A wise poet once said, “Did I do that?” And so has many a wise politician.
The “I misspoke” line, and its variations, is a staple of political backtracking. It’s also a more polite way of putting your foot in your mouth.
So have you ever lied? Said something false in a campaign-fuelled state of exhaustion? Been wrong simply out of sheer ignorance?
This slideshow is for you. Here’s our tribute to the phrase and its popular users.
When Mike Huckabee's spokesperson said that the former Arkansas governor didn't mean to say Obama grew up in Kenya but in Indonesia, it sounded plausible… at first.
Then we noticed the fact that he said Kenya at least six different times and mentioned specifically the Mau Mau Revolution, which very much took place in Kenya and not Indonesia.
Well, at least he tried.
So about that 1996 trip to Bosnia.
During the 2008 election, Hillary Clinton was telling an exciting tale about her diplomatic voyage, in which she said she had to run from her plane to a vehicle due to the threat of sniper fire. The goal of this anecdote, of course, was to give her some foreign policy cred.
Video footage of the event, which showed a casual and helmetless Clinton strolling out in the open, told a different story.
Cue Clinton's clarification: 'Now let me tell you what I can remember, OK -- because what I was told was that we had to land a certain way and move quickly because of the threat of sniper fire. So I misspoke -- I didn't say that in my book or other times but if I said something that made it seem as though there was actual fire -- that's not what I was told. I was told we had to land a certain way, we had to have our bulletproof stuff on because of the threat of sniper fire.'
Sure, Rudy Giuliani exaggerated the time he spent at Ground Zero after 9/11. But it was it was only because he cared too dang much.
Speaking to reporters in 2007 about his efforts, Giuliani said, 'I was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them.'
'Oh hell no,' said firefighters and police workers, including many who suffered injury and illness after participating in the hazardous cleanup.
After that, naturally, Giuliani changed his story.
'I think I could have said it better,' he told radio host Mike Gallagher. 'You know, what I was saying was, 'I'm there with you.''
Newt Gingrich got huge points after he blasted CNN host John King for bringing up accusations made by Gingrich's ex-wife during a nationally televised debate. Turns out he probably shouldn't have.
After telling King that his staff had provided ABC scores of personal friends to refute the former Mrs. Gingrich's claims, Gingrich was forced to walk back those statements.
His staff said it turns out those scores of personal friends didn't really exist. Whoops.
You can't help but see King smirk a little in this segment:
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