Have you ever heard someone saying an unintentional comment over something or someone without knowing that someone undeserved is hearing? Gaffes are unintentional comments made by one towards someone causing embarrassment to the originator. Notwithstanding, even top world leaders have been heard going public on mic gaffes. Below are some of the past unintentional comments made by prominent persons that went public.
Table of Contents
- 10. Ronald Reagan on Russia
- 9. Jacques Chirac on British food
- 8. John Major on colleagues — and himself
- 7. Joe Biden to Obama
- 6. Prince Charles on royal correspondent
- 5. Bush on reporter
- 4. George W. Bush to Tony Blair
- 3. Gordon Brown on ‘bigoted’ voter
- 2. Obama Slams Kanye West
- 1. Obama, Sarkozy talk trash about Netanyahu
10. Ronald Reagan on Russia
In August 1984, President Ronald Reagan made a throwaway joke at the height of the Cold War. While he was taking a sound check just before his weekly scheduled radio address to the nation, the President said this “ My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you that I have signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.” This remark went public and caused embarrassment.
9. Jacques Chirac on British food
In 2005, The French President, Jacques Chirac was caught on tape criticizing the entire nation. Chirac was a leading role in Paris’ quest to host the 2012 Olympics and that is when he made some sentiments against his competitor, London, on food. He said this “The only thing that they have ever done for European agriculture is mad cow disease,” he told Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. “You cannot trust people who have such bad cuisine.” This gaffe became public and provoked the ire of the British tabloids. However, it became nonsense since London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics.
8. John Major on colleagues — and himself
Elections are known to be the most fertile hunting ground for gaffes given that politician’s battle for airtime and headlines. The then-UK Prime Minister John Major also found himself in trouble sometimes back in 1993 when he admitted that he didn’t understand why voters kept voting for him. Just a day after members of his Conservative Party had rebelled in Parliament concerning plans to expand Britain’s links with Europe; He was heard referring to the Eurosceptic lawmakers as “bastards” and threatening to “crucify” them. After an interview with a reporter and he thought that the microphone had been switched off, Major said this “how such a complete wimp like me keeps winning everything.”
7. Joe Biden to Obama
The U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden was caught on tape dropping the F-bomb while congratulating Obama on the signing of the controversial bill to overhaul health care in March 2010.
While introducing the President to the media, he turned to hug Obama, and he was heard whispering: “This is a big f—— deal.”
6. Prince Charles on royal correspondent
Most people knows that Bush the only public figure to have voiced anger and frustration at the media in an imprudent on-camera moment.
Prince Charles too got himself in a mess with the British press when he was caught murmuring under his breath to his sons William and Harry about a reporter during a photo call skiing holiday in 2005 in Switzerland. Taking concession to a question from longtime BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell. This is what the Prince said, “Bloody people. I can’t bear that man. He’s so awful, he really is.” The comment just exposed how negative the prince was with the media. From this, it is true that gaffes offend irrespective of how it is said, whether in polite or harsh tone.
5. Bush on reporter
The 43rd U.S. President was never a stranger to the gaffe. At an Illinois campaign stop in September 2000, George Bush was recorded on camera branding the Adam Clymer, New York Times reporter as a “major-league a——” — and his running mate Dick Cheney immediately uttered a reply: “Oh yeah, big time.” Bush apologized later said he was sorry for his comments and said the comment was meant for his advisers as a “whispered aside.” He also stated that he regrets that his private comments made its way through to the public airwaves.
4. George W. Bush to Tony Blair
One of the most famous on-mic gaffes was witnessed during the 2006 G8 summit in Russia from Bust to Tony Blair. The President, W. Bush hailed the Prime Minister with the informal greeting “Yo Blair!” and also thanked him for the recent gift of a sweater. He then started a discussion on the situation in the Middle East and offered a non-diplomatic solution to the instability in Syria and Israel. This what he said “What they need to do,” he told Blair, “is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s— and it’s all over.”
3. Gordon Brown on ‘bigoted’ voter
A week before the election, the then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s campaign was not going well, and he met even the worst moments when he stopped to chat with a voter in Rochdale, England. The PM met and initiated a conversation with Gillian Duffy, and she admitted how ashamed she is with him and his Labour Party. Brown kept a polite and cool conversation with her while on the TV cameras. However, while driving away without noticing the microphone was still on, he was heard complaining to the advisers saying “That was a disaster. They should never have put me with that woman. … Ridiculous … bigoted woman.” Even though Brown apologized, the woman’s sentiments became true when Brown lost the elections.
2. Obama Slams Kanye West
Obama was termed Kanye West as “jackass” in an off-the-road portion of a TV interview. This is what he said “The young lady seems like a perfectly nice person, she’s getting her award. What’s he doing up there?” “He’s a jackass.”The remark was tweeted by another reporter followed by the real footage of the clip that later brought controversy.
1. Obama, Sarkozy talk trash about Netanyahu
The U.S President, Barack Obama and his then-French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, met trouble in November 2011 after their sentiments on Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu was overheard at the G20 summit. Sarkozy said this to Obama: “I can’t stand him. He’s a liar,” and Obama replied: “You’re tired of him; what about me? I have to deal with him every day.”
Those were some of the reported gaffes by prominent leaders that prove that on-mic unintentional communication exists.