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Top 5 ‘lumps of coal’ winners for 2012

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by Félix Pérez/image by Johntel Greene

It’s no secret that politicians can give voice to some of the most outrageous statements. Their pronouncements might reflect the heat of the moment, poor advice from a campaign manager or deeply held beliefs. Whatever their origin, these shocking statements were all too common in 2012.

Here, in descending order, are our Top 5 Lumps of Coal winners for their shameful and head-scratching assertions:

No. 5

Shadrack McGill, Alabama state senator, paying teachers more violates the Bible:

“It’s a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach. To go in and raise someone’s child for eight hours a day, or many people’s children for eight hours a day, requires a calling… And these teachers that are called to teach, regardless of the pay scale, they would teach. It’s just in them to do. It’s the ability that God give ’em.”

No. 4

Rick Santorum, presidential candidate and former U.S. senator, telling a mother and her sick young son that drug companies are entitled to charge whatever the market demands for life-saving therapies:

“I sympathize with these compassionate cases… I want your son to stay alive on much-needed drugs. Fact is, we need companies to have incentives to make drugs. If they don’t have incentives, they won’t make those drugs. We either believe in markets or we don’t.”

No. 3

Newt Gingrich, presidential candidate and former U.S. House speaker, ‘Poor kids, get a job’:

“So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal.”

No. 2

Mitt Romney, Republican presidential nominee, Forty-seven percent of Americans are “victims” and “dependent on government”:

“My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

No. 1

Sandusky mailerCommittee to Protect Florida, a Republican campaign group, linking in a mailer elementary school teacher and Florida House of Representatives candidate Karen Castor Dentel to convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky:

“Karen Castor Dentel would rather protect bad teachers and the union than young and impressionable students.”

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