Politicians are faced with a great deal of pressure on a daily basis. Some can handle the heat, some cannot. And those who cannot often explode in a spectacular public display of emotion. These politicians’ meltdowns will have you laughing hysterically, or turning red with second-hand embarrassment.
Chris Christie Loves Nachos (And Yelling At Cubs Fans)
A Cubs game almost turned into a fighting match between fan Brad Joseph and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. When Joseph recognize Christie at game, he proceeded to tell him that he stinks and is a hypocrite. When Christie had enough, he approached Joseph (nachos still in hand) and told him to “have another beer.” At first, Joseph laughed, thinking the governor was joking around, but then he quickly realized how tense Christie was as he got inches away from Joseph’s face. Christie began to antagonize Joseph, calling him a “tough guy” and “big shot” and bumped Joseph’s knee aggressively with his leg. When he finally walked away, Joseph thanked the governor snidely for his opinion.
Keep reading to see why Sheila Jackson Lee was earned the reputation as the “meanest” member of Congress.
Tea Party Candidate Threatens to Take Out Journalist
It’s safe to assume that if you’re a politician and you’re caught on tape threatening to “take out” a journalist if he reveals some of your secrets, your career will probably soon be over. Tea Party candidate for Governor Carl Paladino made such a threat to New York Post Editor Fred Dicker. Dicker approached Paladino about whether he had any proof to back his claims that his challenger Andrew Cuomo had cheated on his wife. Paladino then snapped at Dicker, who’d previously taken photos of Paladino’s 10-year-old daughter, who he conceived with a mistress. He told Dicker, “You send another goon to my daughter’s house and I’ll take you out, buddy.” When asked how he’d do that, Paladino only replied, “Watch.” The entire thing was caught on video and Paladino’s career soon went down in flames.
The Infamous Scream
While attempting to rally his supporters for upcoming polls, Presidential candidate Howard Dean made a sound that would be burned into the brains of the American people…and a sound that cost him the election. He started listing off all of the states he was going to win, and his tone got louder and a bit crazier with each state. After he said he’d win Washington D.C., he followed it with a loud, wordless scream. A scream that was caught by numerous news sources, and would be replayed and mocked over and over again. Dean’s chances immediately diminished, and he instead became a laughing stock.
While explaining why he believed abortion should be illegal, former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin angered a lot of people with the horribly inaccurate statement that, “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” He was running for Senate at the time, and those words led to him dropping 20 points in the polls. He then tried to redeem himself a few years later on MSNBC, claiming that “legitimate rape” is an abbreviation used in law enforcement for ‘legitimate case of rape”, which according to Akin, which is when “A woman calls a police station, the police investigate, she says ‘I’ve been raped,’ they investigate that. So before any of the facts are in, they call it a legitimate case of rape.” The only snafu in this statement is that law enforcement officials with many years of experience have publicly declared that they’ve never heard of such a term.
The Finger-Waving Chase
Things got a bit heated on the House Chamber Floor in 2014 between House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Tom Marino when he was on the mic discussing the border funding bill. Marino was criticizing the Democrats’ lack of action on the bill, Pelosi’s in particular. Pelosi became infuriated and got up during his comments, approached Marino, challenging him. When Marino stayed firm, an enraged Pelosi charged at him further, her finger waving. She continued to angrily and relentlessly follow and argue with him as he left the podium and walked down the Republican aisle. Other Republicans had to get between the two to stop the argument, and eventually Pelosi was forced to return to the Democratic side.
Weiner’s Sexting Obsession
If you are a political figure, it’s not exactly a good idea to send out pictures of your genitalia over the internet. Someone should have probably relayed this vital information to former Congressman Anthony Weiner. A woman in Seattle revealed that Weiner had sent her a picture of his, well, you know, via Twitter. At first he claimed his account was hacked, but then numerous other women came out and said that he had been obsessively sexting them as well. Weiner was forced to resign, but attempted to make a comeback two years later when he ran for New York City Mayor. Unfortunately for Weiner, his attempts were foiled when he once again was caught sexting a woman other than his wife, with his son in his bed beside him.
