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2012 US Election: top 10 biggest blunders

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Despite the thousands of hours of organising and planning that went into this year’s US election, there were bound to be some mistakes.

Some were ridiculous, some worrying and some, luckily for us, were hilarious.

Here are our top 10 favourites:

1)      “Exporting Jobs”
In a rally in Kent, Ohio, President Obama confused jobs with products, causing him to utter the unfortunate phrase “I want us to export more jobs.” He quickly corrected himself and blamed the unfortunate gaffe on Governor Romney – “Excuse me, I was channelling my opponent there for a second.”

2)      “47%”
At a fundraising event earlier this year, Romney was secretly recorded saying that 47% of Americans believe they are victims and feel entitled to government handouts. He went on to say that that 47% who pay no taxes would always vote for Obama because they are dependent on the government and he would therefore never be able to convince them. Sounds like the Governor was already regretting his opposition.

3)      “#invisibleobama”
At the Republican Party Conference, Clint Eastwood ‘supported’ Governor Romney by disparagingly addressing an empty chair with questions for President Obama. He ended the mock-interview by saying "When somebody doesn't do the job, you gotta let 'em go," before drawing a finger across his throat. Far from strengthening Romney’s campaign, the actor’s bizarre performance spurned thousands of social media jokes and parodies, many hashtagged with the phrase #invisibleobama. The President himself later responded by tweeting a picture of himself in his presidential chair titled “This seat’s taken.”

4)      “disconcerting signs”
Back in July, Governor Romney questioned London’s readiness for the Olympic games citing the problems with security and immigration as “obviously... not something which is encouraging.” Prime Minister Cameron was unimpressed with the comments: ““Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic games in the middle of nowhere,” he snapped.

5)      “I like to be able to fire people”
Governor Romney seemed to relish a love of firing people in a poorly worded speech earlier this year regarding mandatory health care. Not a particularly sensible angle to take in an election fuelled by the economy.

6)      Obama’s baseball bat
In July, President Obama was photographed on the phone to the Turkish prime minister wielding a rather large baseball bat. Political figures in Turkey have interpreted the picture as vaguely menacing and branded it ‘insulting’. Obamacare or Obamasmash?

7)      “people’s pockets”
At the Iowa County Fair last August, Governor Romney tried to ram home a point by claiming that “corporations are people” and going on to say that everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. When he was met with disbelieving laughter his shock and indignation were hard to disguise as he asked “where do you think it goes?” They replied “In your pockets!” to which he responded “Whose pockets? People’s pockets!” with a smile of victory. This rather childish wordplay landed him in immediate hot water with the opposition.

8)      “I love Big Bird”
Governor Romney apologised for his decision to cut the subsidy to PBS by lamenting that he too liked PBS, specifically singling out Big Bird as a particular favourite. This lead to national internet mockery which included a Big Bird parody Twitter account with the bio “Can’t sleep; they’re coming for me :’(“, videos attacking Romney for “killing the one we all know and love” and hundreds of posters and ‘gifs’ with slogans such as “Obama got Bin Laden: I’ll get Big Bird!”

9)      “I’m not concerned about the very poor”
In an interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, Governor Romney said that he was in this election race because he cares about Americans, but then went on to say that he was not concerned with the poor. He went on to stress that this was because his campaign was focused on the middle classes, though unfortunately by then the damage was done.

10)   The definite winner
Gaffe number 10 is so perfect in its simplicity that it must be quoted in full. In February, Governor Romney criticized the president for listening to Reverend Jeremiah Wright. At a press conference three months later, a reporter asked Romney if he still stood by his comments, to which he responded“I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said. Whatever it was.” Spoken like a true leader.

And the winner clearly is... Governor Romney! Still, he had to win something didn’t he?

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