Home Politics Politics Lists

50 Dumbest Things Right-Wingers Said in 2013

Jaw-dropping, head-shaking statements from senators, representatives and assorted fools

By at least one measure, 2013 was a banner year: When America's right-wingers opened their mouths, astonishing words fell out of them. Our nation's political arena has long been graced by men and women who fearlessly stand up to proclaim stupid shit. But over the past 12 months, Republicans from all corners of the conservative landscape (Christianists and libertarians, governors and lobbyists, Senate freshmen and 40-year veterans of the House) have taken everyday derp and ratcheted it up to 11 – whether they were addressing the challenges of global climate change, the conflict in Syria, our constitution's separation of powers, or the hidden racism of a tanning-salon tax.

In this holiday season, let us pause to count 50 of the most jaw-dropping, most head-shaking, most OMFG-worthy bon mots dropped by right-wingers this year. Let us savor the contributions of bold newcomers, like Florida Rep. Ted Yoho and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, as well as the dubious words of wisdom from old reliables like Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Jeb Bush. So sit back, America. Enjoy. Just try not to gag on your peppermint latte.

By Tim Dickinson

More Year in Review:
50 Best Albums of 2013
20 Best TV Moments of 2013

Ted Yoho

Melina Mara/The Washington Post

44

Ted Yoho

"It's a racist tax." – Florida Rep. Ted Yoho on the civil-rights consequences of taxing tanning salons, which supposedly discriminates against pale Americans

Tom Cotton

William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire

38

Tom Cotton

"To have women serving in infantry could impair the mission-essential tasks of those units. And that's been proven in study after study, it's nature." – Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

37

The Republican National Committee

"Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism." – @GOP, the Twitter feed of the Republican National Committee, prematurely declaring victory over intolerance. (News flash to RNC chair Reince Priebus: Racism still exists.)

Don Yelton

Courtesy of Comedy Central

36

Don Yelton

"If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it." – North Carolina GOP Executive Committee member Don Yelton on his state's voter ID law

Steve Stockman

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

35

Steve Stockman (Part 2)

"He's even using children. It reminds me of Saddam Hussein when he used kids." –Texas Rep. Steve Stockman on President Obama's push for gun control after the massacre at Newtown

Saxby Chambliss

Alex Wong/Getty Images

33

Saxby Chambliss

"Gee-whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur." – Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss on the the military's rape epidemic

Jack Gerard

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

32

Jack Gerard

"The oil and gas industry gets no subsidies, zero, nothing." – Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, whose industry gets $4 billion a year in tax breaks.

Ron Johnson

Julia Schmalz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

30

Ron Johnson

"When I hear politicians talk about restoring faith in government . . .  No, no, no, no, no. That is the wrong solution!" – Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, revealing the depths of his hatred of government

Louie Gohmert

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

28

Louie Gohmert (Part 2)

"When you say it's not a man and a woman anymore, then why not have three men and one woman, or four women and one man, or why not somebody has a love for an animal?" – Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, on marriage equality

Frank Lucas

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

27

Frank Lucas

"Is this a conspiracy to buy up all the bullets so they're not available to us?" – Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas questioning whether Homeland Security is trying to create false scarcity by hoarding ammo

Rand Paul

Win McNamee/Getty Images

25

Rand Paul (Part 2)

"I'm being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters." – Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on critics of his serial plagiarism, including from a Wikipedia entry on the 1997 sci-fi film Gattaca

Rick Perry

Ben Sklar/Getty Images

24

Rick Perry

"There are many other states that embrace those conservative values, the approach that we've taken over the years. I'm in one today, in Florida." – Texas Gov. Rick Perry, delivering a speech in . . . Louisiana

Jeff Miller

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

20

Jeff Miller

"It wasn't just a few years ago, what was the problem that existed? It wasn't global warming, we were gonna all be an ice cube. We're not ice cubes." – Florida Rep. Jeff Miller

Pat Roberston

Mario Tama/Getty Images

19

Pat Robertson

"You've got a couple of same-sex guys kissing . . . To me, I would punch 'Vomit,' not 'Like.'  They don't give you that option on Facebook." – The hate-filled Rev. Pat Robertson, paging Mark Zuckerberg

Kevin Cramer

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

17

Kevin Cramer

"Forty years ago, the United States Supreme Court sanctioned abortion on demand. And we wonder why our culture sees school shootings so often." – North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer on the hidden connection between Roe v. Wade and gun massacres

pete sessions

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

16

Pete Sessions

"Everything we do in this body should be about messaging to win back the Senate. That's it." – Texas Rep. Pete Sessions on the solitary purpose of the GOP's House majority

Bill Johnson

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

13

Bill Johnson

"The President ought to reimburse the American people for any cost that's associated with fixing or replacing this website." – Ohio Rep. Bill Johnson suggesting that Barack Obama take personal, fiduciary responsibility for the failures of healthcare.gov

Michael Bloomberg

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

12

Michael Bloomberg

"I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little." – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the controversial policing tactic known as stop-and-frisk, which was ruled unconstitutional by a district court judge

Rush Limbaugh

George Gojkovich/Getty Images

11

Rush Limbaugh

"There's a movement to normalize pedophilia . . . What is their objective? They want us to all think that pedophilia is just another sexual orientation.  You know who's gonna fall right in line is college kids, just like they have on gay marriage." – Rush Limbaugh

Steve King

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

9

Steve King (Part 2)

"For every one who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert." – Iowa Rep. Steve King on immigration and why he opposes the DREAM Act

Marlin Stutzman

Bill Clark/Roll Call

8

Marlin Stutzman

"We're not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is." – Indiana Rep. Marlin Stutzman on the aims of the GOP's government shutdown

Ted yoho

Melina Mara/The Washington Post

4

Ted Yoho (Part 2)

"I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets." – Florida Rep. Ted Yoho on the hidden upside of forcing America into default

Don Young

Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News/MCT

3

Don Young

"My father had a ranch. We used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes." –Alaska Rep. Don Young, doing his turn to aid the GOP's Hispanic outreach

Show Comments