GOP candidate Phil Davison took running for the position of Stark County, Ohio Treasurer very seriously. During one meeting, Davison gave a speech in which he proceeded to get more and more angry and visually emotional, until he was basically screaming at the audience for an extended period of time. He even felt the need to scream the words “I have a Master’s Degree in Communications.” Audience members were pretty confused and uncomfortable, and many walked out before Davison finished. His outburst did earn him some internet fame, as the clip of his tirade went viral. He was even invited to appear on the comedy show Tosh.0 to “redeem” himself during a mock skit of Meet the Press. The highlight of that skit was when Tosh asked Davison how he was with children, and his first response was, “Well, I’m not a member of NAMBLA.”
The Crying Japanese Politician
It’s not uncommon for politicians to lie or get tongue-tied when confronted about mistakes they have made. Japanese assemblyman Ryutaro Nonomura, however, broke down in tears. After allegations were made that Nonomura used over $30,000 of government money for personal travel, he held a press conference to address them. Once on the podium, he began to have a major meltdown. Unable to produce any receipts, he attempted to explain himself, but then started crying uncontrollably, slamming his fists against the desk, his words inaudible as he gasped for breaths in-between sobs. The video went viral and he resigned the following week. He was later charged with fraud.
The Meanest Member Of Congress?
Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee has earned the title of “meanest” member of Congress. Her aides have relayed horror stories of working with her, from being publicly called “stupid idiots” (and much worse names) to having cell phones thrown at their heads. One incident that revealed how cold she could be took place at a town meeting in which Lee was giving a speech about healthcare. After the speech, a cancer survivor started to ask a question to Lee, who was still standing at the podium. In the middle of the question, Lee suddenly picked up her cell phone and started talking to someone on the other end. When someone in the room accused Lee of being rude, Lee shouted back “I am not rude!”
Slinging Racial Slurs
Senator George Allen was running for re-election in 2006, and entertaining the idea of possibly running for president, when he made a racist comment that would cost him any chance of winning. During one campaign speech, Allen noticed a Democratic volunteer from his opponant’s campaign who was American-Indian. He pointed him out to the audience and said, “This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt. Macaca or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent, he’s following us around everywhere. So welcome, let’s give a welcome to Macaca here. Welcome to America, and the real world of Virginia.” (For those who do not know, Macaca is a racial slur that means “monkey.”)
Allen later claimed he made up the word and didn’t know what it meant. It is quite a coincidence though, that it is commonly used in Tunisia, and Allen’s mother is French Tunisian.
Grimm Has A Short Fuse
The response NY1 reporter Michael Scotto received after questioning New York Representative Michael Grimm about a federal investigation into claims of campaign finance fraud was definitely not the one he’d expected. Evidently a touchy subject, Grimm initially refused to answer. The reporter and cameras continued to prod, and finally, Grimm responded by threatening to toss Scotto off of a balcony. After some back and forth banter, he also stated, “You’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.” He soon issued a public apology, but it was not the first time he’d had an outburst like that. He’d previously got into a verbal altercation with another NY1 reporter, and there were allegations in 1999 that he had threatened someone with a gun in a Queens nightclub.
Rob Ford’s Drunken Rant
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was caught on video having an alcohol and rage-infused rant during which he paced back and forth, mumbling obscenities, and then threatened to murder someone, though it is unclear who exactly he was talking about. After the video surfaced online, Ford apologized, claiming that he was “extremely, extremely inebriated” during the video. His mother publicly defended Ford the following week, saying that he needed to work on his weight and alcohol problem. Not long after, police announced they that had a video of the mayor smoking crack. Ford then admitted to smoking the substance, as well as to having a drinking problem.
In 2014, a video surfaced of Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber spilling some pretty big secrets. In the video, Gruber states that he helped “rip off” the federal government for $400 million a year by shifting Medicare funds to cover the uninsured. He explained how the Obama administration hid taxes on expensive medical insurance policies by passing the costs to insurers, who then laid the financial burden on to their customers. Another video then surfaced in which he said the “stupidity of the American voter” made it important for him and Democrats to hide Obamacare’s true costs from the public. The crazy part was that these videos were from speeches he had given, not private meetings.
