[ View the story "Romneyisms: Mitt Romney's awkward way with words" on Storify] Romneyisms: Mitt Romney's awkward way with words
Storified by Digital First Media · Wed, Oct 17 2012 12:51:50
It's not just "binders full of women." Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a way of phrasing his thoughts that makes them memorable, if not exactly eloquent.
'Binders full of women'
Romney Talks About Binders Full Of Womenpoliticsbuzz
What he said: "I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women." The context: During the second presidential debate, Romney responded to a question about pay equity by noting that he had asked women's groups for help finding qualified female candidates as governor of Massachusetts. Awkwardness rating: High. Though everyone knew what he meant, Romney's phrasing conjured up unfortunate imagery that immediately became the talk of Twitter. 'He wasn't in sport'
Mitt Romney Can't Imagine Tall Guy Doesn't Play Basketballmidweekpolitics
What he said:
"Name is Rick Miller-Portland, Oregon.
And he started a business. Of course you know it was in basketball. But it wasn't in basketball! I mean, I, figured he had to be in sport, but he wasn't in sport."
in Texas about a man he'd met on the campaign trail earlier. A
search of his writing
shows he often says "sport" instead of "sports."
Awkwardness rating: High. While the word "sport" has been used to refer to "games involving physical exercise" since the 16th century, most Americans today say "sports." The singular is still common in Great Britain, however. 'Small varmints'
Mitt Romney, Varmint Hunter: "I've hunted a number of times"romneyonguns
What he said: "I'm not a big-game hunter. I've made it very clear. I've always been, if you will, a rodent and rabbit hunter, all right. Small varmints, if you will. And I began when I was 15 or so and have hunted those kinds of varmints since then." The context: During the 2008 presidential campaign, Romney was courting gun owners when he noted that he had done some hunting of animals such as rabbits. Awkwardness rating: Medium. While "varmint" has a long history as an American variant on "vermin," it conjures up images of Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny. Texas Gov. Rick Perry could say this, but Romney sounds weirdly patrician, especially when he adds "if you will." 'I'm running for office, for Pete's sake! I can't have illegals!'
Romney: I'm Running For Office, For Pete's Sake, I Can't Have Illegals.tpmtv
What he said: "So we went to the company and we said 'Look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. I'm running for office, for Pete's sake. I can't have illegals!' " The context: In an exchange with Texas Governor Rick Perry at a Republican debate, Romney denied that he had knowingly employed illegal immigrants as landscapers. Awkwardness rating: Medium. While immigration advocates bristle at the term "illegals," it was not out of place at a GOP debate. But pairing it with the 1950s-era euphemism "for Pete's sake" came off as odd. 'Chocolate ... goodies'
Romney Struggles To IDentify A Chocolate DoughnutW8Bxcar6RgY5ON37kSb0Ww
What he said: "Can you see that one of those chocolate, um, uh, chocolate goodies finds its way to our ride?" The context: In a June campaign stop, Mitt Romney had some trouble finding the word for a doughnut. Awkwardness rating: Low. During the course of more than a year campaigning, everyone's going to have some off moments and forget a word. If it weren't for Romney's reputation, few would have noticed this comment.