Zingers and one-liners from presidential candidates aren’t the only jabs that are remembered by political history. It happens for congressional and gubernatorial candidates, too. And with just 12 days until the midterm elections, plenty of 2014 hopefuls have delivered memorable, barbed zingers (not to mention some goofy and head-scratching statements).
With some help from the msnbc.com community, we put together this list of candidates’ most memorable lines from this election cycle. Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly:
We want to hear from you! For the next piece in our series, we’ll be looking at some of the biggest lies candidates have told on the campaign trail. What has jumped out at you? Leave a comment on this post to submit your suggestions!
Joni Ernst: “Let’s make ‘em squeal”
Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst may forever be associated with pigs. Earlier this spring, Ernst, who is in a heated race in Iowa against Democrat Bruce Braley, was propelled into the national spotlight with an ad titled “Squeal.” In the ad, Ernst made the argument that she’s uniquely qualified to cut spending in Washington. “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork,” Ernst said, smiling as footage of pigs is played. “Washington’s full of big spenders. Let’s make ‘em squeal,” Ernst declared.Charlie Crist: “They’re my fans”
In a memorable, not to mention bizarre, debate moment last week, Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott at first refused to go on stage. He insisted his opponent and predecessor, Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, was violating rules by having a fan under his podium. Crist tried to make the most of the situation and in responding to Scott’s accusations pointed at a section of the crowd and joked, “They’re my fans.”
Wendy Davis: My opponent is “California’s best friend in Texas”
Polls show that Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has a substantial lead against Democrat Wendy Davis. But in the final gubernatorial debate last month, Davis came out swinging on the issue of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to reject Medicaid expansion under Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Abbott argued for a block grant to address Texas’ health care challenges and called Obamacare a “disaster.” Davis, meanwhile, said Texas is losing out on money that’s going to other states, describing Abbott as “California’s best friend in Texas” for not being in favor of using the federal funds.
Jeanne Shaheen: “I don’t think New Hampshire is a consolation prize”
In a fiery debate this week, incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen went after her opponent, Republican Scott Brown, a former Massachusetts senator who defeated by Elizabeth Warren in 2012. Shaheen has been trying to paint Brown as a carpetbagger who moved his primary residence simply to satisfy his political aspirations. “I don’t think New Hampshire is a consolation prize,” she said during their debate. “We need a senator who is going to put New Hampshire first.”
Brown has trailed consistently behind Shaheen, but recent surveys indicate he’s closing the gap.
Alison Lundergan Grimes: “That’s not how you hold a gun”
Democratic Senate candidate in Kentucky Alison Lundergan Grimes – who is trailing in the polls against Republican leader Mitch McConnell – is trying to distance herself from President Obama, who remains unpopular in her state. In one infamous ad, Lundergan Grimes is seen skeet shooting and then a photo of McConnell is shown, the GOPer awkwardly carrying a musket on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Grimes takes a jab at McConnell, saying “And Mitch, that’s not how you hold a gun.”
Alison Lundergan Grimes: “I respect the sanctity of the ballot box”Lundergan Grimes may have scored some points with her skeet shooting ad, but the Democrat has been blasted on all sides for refusing to say whether she voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. She recently told the editorial board of the Louisville Courier-Journal that she would keep quiet because “I respect the sanctity of the ballot box.”
During a recent debate, Lundergan Grimes double-downed on her remarks, to which McConnell declared there is “no sacred right to announce how we vote.”
President Obama: GOPers belong “in a ‘Mad Men’ episode”
The commander-in-chief has been noticeably absent on the campaign trail, but at a rare, recent appearance in stumping for Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown, Obama brought out the fiery rhetoric. He described Republicans as “patriots” but said the party was fighting for the small, rich minority. “You know who they’re fighting for and it ain’t you.” He also suggested Republican lawmakers are so antiquated they belong “in a ‘Mad Men’ episode.”
J.D. Winteregg: Boehner suffers from ‘electile dysfunction’
J.D. Winteregg went there. In an ad filled with sexual innuendos, the Ohioan (who unsuccessfully took on House Speaker John Boehner in the state’s GOP primary), charged that Boehner suffers from “electile dysfunction.” In the spot, styled after commercials for drugs like Cialis, the narrator says so-called “electile dysfunction” is a result of “when a politician has been in D.C. too long, it goes to his head and he just can’t seem to get the job done.” He adds, “If you have a Boehner lasting more than 23 years, seek immediate medical attention.”
Michelle Obama: “I’m losing it.”
The first lady had a major oops moment on the campaign trail when she was campaigning for Braley in Iowa. She repeatedly called him “Bailey” before being corrected by the audience. “What did I say? I’m losing it. I’m getting old,” said Michelle Obama. She continued to try and joke it off, saying “That’s why we need you young people. You’ve got to help us out.” Probably safe to say Braley was not amused.