The pressure that comes with the intense schedule of a Presidential campaign has led many candidates to make unfortunate gaffes on the campaign trail. Even those already in office aren’t exempt from the occasional foot-in-mouth. Sometimes, the gaffes can even relate to food.
Case in point: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who made headlines this week when he asked for a “sub” in the heart of hoagie country. Come on, Mitt. While the hoagie vs. sub nomenclature is somewhat open to interpretation, anyone who’s anyone knows that Philly is the original birthplace of the hoagie. Not so impressive for someone who is about to have a sandwich named after him. In honor of Romney’s sandwich snafu, Food Republic counts down the top 10 politicians’ food and drink gaffes, from the out-of-touch to the downright humiliating.
10. Ford Will Take A Fourth
In the 1976 Presidential election, Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter condemned the “three-martini lunch” as an example of the unfairness of the nation’s tax laws. Incumbent President Gerald Ford responded, “The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?” The majority of the United States apparently disagreed with Ford’s philosophy.
9. The Blue Collared Courvoisier Man
While campaigning with Presidential candidate George McGovern in Youngstown, Ohio in 1972, running mate Sargent Shriver invited steel mill workers for drinks at a nearby bar. After ordering beers for all his guests, Shriver displayed his strong connection to the working class, proclaiming, “Make mine a Courvoisier!” The Democratic ticket would go on to lose to Richard M. Nixon.
8. Hey Ma, I Wanna Be President
Picky eaters nationwide were instantly provided with their perfect role model when the elder George Bush declared war… on broccoli. In 1990, he proclaimed of the healthy vegetable: “I do not like it. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”
7. Prohibition 2.0
2008 presidential candidate John McCain misspoke during a speech at the National Small Business Summit, declaring, “I will veto every single beer!” He would later lose the election to Barack Obama.
6. Dean’s List Student, Fraternity Member, Squirrel Fryer
Was 2008 primary Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee trying to cater to the youth of America when he revealed his personal favorite college food was, um, squirrel? “When I was in college, we used to take a popcorn popper — because that was the only thing they would let us use in the dorms — and we would fry squirrel…. I mean, it was a college thing.”
5. The Treaty of Verseafood
During a presidential campaign stop in Saginaw, Michigan in 2000, Presidential candidate George W. Bush stated his belief that he “know[s] the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully.” Perhaps skeptical that there was a fish uprising in the works, the people of Michigan voted for Al Gore.
4. Like Son, Like Father, Like Son
Continuing the trend of food-related Bushisms, Junior once quipped in 2000, “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” Hoping to come across as understanding to middle class Americans, Bush instead offered some sort of sympathy regarding the difficulties of intra-family food fights.
3. Are You Smarter Than A Quayle…
Can you spell potato? Former Vice President Dan Quayle couldn’t at a 1992 school spelling bee, when he erroneously corrected a 12 year old, adding a vowel, an “e,” when none was needed.
2. …It Would Appear That Way
The only thing worse than Quayle’s misspelling? His reaction to the extensive criticism he received. He first tried to blame his error on index cards provided to him by the school, before awkwardly joking with David Letterman that he has “tried creative spelling and it doesn’t work.”
1. “I Am A Doughnut”
In perhaps the most memorable and debatable instance of a politician’s misstep pertaining to food, President John F. Kennedy famously orated, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” during a 1963 speech underlining the United States’ support for West Germany after the construction of the Berlin Wall. While debate continues on whether or not Kennedy’s inclusion of the article “ein” was grammatically correct, it was widely reported that the President’s words translated to “I am a jelly-filled doughnut.” Oops.