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Alex Sink and the great debate blunders (Videos)

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Democratic candidate Alex Sink, left, and Republican candidate Rick Scott. (Scott McIntyre/AP)

Ever since a sweaty and supposedly sick Richard Nixon stood beside a handsome, glowing John F. Kennedy in the first televised presidential debate, politicians have been aware of the high stakes of debating.

The latest candidate to walk into a campaign minefield is Floridian Alex Sink. The Democratic candidate for governor broke a rule in Monday's debate by receiving a text from an aide during a break.

Her opponent Rick Scott played the misstep up when the debate started again. After the debate ended, Sink fired the aide who sent the message and claimed it was a mistake, while Scott has continued to call Sink's integrity into question.

Between Nixon and Sink, a host of other political faux pas have occurred behind the debate lectern. Here are three of our favorites. Let us know if we missed any in the comments!

Gerald Ford and the Eastern European question

Many critics say Gerald Ford lost the election to Jimmy Carter in no small part for his gaffe during the 1976 presidential debate when he stated, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe."

The mystery of George W. Bush's shirt bulge

During a presidential debate with John Kerry, George W. Bush leaned over his podium and the camera caught an odd shape square on his back. The media went wild, trying to decide if the mark was a wire tap and if Bush had a Cyrano de Bergerac feeding him lines during the debate. Bush made light of the incident calling it "a poorly tailored shirt," but the rumor dogged him for years.

bush.JPG

Jan Brewer's final debate

In another incident from this election cycle, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) faltered a number of times during the gubernational debate in September. The 44 blog wrote she "appeared to be at a loss for words during her opening statement, leading to some long, awkward pauses." The next day, she told reporters she would not participate in debates any longer.

By Melissa Bell  | October 26, 2010; 1:57 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Comments

OMG, that is SO a box on Bush's back!

Posted by: Dan4 | October 26, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

sink

has

sunk

Posted by: ProCounsel | October 26, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a battery pack on Bush's back.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | October 26, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The real cheater/thief/fraud uses a text message as a way to prove he is morally superior to Alex Sink. Bwahahahahahahaha!!
This scumball stole 3 billion dollars from seniors and medicare. He was the man in charge of the biggest medicare fraud in history !!!
What a P.O.S. !

Posted by: seemstome | October 26, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

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