When I first began working in journalism, as an intern at a publication focused on diversity issues, my colleagues and I loved uncovering multicultural marketing missteps. A favorite came from the California Milk Processor Board, which initially planned to translate its popular “Got milk?” tagline directly into Spanish. A Latino-focused ad agency convinced the company to take another tactic, letting execs know that the phrase translated to “are you lactating?” en español — not exactly the same sentiment as the original.
So it’s been with great pleasure that I’ve watched the gaffe-prone candidates for the GOP presidential nomination trip up during the past few months. Of course, President Obama has had his blunders, too, but the intense pressure on the Republican candidates has produced some outstanding “what were they thinking?” moments.
Good ol’ Herman Cain, who, if you’ll remember, had quite a bit of momentum early on in the race, asked this question during a campaign stop in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood: “How do you say ‘delicious’ in Cuban?”
Mitt Romney appears to be in a league of his own when it comes to wealth-related gaffes, as The Washington Post recently made clear. My personal favorite? Romney’s casual aside while discussing the auto industry about his wife driving “a couple of Cadillacs.”
Perhaps the most cringe-worthy moment thus far has been Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s struggle to remember the federal agencies he would eliminate as president. “The third agency I would do away with … the … ahh … Education … ahh … Commerce, and, let’s see,” he said, continuing, “I can’t, the third one. I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”
For more on these wacky, occasionally loose-lipped characters and their race for the White House, check out these Trove channels: