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The 12 Worst Gaffes of the 2008 Election  

By William Rabbe on 07/15/2008

Filed under: Lists

By Sarah Scully and William Rabbe

Every candidate makes mistakes every election cycle -- but in 2008, with the popularization of online video, they're more noticeable. The following is a list of the top 12 worst gaffes of 2008 (so far).

12. Lightning Strikes Rudy Giuliani While Former Candidate Rudy Giuliani was explaining his pro-choice position on abortion, lightning strikes, disrupting the audio from his microphone. The lesson? Candidates should remember that God is always watching.

11. Barack Obama's Botches Tornado Death Toll Numbers Barack Obama vastly over-stated the number of deaths resulting from tornados in Kansas, saying 10,000 people died. The reality: 12.

10. John McCain's Sunni/ Shi'ite Mixup One of a few McCain gaffes, the candidate mixed up the two major sects of Islam in claiming that Shiite Iran was training the Sunni Al Queda-- but thank goodness for Joe Lieberman!

9. Obama's Presumptuous Logo Obama came under fire for using a logo that closely resembled the Presidential Seal -- not a smart move -- he was quickly accused of measuring the drapery in the White House...

8. Joe Biden's Comments on "Clean" Obama Yikes, Joe Biden attempts to praise Barack Obama but mistakenly calls him "clean and articulate" -- seen as a racially insensitive move.

7. Mike Huckabee's NRA Speech Huckabee tries to be funny but instead draws criticism when giving a speech at the NRA -- uttering that somebody off camera had "pointed a gun at Barack Obama."

6. Hillary Clinton's RFK Comment Hillary Clinton appeared to be hoping for the worst when she described June as the month when "anything can happen" -- in this case, she referenced that in 1968 Democratic frontrunner Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Not a politic thing to say, especially when her rival, Barack Obama has been compared to RFK countless times and when many shared the growing perception that Clinton would do anything to win.

5. Michelle Obama's "Proud" Remarks Michelle Obama learned that she needed to be careful while on the stump -- her comments that "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country," implied to many that she hadn't been proud of America until only recently. Careful careful!!

4. McCain's 100 Years Comment The downside to being a "straight-talker" is that sometimes you can make remarks that may be exaggeratedly harsh -- to make his point on Iraq, John McCain said there might be a military presence in Iraq for 100 years. Democratic groups leapt on the comments, which proved to be immensely unpopular as Americans grow more war-weary.

3. McCain's Economic Confessions "I know a lot less about economics that I know about military and foreign policy issues" were perhaps the worst remarks John McCain could have said, as the economy has become the #1 issue in this election. Again, "straight talk" can get you in trouble!!

2. Obama's San Francisco "Bitter" Remarks Probably the last thing Obama should have uttered about small-town voters, especially while at a San Francisco fundraiser, he said "it's not surprising that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them." The comment gave Clinton much ammunition and McCain allies may ressurect the quote for the general election.

1. Clinton's Bosnia Adventure The number one biggest gaffe of the 2008 Presidential election was Hillary Clinton's dramatic exaggeration of her landing in Bosnia in 1996, "under sniper fire." Was it an attempt to bolster her "experience" claim? Or was it a legitimate "misstatement"? We may never know for sure, but the video of the actual event sure did contradict much of her very descriptive story.