Photo: Facebook/Barack Obama
A historic election in 2012 began with a Republican primary that offered never-ending drama and ended with the re-election of President Barack Obama to a second term.Along the way, there were some pretty memorable moments — from the earliest days of the “War on Women” to Clint Eastwood’s unforgettable speech at the Republican National Convention.
Here, we’ve compiled the most memorable moments from this year’s political rollercoaster.
JAN. 9: Romney tells a New Hampshire audience 'I like being able to fire people,' kicking off a year of rich-guy gaffes.
JAN. 25: Days before getting trounced in Florida's Republican primary, Gingrich throws up a Hail Mary and promises to establish the first permanent moon base by the end of his second term. His campaign never recovers.
FEB. 29: Conservative firebrand Rush Limbaugh calls Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a 'slut' and a 'prostitute' during his nationally syndicated talk radio show, launching the 'War On Women' and turning Fluke into an overnight ubiquity.
MARCH 23: President Barack Obama speaks out about the death of Trayvon Martin, wading into the racially-charged firestorm over the Florida teen's murder.
APRIL 11: Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen slams Ann Romney on CNN, saying the wife of the Republican presidential nominee 'never worked a day in her life.' The remarks spark a Twitter war, and give Republicans a win in the 'War on Women.' The world also finds out that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney knows at least 'three Hillary Rosens.'
MAY 9: Under pressure after Vice President Joe Biden's unplanned public support of gay marriage, Obama shifts positions and says he believes same-sex marriage should be legal in an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts.
JUNE 15: Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro interrupts and heckles Obama during a major immigration reform announcement in the White House Rose Garden.
JUNE 28: The Supreme Court upholds the Affordable Care Act, delivering Obama and congressional Democrats a tremendous political and legal victory. CNN and Fox News bungle the verdict, initially reporting that the law had been overturned.
JULY: Within hours of arriving in London to start his overseas tour, Romney puts his foot in his mouth and leaves it there. His gaffes -- which included insulting London's Olympic Games -- prompted cutting insults from the British press and Prime Minister David Cameron. To top it off, London's flamboyant mayor Boris Johnson drove 60,000 Londoners into a frenzy by mocking Romney at an Olympic torch rally in Hyde Park.
Watch the video below:
JULY 13: Obama tells a crowd in Roanoke, Va., 'If you've got a business, you didn't build that -- somebody else made that happen.' The line goes on to dominate Republican attacks against the President, and even becomes the theme of the GOP national convention.
JULY 20: Obama cancels campaign events to address the shooting massacre at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colo., which left 12 people dead and 58 more injured.
AUGUST: In a shrewd political move, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that he had heard Mitt Romney had not paid any federal income taxes for 10 years -- a baseless accusation Reid attributed to unnamed sources at Bain Capital. When pundits and Republicans tried to call Reid out, however, the Nevada Democrat just doubled down in remarks on the Senate floor, saying that the 'word is out he hasn't paid any taxes in 10 years.' We'll never know if Reid was right -- and therein lies the rub.
AUG. 7: The pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA releases the most brutal ad of the 2012 campaign. The spot features a former steelworker telling the camera that after Bain Capital shut down the mill he worked for, he and his family lost their health insurance and his wife died of cancer. The message is clear: Romney will do anything for profits -- even kill your wife.
AUG. 30: Clint Eastwood upstages Romney at the Republican National Convention with an absurdist soliloquy addressing an empty chair. The routine provides endless late-night material and inspires the short-lived viral trend known as 'Eastwooding.'
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow described it best, in her priceless reaction after the speech: 'That was the weirdest thing I've seen at a political convention in my entire life. And it will be the weirdest thing even if I live to be 100.'
SEPT. 5: Clinton drives liberals into a frenzy with a 54-minute convention speech, laying out the party's most effective argument for Obama's re-election, and upstaging the President's own snoozy speech the following night.
SEPT. 17: In one secretly-recorded video, Romney manages to insult nearly half of Americans -- plus Latinos and Palestinians -- in a video secretly recorded at a May 17 fundraiser and leaked to Mother Jones. Democrats gleefully seize the unfortunate '47 per cent' remarks, and Romney nosedives in the polls.
OCT. 3: Obama completely blows his first debate, sending Democrats into a panic spiral. Romney bounces back.
OCT. 3: Romney declares that while he likes Big Bird, he still wants to cut funding for PBS. The Internet spawns a meta-debate about the relative merits and disadvantages of firing Big Bird and his fellow Sesame Street characters.
OCT. 11: Biden laughs his way through his debate against his V.P. opponent Paul Ryan, twice dismissing the Wisconsin Republican's claims as 'malarkey.' Miriam Webster searches for 'malarkey' definitions shot up 3,000 per cent in 24 hours, setting a record for the dictionary.
OCT. 16: In the second presidential debate, Romney says he received 'binders full of women' while recruiting candidates for his Cabinet in Massachusetts. The Internet explodes.
OCT. 16: Obama struck back in the second presidential debate, backing Romney into a corner on the issue of the Sept. 11 attacks in Libya. As the Republican candidate self-destructed onstage, the President responded with a cool 'Please proceed, Governor.'
OCT. 22: Obama strikes with another zinger in the third presidential debate, responding to Romney's claim that the U.S. Navy has fewer ships than it did in 1916: ''Well Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.' The Internet lights up over the remark.
NOV. 6: Obama wins re-election handily and delivers a powerful acceptance speech that leaves many wondering where that version of the President had been during the campaign.
DEC. 16: Obama addresses the grieving community of Newtown, Conn., in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. His remarks are praised by commentators on both sides of the aisle, with some even going so far as to call it his 'Gettysburg address.'
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