10 Bizarre GOP Candidate Moments

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Republican presidential hopefuls have goofed up their share of comments in 2011, and with another two months to go before the Iowa caucuses, it is nearly certain that we can expect more gaffes on the campaign trail.

Blunders are any communications team's worst nightmare, and this year's cast of GOP candidates is as guilty as any previous crop for its poorly measured remarks.

Michele Bachmann

TheStreet has gathered the top 10 bizarre moments in the GOP presidential nomination race. Laugh, cringe, stew -- anyway, grab a cup of joe and enjoy the show.

Mitt Romney insisted that corporations are people.

Iowans screamed at Romney at the Iowa straw poll in August when he suggested that corporations were people. The former Massachusetts governor suggested, hypothetically, to the crowd that one way to fund Social Security and Medicaid would be to raise taxes on people. Bystanders weren't too happy with this comment.

What Romney could have clarified was that he didn't support tax hikes to pay for entitlement programs and to reduce the debt; instead, Romney seized the corporations jab and wound up getting railed on Facebook and Twitter.

"There are various ways of doing that, one is we could raise taxes on people," Romney said. "Corporations!" a vocal member in the crowd yelled. Romney responded: "Corporations are people, my friend ... of course they are; everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people, where do you think it goes?"

Rick Perry may have slightly threatened the Federal Reserve chairman.

Perry wasn't sure what Iowans would do to "this guy" in charge of the Fed, but the Texas governor said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke wouldn't be greeted too kindly in his home state.

Perry's timing was questionable as the Bernanke criticism came only two days after Perry declared his intention to run for president, which was also the time when Perry leaped into the frontrunner position.

"If this guy prints any more money between now and the election -- I don't know what you all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas," Perry said. The Texas governor didn't help his cause when he dubbed Bernanke's "politics" as "treacherous." He quickly corrected and said "treasonous." Ouch.

Michele Bachmann claimed that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery.

"We know slavery was an evil and it was a scourge and a blot and a stain upon our history," Bachmann rightly began. "But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."

Notorious for her preposterous statements, Bachmann rocked search trends when she said this.

"Good Morning America" host George Stephanopoulos said that it was entirely untrue as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slave holders. Bachmann avoided Stephanopoulos' direct attack and eventually stumbled on another bit of misinformation -- that John Quincy Adams was a Founding Father. Oh well.

Newt Gingrich agreed with Romney.

Gingrich guards his words and criticizes his opponents for specious arguments in debates, but the former Speaker of the House has had his share of blunders -- of course, he seems to have taken it on the chin more than we're used to seeing politicians do.

When Romney said his administration used Gingrich's idea for an individual mandate in Massachusetts, Gingrich denied that and said the governor got it from the Heritage Foundation.

Then-speaker Gingrich worked with the Heritage Foundation against Hillary Clinton's plan for health care, and one of the tactics used against "Hillarycare" was an individual mandate.

"OK, let me ask, have you supported in the past an individual mandate?" Romney said at last week's debate. "I absolutely did, with the Heritage Foundation against Hillarycare," Gingrich said.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman makes an awkward reference to a song by 1990s grunge rock band Nirvana.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Huntsman at a Tea Party debate if Social Security reform was off the table, and the former governor said nothing was off the table. He took the opportunity to call out Romney's and Perry's Social Security policies, but bungled a pun about the title of Romney's book No Apology.

"To hear Romney and Perry go at it over here is almost incredible. You've got governor Romney who called Social Security a fraud in his book No Apology -- I don't know if that was written by Kurt Cobain or not," Huntsman said. The only problem with the comment was that Kurt Cobain of Nirvana wrote a song called All Apologies. The only people on stage or in the audience who laughed were Romney and Perry.

Herman Cain said African-Americans have been brainwashed.

Cain continues to gain popularity among Republican-leaning and Republican registered voters, regardless of controversial comments like his intention to set up an electric fence to drive away illegal immigrants , or his belief that many African-Americans have been brainwashed to be close-minded.

Blitzer asked Cain why he thought that the Republican Party was poison for African-Americans.

"Because many African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view," Cain said. "So it's just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple."

The audience booed a gay soldier at a debate ahead of Rick Santorum's response.

This wasn't so much Santorum's gaffe as it was his failure to rein in a rude crowd response. Openly gay soldier Stephen Hill, who is serving in Iraq, asked what would happen to him if "Don't ask, don't tell" was repealed.

A few attendees booed the soldier after the video concluded, and Santorum paused for a moment. But instead of acknowledging the bizarre audience reaction, Santorum offered his answer that "any sort of sexual activity has no place in the military."

Blogs slammed Santorum, who has made family values central to his campaign message. Santorum came out the day after the debate and said he didn't hear the boos; he then condemned the people who booed.

Ron Paul earned twisted approval from the debate audience.

CNN's Blitzer asked Paul what he would do with a young man in good health who decided to forgo health care and who suddenly fell into a coma.

"That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks," Paul said. "This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody," the crowd erupted into applause. Blitzer asked if the congressman would let the man die.

A few people screamed "Yeah!" as whistles came from the crowd, before Paul responded "no."

Paul used his experience as a doctor to back up his health care stances in the debate.

"I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid ... I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio ... we never turned anybody away from the hospital," Paul said.

Gary Johnson delivered the one joke that made every Republican candidate laugh.

Johnson took a jab at President Obama's jobs record in what was his first appearance at a debate since May. The former New Mexico governor nailed the one-liner.

"My next door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration," Johnson said.

Johnson tightened his lips to hide his satisfaction, but eventually gave way to a big smile. Every candidate on the stage audibly laughed and the crowd roared.

If you look at the video, though, you can see Johnson reference his notes about four times to deliver the canned jest -- that probably didn't go over well with comedy purists.

Tim Pawlenty dropped from the race in mid-August after a poor performance in the Iowa straw poll, but the former Minnesota governor had some hilarious moments in his debates.

Before the Iowa straw poll, Pawlenty criticized Obama's plans on entitlement reform and called them non-existent. Then he delivered an impromptu compromise.

"I'll offer a prize tonight to anybody in this auditorium, or anyone watching on television: If you can find Barack Obama's specific plan on any of those items, I will come to your house and cook you dinner," Pawlenty joked. "Or if you prefer, I'll come to your house and mow your lawn."

Pawlenty recently said he felt he may have dropped out of the race too soon, but the former governor won't jump back in, as he has endorsed Romney for the GOP nomination.

Alas, the funniest Republican is out of the race.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

>To contact the writer, click here: Joe Deaux.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/JoeDeaux.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com

If you liked this article you might like

Monster Beverage Stock Soars as Coca-Cola Opens Refreshing Partnership

Monster Beverage Stock Soars as Coca-Cola Opens Refreshing Partnership

Gold Pares Losses as Ukraine Says Its Troops Attack Russian Convoy

Gold Pares Losses as Ukraine Says Its Troops Attack Russian Convoy

Cisco Stock Biggest Dow Loser as Company Cuts 6,000 Jobs

Cisco Stock Biggest Dow Loser as Company Cuts 6,000 Jobs

Gold Demand Slumps as Increasing Prices Slow Asian Demand

Gold Demand Slumps as Increasing Prices Slow Asian Demand

Gold Demand Shrinks a Year After the Infamous Market Collapse

Gold Demand Shrinks a Year After the Infamous Market Collapse