'Oops' ... Top Political Gaffes of 2011

With the campaign season in full swing, the opportunity for gaffes and missteps is ripe, and 2011 did not disappoint. The Republican presidential candidates endured countless hours of airtime and were inevitably captured making the occasional goof. In Washington, lawmakers and members of the Obama administration notched a few doozies of their own. Here are FoxNews.com's top nine political gaffes of 2011.

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/perry_debateoops-1.jpg?ve=1&tl=1


    Oops.  Rick Perry's memory lapse may go down as the most memorable moment of this presidential primary season.  At a November debate in Michigan, Perry famously struggled to name the three federal agencies he wants to eliminate.  "It's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education and the, uh, what's the third one there?" he said. During a painful pause, the moderators pressed him on the third one -- when somebody suggested the EPA, Perry at first joked that the EPA was the third one then conceded it wasn't.  He tried once more. "Education, the, uh, Commerce and let's see, I can't, the third one, I can't, sorry. Oops," Perry said.  The moment underscored concerns about Perry's debating ability. Perry tried to brush it off, making light of the flub by admitting he "stepped in it."  "There are some agencies of government I'd like to forget," Perry said at the time.  Oh yeah, and the third one? It was the Department of Energy.
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/cain_herman.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    What's My Libya Policy Again?

    What's My Libya Policy Again? Herman Cain had his share of problems -- namely all those allegations of inappropriate sexual advances. But his response to a question about the U.S. intervention in Libya didn't help, as the businessman with no government experience tried to make the case that he was prepared to be commander in chief.  "Libya ... President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Qaddafi," Cain said when asked about Libya during an editorial board meeting.  He continued: "I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason -- nope, that's a different one. I gotta go back ... Got all this stuff twirling around in my head."  After asking again what the question was, Cain eventually said he would have done a better job assessing the opposition in Libya, though he supported efforts to stop Qaddafi from killing Libyan citizens.
    2011 AP
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/bachmann_bus.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    The Gaffe Heard 'Round the Campaign Trail

    The Gaffe Heard 'Round the Campaign Trail Michele Bachmann, who leads the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives, jumbled her Revolutionary War history at a stop in March in New Hampshire.  "You're the state where the shot was heard 'round the world at Lexington and Concord," she told the crowd.  Problem is, the war did not begin in Concord, N.H. It was at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts.  Bachmann, who had not yet launched her campaign for president, later admitted to the error on her Facebook page, saying: "So I misplaced the battles Concord and Lexington by saying they were in New Hampshire. It was my mistake, Massachusetts is where they happened. New Hampshire is where they are still proud of it!"
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/palin_va_100811.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    The Americans Are Coming, the Americans Are Coming

    The Americans Are Coming, the Americans Are Coming Sarah Palin, unlike Michele Bachmann, did not admit fault after claiming on a trip to Boston that Paul Revere was warning the British on his famous midnight ride.  "He who warned the British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms, by ringing those bells, and making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free," she said at the time.  Palin afterward claimed Revere was indeed warning the British that the Americans were already there.  Revere, however, set out on his midnight ride to warn fellow American patriots about the advance of British troops.
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/clapper_james.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Muslim Brotherhood, Secular Organization?

    Muslim Brotherhood, Secular Organization? At the dawn of the Arab Spring in Egypt early this year, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed that the country's Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular."  Clapper made the claim at a Capitol Hill hearing, downplaying the group's religious underpinnings.  However, the DNI office later had to put out a statement to "clarify" the claim. While the Brotherhood has tried to work through a political system that is largely secular, Clapper "is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization," the DNI office said.
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/biden_flint2_101211.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Biden's Dire Warning

    Biden's Dire Warning Vice President Biden was relatively low-key in 2011, but he drew heated criticism from Republicans in October for claiming rapes and murders would increase if Congress didn't approve a new state aid package.  "Murder will continue to rise, rape will continue to rise," he said.  Biden first made the claim in Flint, Mich., saying murders and rapes skyrocketed between 2008 and 2010.  His office said he got the stats from the city police department. However, while FBI figures did reflect a significant rise in murders, the number of reported forcible rapes actually declined in that period.  FactCheck.org claimed it figured out the discrepancy. A city spokeswoman told the site that the 2010 number counted "all cases of criminal sexual conduct," and not just rapes.  "That's an apples-to-oranges comparison," FactCheck.org wrote.  As Republicans accused Biden of using "scare tactics," the White House stood by the underlying message -- that having fewer police officers can impact the crime rate in a community.
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/netanyahu-sarkozy-obama2.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Bibi Bashing

    Bibi Bashing Relations between the U.S. and Israeli governments aren't at a high point. And a private conversation about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu captured by reporters didn't help matters.  A French website reported in early November that President Obama was heard talking to French President Nicolas Sarkozy about the Israeli leader at a G20 summit.  Sarkozy told Obama, "Netanyahu, I can't stand him. He's a liar."  Obama responded: "You are sick of him, but I have to work with him every day."  The White House declined to comment on the reports.
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/sensenbrenner_jameshearing.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    He Went There

    He Went There Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner was caught talking out of school about -- gasp -- the first lady's figure.  A blog first reported that the Wisconsin Republican was overheard recalling a conversation he had with a woman who was praising Michelle Obama. According to the account, the congressman told her that Obama -- who has pushed her "Let's Move!" campaign and others to improve childhood eating habits -- should follow her own advice.  "She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself," Sensenbrenner reportedly was overheard saying.  Sensenbrenner did not deny making the comments and said he would apologize.
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/kyl_jon_121711.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Not a Factual Statement

    Not a Factual Statement Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., earned special treatment from comedian Stephen Colbert earlier this year for a claim he made about Planned Parenthood.  Initially, Kyl declared that 90 percent of its activities were related to abortion -- an exaggeration many times over.  A Kyl aide was later quoted saying the remark "was not intended to be a factual statement."  Colbert took to his Twitter page to tweak the senator over the comment, publishing a slew of not-factual statements about him.  Among them: "Jon Kyl is one of Gaddafi's sexy female ninja guards."
Image 1 of 8