Excuse Me? Would You Please Repeat That?

by Norman Horowitz

Mitt Romney is an “off the cuff” disaster. I can only wonder what he would say were he to become our President.

I believe that Romney was trying very hard to communicate something very important when he said the following:

“Corporations are people, my friend…of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People’s pockets. Human beings, my friend.”

“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.”

“I should tell my story. I’m also unemployed.”

“There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.”

I can understand a mistake or two when discussing such complex issues as global warming or the federal budget, but these comments qualify as a genuine “Good grief!”

Just for fun, let’s take a trip down memory lane. My favorite “off the cuff” disaster was Vice President Dan Quayle, whose quotes put Mitt Romney’s to shame. Here are some of his classic moments:

“If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.”

“Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.”

“Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.”

“Mars is essentially in the same orbit… Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.”

“The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history. I mean in this century’s history. But we all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century.”

“I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.”

“The future will be better tomorrow.”

“We’re going to have the best-educated American people in the world.”

“We have a firm commitment to NATO; we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe.”

“I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican.”

“I love California; I practically grew up in Phoenix.”

“It’s wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago.”

“A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.”

“When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame.”

“Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.”

“We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.”

“For NASA, space is still a high priority.”

“Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.”

“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.”

“[It’s] time for the human race to enter the solar system.”

“The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make.”

“Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.”

“I stand by all the misstatements that I’ve made.”

I continue to wonder why the United States of America is unable to find better candidates for high office than Dan Quayle or Mitt Romney. Where have we as a nation failed?