The Evil Koch Brothers
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid made his distaste for billionaires David and Charles Koch (better known as the Koch brothers) very clear during one particular Senate speech. In his infamous speech, he claimed the duo was trying to buy America. He started off by saying “For the last eight years, Charles and David Koch and their inner circle of billionaires have wielded immense influence within our democracy.” He went on to say, “The Kochs and their dark money empire are flooding the airwaves with misleading and false advertisements.” These are just two examples of the 27 times the Koch brothers names were mentioned during that speech.
What A Coincidence
A Democratic assemblyman who heckled actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger received a veto letter with a special hidden message inside. During a local Democratic Party fundraiser speech, San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano screamed out to Schwarzenegger, who was giving a speech, that he was a liar, among other things. In the next months, Ammiano tried to pass a bill which would allow the Port of San Francisco financial power to transform an old shipyard into a new neighborhood. Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, and in the veto message, the first letter of each sentence in the left-hand margin vertically spelled out another message to Ammiano—the first word beginning with an ‘F’ and ending in ‘K,’ and the second word being Y-O-U. When asked about the secret message, Schwarzenegger responded with, “My goodness. What a coincidence.”
Politician Claims Hitler Supported The Jews
Last year Britain’s Labour Party found itself in the midst of an anti-Semitism crisis. In an attempt to uphold newly elected Labour MP Naz Shah, who had been accused of anti-Semitism, London’s former mayor Ken Livingstone was filmed defending Adolf Hitler. He was filmed claiming Hilter was a Zionist and a supporter of the Jewish homeland “before he went mad and killed six million Jews.” Despite the backlash he received for this comment, Livingstone continued to discuss it whenever he was invited to speak on live broadcasts. He also ironically continued to claim that throughout all of his years associated with the Labour Party, he never came across any instances of anti-Semitism.
Stright For The Groin
When the late Rep. Jim Traficant tried to leave the room during a recess of a meeting about Traficant’s conviction on federal corruption charges, the Representative faced a slew of journalists who were blocking the exit. Traficant responded to thier actions by saying, “Get out of my way or I’ll kick you in the crotch and give you a hernia from here to New Jersey.” No one moved. When he asked one partiular journalist who he was, and the journalist stated that he was with NBC, Traficant responded by calling the network “Nincompoop Broadcasting Corporation,” and “If I had a gastric emission, it would destroy every camera in the joint.” He then proceeded to go into the hallway and pose for pictures with interns and junior congressional aides.
Sarah Palin’s Cringe-Worthy Interview
Sarah Palin is no stranger to political backlash. Her controversial views and public image have made her an easy target for comedians and social commentators. But one incident, in particular, caught Sarah Palin amidst a slow-burning meltdown.
In 2008, Katie Couric interviewed the Governor of Alaska in which she asked her to name any decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court that she disagreed with. Palin stuttered and spouted off a series of run-on sentences for more than five minutes. The worst part? She couldn’t name a single decision. The interview left viewers cringing as Palin was clearly struggling to piece coherent sentences together.
A Destructive Affair
At one point Democratic Presidential nominee John Edwards was on top of the world. Many even thought he would be Obama’s running mate in 2008. But that all ended when information leaked that John had been cheating on his wife, who was dying of cancer, with a woman who was making a documentary about him. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he apparently had gotten his mistress pregnant. When his wife found out about the affair, she “collapsed in a ball” in an airport parking lot, and her distressed state tore off her shirt. She told him to end the affair, but he didn’t listen. His wife ended up passing away not long after. Edwards then faced charges for misusing campaign funds to cover up his affair.
Don’t You Dare Ask Any Questions About Healthcare
Politician Greg Pianoforte, who is planning to run for Congress in 2017, apparently doesn’t like to talk about the GOP healthcare bill. At an event, with numerous TV crews present, Pianoforte body slammed a Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs when he asked Pianoforte about the bill, shouting that he “was sick and tired of you guys” and that Jacobs should “get the hell out” of there. Jacobs didn’t suffer any injuries from the strange attack, but his glasses did get broken. The whole thing was recorded on audio, and Pianoforte was charged with misdemeanor assault.