published Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Presidential race: So long moon base, 9-9-9, sweater vests and ’'oops’

By CONNIE CASS

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Only yesterday in presidential politics, The Donald was a contender, 9-9-9 was a buzzed-about tax plan, and Sarah Palin was cruising Iowa in a red, white and blue motor coach.

These days, Newt Gingrich’s moon base is just a distant dream.

Nothing fades faster than a primary campaign’s losing slogans and all-the-rage moments. Remember Rick Perry’s big “oops”? Rick Santorum’s sweater vest? Before it’s all lost, here’s a look back at the lingo of the race for the Republican nomination:

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Trump for President — “The Donald” fired himself from the race early. He could have won, Trump declared, but business comes first.

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Oops — All Perry could say in a cringe-worthy debate moment when he couldn’t come up with the name of that third federal department he wanted to eliminate.

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Sarah Palin 2012 — Really? Nah, that bus tour through Iowa and New Hampshire was just foolin’.

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John Wayne Who? — Michele Bachmann mistakenly congratulated Waterloo, Iowa, for being the birthplace of John Wayne. The town was home to serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

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Self-deportation — All-but-sure nominee Mitt Romney’s solution to the problem of millions of illegal immigrants, offered during a Florida debate.

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Food stamp president — Gingrich’s nickname for President Barack Obama, as more jobless people joined the rolls.

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9-9-9 — Former pizza CEO Herman Cain was touting his plan for income, corporate and sales taxes, not a $9.99 takeout special.

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Sweater vest — Santorum put one on in Iowa and nearly overnight it was his “official wardrobe.”

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Back to the Gold Standard — Ron Paul is still primed for that return trip, right after he fires the Federal Reserve.

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Moon base — The other guys mocked Gingrich for saying he would colonize the moon and even make it into a U.S. state someday.

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Grandiosity — Gingrich is full of it, Santorum snickered (see moon base). Gingrich retorted that grandiose ideas are what America’s about — then compared himself to the Wright brothers.

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You are the same height as my wife — What Cain recalled telling an employee who included the close encounter in her sexual harassment complaint.

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It wasn’t complicated — How a Georgia woman summed up the 13-year extramarital relationship she said Cain carried out with her. He denied it but soon quit the race.

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Open marriage — What one of Gingrich’s ex-wives said he had sought from her. He denied her story and said the media was bringing up “trash.”

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Baggage — Gingrich’s political and personal past began to weigh him down when pro-Romney ads jeered, “Newt has more baggage than the airlines.”

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Airtight kennel — Where Mitt Romney said his dog used to love to travel, strapped to the top of the family car.

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The dangers of contraception — Rick Santorum said he would warn the nation as president. Democrats warned women about him.

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A couple of Cadillacs — What Romney said his wife drives, provoking another round of jokes about his wealth.

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$2.50 per gallon — Gingrich pinned his comeback hopes on the nation’s thirst for low-cost gasoline.

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Phony theology — The basis of Barack Obama’s environmental policies, Santorum said.

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Etch A Sketch — Romney can shake off the primaries and start the fall campaign like a clean Etch a Sketch, his spokesman said, to the delight of rivals who ridiculed the candidate as a pretend conservative.

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Swiss bank account — Romney’s history of offshore banking became another symbol of his personal riches. While other factoids fade, this one may linger, thanks to an Obama campaign eager to keep it in voters’ minds until the November election.

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