Yesterday, I wrote a blog post recounting some of Governor Tom Corbett’s greatest gaffes over his last three-and-a-half years in office. They included the time he claimed women should just “close your eyes” while receiving a forced ultrasound, the time he compared same-sex marriage to children getting married, the time he compared same-sex marriage to incest, and the time, most recently, he said liquor privatization is good for women because it will help them prepare dinner quickly.

Welp, as some friends and commenters pointed out, I managed to miss a few. I’ve found them. So, here you go, people, some more of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s Greatest Gaffes!

‘Do any of you want to come to Harrisburg?’

It was May 2013, and Gov. Tom Corbett was, once again, trying and failing to communicate with a voting bloc who aren’t typically warm toward Republicans: Latinos.

And Philadelphia Latinos at that.

So, during a question-and-answer session with Al-Dia newspaper at the Union League in Philadelphia, Corbett was asked whether he had any Latinos in his Cabinet.

“No, we do not have any staff members in there,” Corbett replied. “If you can find us one, please let me know.”

“I am sure that there are Latinos that…” the moderator replied.

Corbett interrupted. “Do any of you want to come to Harrisburg,” he asked the audience. Laughter. “See?!”

For his part, Corbett said the criticism that mounted afterwards took him out of context.

‘We can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test’

Then there was the time, last year, when Corbett appeared on his ‘Ask the Governor’ program and was asked about Pennsylvania’s then-relatively high unemployment figures.

He could have said he was working on them, or that these things take time, or, hell, he could have blamed the federal government—something!

Instead, Pennsylvania’s governor claimed Pennsylvanians are too high on narcotics to get a job.

“There are many employers that say, ‘we’re looking for people, but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test,’ a lot of them,” Corbett said. “And that’s a concern for me because we’re having a serious problem with that.”

‘People are just going to sit there’

We had to go into the archives for this one: Corbett was on public radio during the 2010 campaign, and was asked about the unemployment rate. He argued against unemployment benefits, saying they make people lazy.

“People don’t wanna come back to work,” he said, “while they still have unemployment. They’re literally saying, I’ll come back to work when the unemployment ends. That’s becoming a problem. If we keep extending unemployment, people are just going to sit there.”

‘Most addictive gateway drug’

This last one isn’t so much a gaffe—it’s just wrong. Asked about marijuana legalization last October, the governor told the Tribune-Democrat newspaper that pot was “the most addictive gateway drug that there is,” then added: “People don’t stop at marijuana then, because then they go to the next level.”

As I noted yesterday, for many of these quotes, it’s just Corbett being Corbett: Super painfully oblivious to his surroundings. But in addition to that, he often seems to be well-intentioned; it’s just that his good intentions are the exact opposite of everyone else’s. Which, if you think about it, pretty much sums up the last few years of Pennsylvania politics.

About The Author

Staff writer

Randy LoBasso is the winner of the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association's 2014 Distinguished Writing Award for his news and politics coverage at Philadelphia Weekly. He has also contributed to Alt Ledes, Salon, The Guardian and PennLive.

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