19 crazy things the right said in 2013

  • Rep. Blake Farenthold can’t bring himself to say Barack Obama was “legitimately elected”
President Obama released his birth certificate about 1,000 days ago, but the GOPer is still casting doubt. On Hardball, during a discussion about Sen. Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for president, Chris Matthews asked Farenthold about Obama: “Can you repeat after me: he was legitimately elected president.” Farenthold repeated, but with a key word left out: “President Obama was elected president.” 
  • Rep. Steve King: Undocumented immigrants are mostly drug runners
The GOPer told Newsmax that the majority of undocumented immigrants are drug runners. “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another hundred out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” he said.
  • Rush Limbaugh accuses Obama of catering to prostitutes
Limbaugh, trying to rip an Obamacare provision during a discussion last month, said: “What these ads are really promising, if you like your risky promiscuous lifestyle, you can keep it. That’s what Obama’s promising,” said Limbaugh. “If you like being promiscuous, you can keep on being promiscuous. If you like being a prostitute, then have at it.”
  • Ted Cruz declares victory over Obamacare
The Texas senator made big headlines after spearheading an effort to defund or delay Obamacare in exchange for a Congressional spending deal. Cruz eventually said he wouldn’t stand in the way of a Senate deal to end the government shutdown and to raise the debt ceiling, but not before calling the shutdown a “remarkable victory” and a “profile in courage.”
  • Sarah Palin compares federal debt to slavery
Palin invoked slavery to describe the federal debt. “Our free stuff today is being paid for today by taking money from our children and borrowing from China,” Palin told Fox News. “…This is isn’t racist, but it’s going to be like slavery when that note is due. Right? We are going to be beholden to a foreign master.” 
  • Ben Carson: Obamacare is the worst thing ‘since slavery’
The African-American conservative also name-checked slavery . “You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson said. “And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”
  • Rand Paul: I didn’t plagiarize!
The senator insisted he never intentionally lifted material for speeches from a number of sources, including  Wikipedia. Paul said in an interview on ABC that he has been “unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters.” He added: “I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting,” he said. “I have never intentionally done so.”
  • Rep. Ted Yoho still isn’t sure Obama is an American
During a September appearance on Hardball, Yoho tied himself in knots about Obama’s birthplace. When asked about it, the GOPer said: “I haven’t studied it enough to spend the time on it to come back with an intelligent answer, so I will not respond.” Matthews later asked if Yoho was a birther. “No comment,” said Yoho.
  • Geraldo Rivera: ‘I was right about the hoodie’
Rivera came under fierce criticism while discussing the George Zimmerman case. Rivera had earlier said unarmed teen Trayvon Martin’s hoodie was “as much responsible” for his death as Zimmerman was. Rivera apologized but later repeated his claim. “I was right about the hoodie, wasn’t I?” Rivera said on Fox and Friends before the Zimmerman verdict. 
  • Megyn Kelly: Santa and Jesus are white
The Fox News anchor declared: “For you kids watching at home, Santa just is white.” She added: “Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. You know, I mean, Jesus was a white man too.” After coming under fire for her remarks Kelly said they were “tongue-in-cheek” and her critics were trying to race-bait.
  • McCain compares Obama’s handshake to Hitler
Arizona Sen. John McCain compared Obama’s recent handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro to one between German dictator Adolf Hitler and former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. McCain later walked back his remarks, saying they were a “gross exaggeration” of reality and “over the top.” McCain himself has greeted multiple leaders with controversial human rights records.
  • Bachmann: Obama is funding terrorists
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, during an October interview with a Christian radio show, falsely said Obama was “paying to give arms to terrorists, including Al-Qaeda,” insisting it was a sign “we are in God’s End Times.” She inaccurately added Obama “waived a ban on arming terrorists in order to allow weapons to go to the Syrian opposition.”
  • Rep. Gohmert: Vietnam was winnable
During a March CPAC panel, the Texas Republican congressman insisted that “Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we would not win it.” He then criticized America for not going to war with Iran over the 1979 capture of the U.S. Embassy. “If you go to war, you better mean it,” he said.
  • Wayne La Pierre: Gun control supporters are insane, not me
The NRA head insisted his critics are the ones who are insane on gun control. “They call me crazy, yet the people doing the finger-pointing are doing things that are absolutely bizarre.” He added, “It’s time to take a look at the insanity that’s consumed the media and too many in this town.”
  • Jeb Bush: ‘I don’t think there’s any Bush baggage’
The potential 2016 presidential candidate doesn’t think his brother, former President George W. Bush, has hurt the family name. Jeb Bush told Fox News Sunday in March: “I don’t think there’s any Bush baggage at all. I love my brother. I’m proud of his accomplishments. I love my dad. I’m proud to be a Bush.”
  • Rep. Don Young uses term ‘wetbacks’ to describe immigrant workers
The longtime Alaska Congressman used the derogatory term during a radio interview to discuss how technology has affected the economy. “My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” he said in March.  ”It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.” Young later insisted he “meant no disrespect.”
  • Nevada Assemblyman: I’d vote for slavery if my constituents wanted
Jim Wheeler faced tough scrutiny after saying he’d vote in favor of slavery if it was what his constituents wanted. “If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose … they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah,” he said in August. Wheeler later insisted he was being “facetious.”
  • Rep. Ted Yoho: Default isn’t so bad
Back in October, when the U.S. was nearing the edge of default, the Florida GOPer insisted to the Washington Post that not raising the debt ceiling “would bring stability to the world markets.” A default would have been catastrophic in that it would almost certainly undermine the position of the U.S. in the global economy.
  • Society is ‘at risk’: Rep. Walberg on SCOTUS’ gay marriage ruling
Several Republicans, including Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan, criticized the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. “Society itself is at risk and cannot continue,” said Walberg.



What a difference a year can make. Except when it doesn’t.

Just under a year ago, Bobby Jindal called on his Republican Party to “stop being the stupid party,” pointing to conservative lawmakers who had made “offensive and bizarre comments.” Jindal declared: “I’m here to say we’ve had enough of that.”

And in a so-called “autopsy” report, the Republican National Committee examined its big 2012 election loss and admitted it desperately needed a makeover. Among the gripes: many view the GOP as a group of “stuffy old men,” an entity at which “young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes.” Minorities, said the report, “wrongly think Republicans do not like them.”

But over the last year, has anything changed? From Republicans still refusing to acknowledge President Obama was born in America, to the continued use of derogatory terms to describe undocumented immigrants, to conservatives declaring “victory” on the partial government shutdown, the GOP seems bent on self-sabotage.

Maybe 2014 will bring real change. While we wait, let’s revisit the highlights (and low points) of 2013. 

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