In a year of gaffe-rich campaign speeches, Republicans in particular are worried that some errant phrase will seem racist or sexist to general-election voters. Politico helpfully catalogs the mines the candidates have already stepped on. Some phrases to avoid:
- “Sweetie”: Barack Obama used the endearment to address a female reporter.
- “Hard-working Americans, White Americans”: Hillary Clinton drew criticism for the phrase.
- “Tar baby”: Both Mitt Romney and Tom Davis said they didn't know the phrase is a wee bit racially charged.
- “Boy”: Not an inherently bad word, unless you use it condescendingly about a black candidate.
- “Pansy”: Considered a slur against gays, as one Clinton supporter found out the hard way.