Mitt Romney may have lost the presidency, but he can take solace in the fact that he at least won something this year as it was announced Monday that the Republican made the year's most memorable remark with his secretly recorded diatribe against the supposed 47% of the American population that lives off the government. The honor comes from Fred Shapiro, who edits the "Yale Book of Quotations."
Shapiro gives out the prize for the year's top 10 quotes. Romney also was awarded second place for his "binders full of women" comment during the October 16 presidential debate. The remark, which is widely seen as having been a contributing factor to his Election Day loss, "contributed to an image of him being somewhat out of touch," said Shapiro.
Romney also took third place on the dubious awards list with his "you didn't build that", and snagged a fifth place award for his quip about "horses and bayonets" during the October 22 presidential debate.
Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's musings on "legitimate rape" came in at No. 6. In fact, the only entry on the list that was not uttered by a politician or someone related to political life is "Oppan Gangam Style".
Here is the full list of the top 10 quotes of the year:
1. "There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what ... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Mitt Romney, remarks at private fundraiser, Boca Raton, Fla., May 17
2. "We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet (in Massachusetts). I went to a number of women's groups and said, "Can you help us find folks?" and they brought us whole binders full of women."
Romney, second presidential debate, Hempstead, N.Y., Oct. 16
3. "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business – you didn't build that."
President Obama, remarks at campaign appearance, Roanoke, Va., July 13
4. "Please proceed, Governor."
Obama, second presidential debate, Hempstead, N.Y., Oct. 16 (lead-in to Romney's denial that Obama had called Libya attack an act of terrorism)
5. "You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines."
Obama, third presidential debate, Boca Raton, Fla., Oct. 22
6. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin, KTVI-TV interview, Aug. 19
7. "You hit a reset button for the fall campaign; everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."
Romney senior campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, CNN interview, March 21
8. "I'm an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability."
Socialite Jill Kelley, telephone call to a 911 dispatcher, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 11, about media crews that came to her home as news broke of her involvement in the scandal over the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus
9. "Oppan Gangnam style."
South Korean rapper PSY, "Gangnam Style" (song)
10 (tie). "Under current law, on January 1st, 2013, there is going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases."
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testimony at House Committee on Financial Services hearing, Feb. 29
10 (tie). "I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge."
Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, WMAZ-TV television interview about Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Nov. 21
10 (tie). "I have a job to do. ... If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Fox News interview about Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 30