The Ultimate Political Gaffe Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
2 min
Which president is known for the Bay of Pigs disaster?
Johnson
Kennedy
President Kennedy authorized the Bay of Pigs invasion in an effort to overthrow Fidel Castro. U.S.-led forces were easily defeated, resulting in embarrassment for the U.S. and its president.
Nixon

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Which president is known for the Iran-Contra debacle?
Ford
Bush
Reagan
The Iran-Contra affair put a blemish on Reagan's record when he allowed the U.S. to sell weapons to Iran and use the profits to fund rebel fighters in Nicaragua.

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What year did Howard Dean unleash his famous scream?
2004
Howard Dean's scream of enthusiasm at the 2004 Iowa Caucus came out very awkward when his voice cracked mid-yell.
2008
2012

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Which politician has trouble spelling potato?
George Bush
Michael Dukakis
Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle was determined to add an "e" to the end of potato while judging a 1992 spelling bee in New Jersey.

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What state was Rick Perry governor of in 2011?
Texas
Texas Gov. Rick Perry had an oops moment in 2011 when he promised to eliminate three agencies of government if elected — but wasn't able to specify which agencies should go.
California
Alabama

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Sarah Palin embarrassed herself during a 2008 interview when she couldn't name a single one of these.
former Presidents
news sources
When asked by Katie Couric where she got her news, Palin was unable to name a single newspaper or report that she enjoyed.
states bordering Alaska

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What percent of people don't pay taxes, according to Mitt Romney?
10 percent
47 percent
Romney made headlines when he stated that 47 percent of people will always vote for Democrats because they live off the government and pay no taxes.
90 percent

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What happened when Sen. Gary Hart dared reporters to follow him in 1988?
nothing
He shot one of them.
They photographed his mistress.
After daring reporters to follow him because he had nothing to hide, Colorado Sen. Gary Hart was discovered having an affair.

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How did Adm. James Stockdale start his speech at the 1992 vice-presidential debate?
"Vote for me."
"I believe in this country."
"Why am I here?"
The relatively unknown Stockdale sunk his chances for election when he started his speech asking the audience, "Why am I here?" Turns out, no one was really sure.

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How long did Tom Eagleton hold the Democratic VP nomination in 1972?
18 days
After declaring himself to be "1,000 percent for Tom Eagleton," running mate McGovern dropped Eagleton from his campaign just 18 days later.
180 days
18 months

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What did President Grant want to do with freed slaves back in the 1870s?
ship them to the Caribbean
Grant felt that whites and blacks could never get along, so he dedicated himself to shipping 4 million free blacks to the Caribbean island of Santo Domingo.
help them live in harmony with whites
make them slaves again

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What was the Watergate scandal named for?
a car
a person
a hotel
President Nixon resigned after members of his campaign staff broke into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in 1972.

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What did Michael Dukakis ride in that made people mock him?
hot air balloon
red wagon
tank
Dukakis took a ride in a tank to prove he was tough on crime. It made him the butt of many jokes and may have cost him the election in 1988.

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What year did Gerald Ford declare Poland free from Soviet influence?
1968
1976
During a 1976 debate, Ford made jaws drop when he declared the heavily Soviet Poland to be free of Soviet influence.
1980

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What state is Todd Akin from?
Alabama
Texas
Missouri
Missouri congressman Todd Akin drew plenty of ire when he used the term "legitimate rape" in 2012 while discussing abortion rights.

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Al Gore claimed he invented the internet.
TRUE
FALSE
Contrary to rumor, Gore never claimed to invent the internet. Instead, he mentioned during a March 1999 interview that he used his role as a politician to create the right environment for the internet to thrive.

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What year did George Bush famously debate Geraldine Ferraro?
1984
Bush faced the first female vice-presidential candidate in 1984. When he insulted her knowledge of foreign affairs, she fired right back at him and let him know that she was quite informed on the subject.
1988
1992

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What did Christine O'Donnell deny being during a 2010 ad?
wizard
vampire
witch
In a 2010 ad, Delaware senate candidate Christine O'Donnell bizarrely told viewers, "I am not a witch." Rumors had plagued her for years after once admitting that she dabbled in witchcraft.

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Which 2016 presidential candidate argued that the pyramids were built to store grain?
Ben Carson
While archaeologists have conclusively proven that the pyramids served as tombs for Egyptian leaders, Ben Carson declared his belief that they were actually built by Joseph (from the Bible's Old Testament) to store grain.
Ted Cruz
Bernie Sanders

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What year did John McCain state "the fundamentals of our economy are strong?"
2002
2008
McCain made this statement in 2008, just hours before Lehman Bros. declared bankruptcy and a significant financial crisis began in the U.S.
2012

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What year did Bob Dole fall off a stage while campaigning for president?
1988
1992
1996
An accidental stage dive in Chico, Calif., in 1996 made Bob Dole look much older than opponent Bill Clinton, who was 20 years his junior.

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Jesse Jackson made a slur against Jewish citizens during his 1984 campaign for president.
TRUE
Jesse Jackson used a derogatory term for people of Jewish faith when speaking to a reporter in 1984, which left his presidential campaign in the dumps.
FALSE

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Who claimed to be "dead broke" when leaving the White House?
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton claimed she was dead broke when she and her husband left the White House, but later admitted to Diane Sawyer that her net worth was in the millions.
George Bush
Ronald Reagan

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What did Rep. Michael Grimm threaten to do to a reporter in 2014?
run him over with a car
kiss him
throw him off a balcony
The Republican congressman from New York threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony after President Obama's State of the Union address in 2014.

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What is the address of the White House?
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
If you got this one right, you're a step ahead of Sarah Palin, who claimed the address was 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue in a 2014 speech.
1400 Pennsylvania Ave.
1200 Pennsylvania Ave.

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What was unique about John Boehner's "5 Points Jobs Plan," which he tweeted in 2014?
It used racist language.
It was blank.
House Speaker Boehner tweeted his jobs plan in 2014 — unfortunately, it was completely blank when he sent it out.
It had many misspellings.

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What state is Bruce Braley from?
Ohio
Iowa
While running for the Iowa senate, Bruce Braley was lucky enough to have both Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama campaign for him. Unfortunately, both referred to him as Bruce Bailey, rather than Bruce Braley.
Indiana

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Why didn't John Silber campaign in Roxbury and the surrounding area as part of his 1990 campaign for governor of Massachusetts?
He already had the vote locked up in those areas.
According to him, those areas are full of "drug addicts."
Silber raised eyebrows when he refused to campaign to a "bunch of drug addicts" during his 1990 campaign.
He was too sick to campaign.

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What percentage of total revenue do abortion services represent for Planned Parenthood?
3 percent
Abortion represents about 3 percent of business for Planned Parenthood. Tell that to Sen. Jon Kyl, who in 2011 claimed that 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion services.
50 percent
90 percent

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How much does someone in the middle class make, according to Mitt Romney?
$40,000 to $50,000
$50,000 to $100,000
$200,000 to $250,000
Romney defines the middle class as those making $200,000 to $250,000 per year. The median income in the U.S. is actually $53,000 per year. Romney made $13.7 million in 2011.

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