These comments aren't helping with the GOP makeover
Conventional wisdom suggests that Republicans would hold five additional U.S. Senate seats if their candidates hadn't said really dumb things during the last two election cycles.
So last month, I decided to keep track of the most controversial comments — some inflammatory, some just plain crazy — made by Republican politicians.
Here's the round-up for February:
1. "When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body. That's a big thing. That's a big surgery. You don't have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that."
—Alabama state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin (R), defending her sweeping anti-abortion bill.
2. "They are going to cull the herd, so that instead of having billions, we'll only have hundreds of millions of human beings on the face of the planet."
—Alan Keyes, warning what's behind President Obama's gun control proposal.
3. "Some people could make the argument that a lot of people like being in abusive relationships. It's a love-hate relationship. It's very, very common for people to stick around with somebody they love who also abuses him or her."
—New Hampshire state Rep. Mark Warden (R), during a debate on a bill to reduce the penalty for simple assault.
4. "Slavery and abortion are the two most horrendous things this country has done but when you think about the immorality of wild, lavish spending on our generation and forcing future generations to do without essentials just so we can live lavishly now, it's pretty immoral."
—Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas), equating slavery with the national debt.
5. "Like most men, I'm more opposed to violence against women than even violence against men. Because most men can handle it a little better than a lot of women can."
—Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-Tenn.), speaking on anti-violence legislation.
6. "There's a lot of ill will towards Sen. Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly. At one point, he said he was the worst president since Herbert Hoover, said the surge was the worst blunder since the Vietnam War, which is nonsense. He was very 'anti 'his own party, and people don't forget that."
—Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), explaining the GOP backlash against Chuck Hagel.
7. "To redefine marriage is discriminatory towards those who hold the sincerely held religious belief that it is a sacred institution between a man & a woman."
—Illinois state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R), in response to the state Senate approving same-sex marriage in Illinois.
8. "I'm going to try to be brief because I notice you're on your fourth glass of water, and I don't want to be accused of waterboarding you."
—Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), speaking in the middle of a long, contentious confirmation hearing for John Brennan as CIA director.
9. "Slow down. Slow down. How about a little foreplay?"
—House Speaker John Boehner, joking that with bipartisan conversations on immigration reform taking place it's too early to talk about specific legislation.
10. "I was very proud of the fact that I didn't get anything wrong that I said during the course of the debates. I didn't get anything wrong, and that's a huge arena."
—Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), commenting on her performance in the 2012 GOP presidential debates.
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