view, 'there is sometimes a need for secrets... for diplomatic progress to be made.'

Later that week, Crowley resigned under pressure to step down as State Department spokesperson from the White House.

Crowley resigned writing in a statement, "My recent comments regarding the conditions of the pre-trial detention of Private First Class Bradley Manning were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership."

"Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility, I have submitted my resignation as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Spokesman for the Department of State."

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