With the 2018 United States Midterm Elections in full swing today, we thought we’d keep things light and take a look at some memorable instances of major politicians making fools of themselves on television, whether live, on a TV show, or through the news. We’ll be focusing more on funny and lighthearted moments rather than controversial ones, such as the infamous Helsinki Summit, but either way, these 5 moments were enough to embarrass the politician themselves or the nation they represented as a whole.
Justin Trudeau’s ‘Costumes’ & Bhangra Dancing
In February 2018, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a trip to India, and like most family holidays, it did not go particularly well. Trudeau and his family were lambasted upon their arrival for their outfits, which many people called stereotypical at best, offensive at worst. While some people commended the Trudeaus for trying to embrace Indian culture, others compared their clothing to Bollywood costumes. Trudeau made it even worse by attempting some bhangra dance moves, which again were criticized for adhering to Bollywood stereotypes. Spirit and enthusiasm are commendable, but this is one case of trying way too hard.
Can someone tell him Indians don’t live like they are in a Bollywood set 24×7 @vidurkhanna
— Atirav Kapur (@atirav) February 22, 2018
Mitt Romney Has ‘Binders Full of Women’
This is a case of good intentions ruined by awful execution. During the second 2012 presidential debate, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were asked how they would address gender pay inequality in the workplace. Romney stated that while he was searching for cabinet members, he had “binders full of women” brought to him. Though meant to point out that women were equally qualified, as Romney was referring to resumes, the poor choice of words resulted in media outlets and critics calling Romney disrespectful and demeaning to women. Memes were instantly created, jabs were taken at Romney, and the issue of women’s rights became a dominant factor of the presidential race.
Silvio Berlusconi Blows Off Angela Merkel
Italy’s ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is often at heads with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, and that couldn’t have been more apparent when he ignored her for a phone call. At a 2009 NATO summit, Berlusconi exited his car and immediately gestured to Merkel to inform her that he was on the phone. Those in attendance then audibly laughed as Berlusconi walked away from Merkel and the summit to attend to his phone call. After a few bemused and uncomfortable minutes, Merkel decided to start without him. Granted, it WAS an important call with the Turkish Prime Minister, but he could have been a little nicer about it.
The ‘Suppository’ of All Wisdom
If you don’t know the correct word, maybe it’s best to reword your statement. In August 2013, Australia’s Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott told a Liberal event that no one “is the suppository of all wisdom.” He meant to say “repository,” meaning a place of safe storage, but instead used the word for a medicated substance that is usually inserted into the vagina or rectum. The audience giggled at his gaffe, and #suppository began trending on social media in Australia. Sure, we’ve all had our slips of the tongue, but not in front of a national audience. Luckily, it didn’t matter in the end, as Abbott was elected to Prime Minister just one month later.
Trump Throwing Paper Towels
It’s not a good sign when President Trump playfully throwing paper towels in the aftermath of a natural disaster is one of his least controversial moments. Like his failure to pronounce “anonymous,” this is embarrassing without being too malicious to any one person in particular. While visiting Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017, Trump decided to have some fun by tossing paper towels like a basketball into the crowd of relief workers and survivors. Many of Trump’s detractors took umbrage with his actions, with some calling it incredibly disrespectful while others believed that he was treating the relief like a sporting event. In his response, according to Business Insider, Trump stated that they were “having fun.”
If these embarrassing situations weren’t enough to make you uncomfortable, then head over to WatchMojo‘s YouTube channel later today for the full Top 10 Times Politicians Embarrassed Themselves on TV video, including a look at the #1 most humiliating publicly broadcasted moment for a politician.
Until then, check out the video below for more cringe-worthy political moments from previous years: