Conservative Controversies & Scandals

Historical Republican Controversies (Before 2014)

  • When the McCain/Palin ticket failed to win, both McCain and Palin expected to give a concession speech. It was revealed that the McCain aides 'literally turned the lights out on Palin when she retook the stage later that night to take pictures with her family, fearing that she would give the concession speech after all.' Another McCain aide who had left the scene is said to have phoned a colleague and yelled: 'Get control of her! Get her ass off the stage.'
  • A former U.S. congressman from Michigan was indicted for accepting secret payments to try to help an Islamic charity get removed from a congressional watch list of relief agencies suspected of supporting terrorism. On July 7, 2010, Siljander pled guilty to obstruction of justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent. On January 12, 2012, he was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.
  • In 1983, Romney packed up his family for a 12-hour drive from Boston to Ontario. His five sons filled up the car, leaving no room for the family's Irish Setter, Seamus, so the resourceful Romney strapped the dog's crate to the car roof. When Seamus suffered an apparent bout of diarrhea during the trip, Romney pulled into a service station, where "he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway". This has recently become an issue with Romney admitting openly to it on Fox News, getting backlash from pro animal rights associations. Many believe this is "a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management", a quote from a reporter of "The Boston Globe".
  • Mitt Romney, after saying that he would never employ undocumented immigrants, has had evidence surface that he has in fact, employed undocumented workers. Romney used a lawn company that readily hired undocumented workers, Romney was cordial with them giving the occasional "Buenos dias" and his wife would often bring them water. He has been quoted saying "I'm Running For Office, For Pete's Sake, I Can't Have Illegals."
  • On August 11, 2006, at a campaign stop in Breaks, Virginia, near the Kentucky border, Allen twice used the word macaca to refer to S.R. Sidarth, an Indian-American, who was filming the event as a "tracker" for the opposing Webb campaign. Allen apologized, first saying he intended to say "mohawk," an incorrect reference to Sidarth's hair cut. He then revised his story, saying he meant to call Sidarth "caca" and then claiming that he did not know the meaning of the word. 'Macaca' is a pejorative epithet used by francophone colonialists in Central Africa's Belgian Congo for the native population. It is derived from the name of the genus comprising macaque monkeys whose name has also itself been used as a racial slur.
  • In February 2005, Giuliani pocketed $80,000 for speaking at a charity benefit for tsunami aid which raised only $60,000 for the victims themselves.
  • When Trump Hotel & Casino declared bankruptcy, the investors filed with the bankruptcy court, requesting to cut off Trump's exclusive right to direct the reorganization of the casinos.This would have given him $2 million a year in salary, leaving nothing for the investors. The company settled with investors at $17.5 million.
  • John Pappageorge said in the summer of 2004, "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election." Pappageorge later claimed he was taken out of context saying, "In the context that we were talking about, I said we’ve got to get the vote up in Oakland (County) and the vote down in Detroit. You get it down with a good message."
  • Ben Carson did paid speeches for Mannatech Inc, a maker of nutritional supplements that claimed they could cure autism and cancer. Carson supported those claims by saying that the symptoms of his prostate cancer had gone away in just a few weeks of using Mannatech's supplements. Mannatech paid $7 million to settle a deceptive-marketing lawsuit in Texas.
  • In November 2002, KBR was tasked to plan oil well firefighting in Iraq, and in February 2003 was issued a contract to conduct the work. Critics contend that it was a no-bid contract, awarded due to Dick Cheney's position as vice president. Concern was also expressed that the contract could allow KBR to pump and distribute Iraqi oil. Others contend, however, that this was not strictly a no-bid contract, and was invoked under a contract that KBR won "in a competitive bid process." The contract, referred to as LOGCAP, is a contingency-based contract that is invoked at the convenience of the Army. Because the contract is essentially a retainer, specific orders are not competitively bid.
  • The Santorum controversy arose over Republican former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum's statements about homosexuality and the right to privacy. In an interview with the Associated Press taped on April 7, 2003,and published April 20, 2003, Santorum stated that he believed mutually consenting adults do not have a constitutional right to privacy with respect to sexual acts. Santorum described the ability to regulate consensual homosexual acts as comparable to the states' ability to regulate other consensual and non-consensual sexual behavior, such as adultery, polygamy, child molestation, incest, sodomy, and bestiality, whose decriminalization he believed would threaten society and the family, as they are not monogamous and heterosexual.
  • During the Salt Lake City Olympics, Romney lost his temper on a volunteer security worker. Romney had been stuck in a traffic jam and tried to start directing traffic over the objections of the local sheriff. Romney then allegedly started swearing at an 18 year-old security volunteer. Romney denies using the f-word.
  • Trent Lott said we would have avoided problems if segregationist Strom Thurmond was elected. "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
  • Rivera was involved in a traffic collision with a truck carrying thousands of fliers, produced by Rivera's campaign opponent in 2002, that included a last-minute attack on Rivera's character and detailed past domestic violence accusations against him. According to reports filed by the Florida Highway Patrol, a car driven by Rivera hit the truck and forced it to the shoulder of the Palmetto Expressway, ten minutes before the truck's 6 p.m. deadline to deliver the fliers to the post office, preventing the fliers from being delivered in time to be mailed. Rivera has said that he had planned to meet up with the truck on an exit ramp off the Expressway so he could retrieve a batch of his own campaign fliers.
  • Congress was up in arms Thursday over the discovery that the U.S. team's uniforms for the opening ceremony of this year's Olympic games were manufactured in China -- snubbing the nation's textile industry at a time when it has yet to recover from the economic downturn. For the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who has repeatedly promised on the trail to "get tough" on China, opposing the manufacturing seemed a likely stance, except that while at the helm of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Romney outsourced the production of torchbearer uniforms to Burma.
  • After gaining a spot on a 9/11 committee. Rubio skipped nearly half of the meetings, more than any of his colleagues. He missed hours of expert testimony and was absent for more than 20 votes, prompting concern for the committee's chairman.
  • Upon being elected, Roy Moore had a nearly 3-ton monument of the Ten Commandments displayed outside of the courthouse. He was supported by various religious groups.A judged ruled that, the monument, clearly Judeo-Christian, being displayed is a clear violation of the First Amendment that prohibits the government from endorsing a religion and must be removed. On August 14, Moore announced his intention to disobey Judge Thompson's order to have the monument removed. Moore had to be forcibly removed from office.
  • On March 19, 1997, investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities in El Paso and on dozens of doctors with suspected ties to the company. The Columbia/HCA board of directors pressured Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO following the inquiry. He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million. Columbia/HCA eventually ended up paying over $2 billion in settlements and fine do to resulting fraud cases
  • At the end of 2007, both the New York Sun and The New York Times Magazine reprinted passages from early 1990s publications of Paul's newsletters, attacking them for content deemed racist. These were the same newsletters that had been used against Paul during his 1996 congressional campaign.
  • On October 13, 1994 a domestic abuse charge was filed in Miami-Dade County against one David M. Rivera. Rivera denies that he was the defendant in the 1994 domestic violence case, and the victim of the attack has maintained that David Rivera, the politician, was not the defendant in her case. The case file has been destroyed by the court (case files are retained for only 5 years,). The Miami Herald reported that according to a woman who is friendly with the victim's brother, Rivera and the victim came to her home as a couple to attend a dinner party about 10 years ago. The victim's mother also once worked on one of Rivera's political campaigns, records show.