Quick! What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of conservative candidates this past election cycle? Republican strategist Steve Schmidt had this not-so-flattering suggestion on Meet the Press yesterday: “To too many swing voters in the country, when you hear the word conservative now, they think of loons and wackos."
Over the course of the past year or so, we heard more than a few candidates – both Presidential and Congressional – say things that might fall into Schmidt’s category of “loons and wackos”: Rick Santorum saying that President Obama was a “snob” for encouraging young Americans to attend college; Iowa Congressman Steve King and his suggestion that it was possible that the president’s mother could have telegrammed his birth certificate from Kenya; Georgia Congressman Paul Broun, who said that evolution and the big bang theory are “lies from the pit of hell.”
Then of course, there’s the slough of Republicans who led actor Alec Baldwin to tweet, “you know your party is in trouble when people ask did the rape guy win, and you have to ask which one?”
Watch Hardball’s Sideshow for a look back at all those moments that had us thinking – “did I really just hear that?” Keep in mind that while some of the people in the lineup were not reelected to Congress, others will be back on Capitol Hill at the start of next term. So you can expect Loons and Wackos Part 2, coming soon to a government near you.