Last Friday, Barack Obama flatly declared that the private sector economy is “doing fine.”
The president had a broader point he was trying to make — about how an unprecedented pullback in public sector spending has been hurting the economy. But no president can afford to sound content with any sector of the economy while unemployment is still north of 8 percent.
Obama is usually a controlled public speaker, in contrast to the gaffe-tastic Mitt Romney, who infamously declared he likes to fire people, that corporations are people, and who even responded to the president’s “fine” comment with a gaffe calling on America to fire more teachers, firefighters and policemen.
But the president is not immune from a gaffe attack.
Here, a roundup of the top seven instances of Obama stepping in it.
1. The 57 States of America
Back in the 2008 campaign, Obama lost track of just how many states he hoped to govern as president.
Obama had to apologize for this gaffe after he called a female reporter by a sugary nickname:
3. The Backhanded Compliment
Fresh off a stunning victory in the Iowa caucuses, Obama did himself a bad turn in New Hampshire by damning Hillary Clinton with faint praise during this crucial debate:
4. “I’ll Have More Flexibility”
Obama forgot his mic was still on when he leaned over to Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev and appeared to promise in private much more than he could commit to in public, at least preelection:
5. Acting Stupidly
A “beer summit” was required to clean up the damage when Obama sided with his pal Skip Gates after the Harvard Professor had been arrested for burglary while entering his own home.
6. “My Muslim Faith”
Obama may have just been trolling the birther crowd with this one:
In case you missed it, here’s the president’s far-too-upbeat take on the performance of the private sector: