The Eight Worst Campaign Surrogates

The president’s re-election campaign was not especially thrilled when Newark Mayor Cory Booker went on TV as an official Obama supporter — “surrogate” is the term of art — this past weekend and called attacks on Mitt Romney’s private equity background “nauseating.” He was quickly forced to walk it back, because it’s generally not helpful to say exactly what the opponent of your preferred candidate wants you to say.

But Booker isn’t the only surrogate with a foot in his mouth. Check out some of the other dumb, unhelpful, offensive, or bigoted things that have been said this cycle by supporters on all sides.

(Joe Biden included.)

Eric Fehrnstrom

The Mitt Romney senior advisor famously compared his boss to a toy in late April, promising that after winning the primary Romney would shuck off the conservative positions that he needed to adapt to convince the skeptical right wing base. “It is almost like an Etch a Sketch,” Fehrnstrom said on CNN, “you can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

Not exactly the best way to sell a candidate with an “authenticity” problem.

Gage Skidmore via

Foster Friess

As the fight over contraception heated up earlier this year, and Democrats raised the alarm about a GOP “War on Women,” Rick Santorum’s Super PAC sugar daddy and close advisor spoke his mind about what he thought ladies should do. “You know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees …”

Nobody even understood what he was trying to say, but they could at least tell it was offensive.

Gage Skidmore vi

Robert Jeffress

The Baptist pastor from Texas — and Rick Perry supporter — went on a tear last October explaining his concerns about Mitt Romney. He said the former Massachusetts Governor was “not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity.”

The conversation did not end up revolving around the nature of Mormonism. Instead, the question was asked: Why is the Perry campaign trying to smear Mitt Romney as a cultist?

Kris Kobach

The Kansas Secretary of State is an anti-immigration warrior, spearheading the long-term Republican plot to seal our borders (and alienate the Hispanic vote). So, of course, in late April, when Florida Senator Marco Rubio proposed a bill that allowed a very small number of undocumented immigrants — including those that had served in the U.S. military — to stay in the country, the hard-core Romney supporter made clear that his guy would hold off any attempt to make the GOP more palatable to Hispanics. “I do not expect [Romney] to propose or embrace amnesty,” he said, explaining that any kind of reasonableness on immigration would qualify as “amnesty.”

Hilary Rosen

The Democratic lobbyist goes on TV as a Democratic strategist, and she took the whole “war on women” rhetoric a little far when she kicked off a “Mommy War” by saying that Ann Romney “has never worked a day in her life” and Republicans ran with the implication that she was devaluing motherhood. Extra points for making Twitter explode.

Sharon Graphics via

Bill Maher

The guy who called Bristol Palin the “girl who got knocked up after watching one too many episodes of Teen Mom” gave $1 million to Obama’s Super PAC.

Joe Biden

Actually, that gay marriage comment may have helped.

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