BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

politics

The 29 Craziest Moments Of The 2016 Election

Election Day is finally here, so here's a stroll down memory lane of what has been a very long, weird campaign.

Posted on November 8, 2016, at 5:19 p.m. ET

This was one of the most deeply weird elections in American history.

And there have been a lot of truly insane moments over the last two years. But we wanted to do justice to the wildest, most chaotic, most ridiculous, most unexpected things that happened this year. So we put together this list.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

And there have been a lot of truly insane moments over the last two years. But we wanted to do justice to the wildest, most chaotic, most ridiculous, most unexpected things that happened this year. So we put together this list.

29. Trump said Clinton might be on drugs.

29 Most WTF Moments Of The Election: Trump Wants Debate-Enhancing Drug Tests #Election2016

28. Pepe the Frog became a symbol of white supremacy.

Pepe the Frog was officially called a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League, since the cartoon came to be associated with the alt-right. But the Trump campaign had embraced the frog. Trump retweeted images of himself resembling the frog, and one of his sons posted an Instagram photo featuring Pepe.
instagram.com

Pepe the Frog was officially called a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League, since the cartoon came to be associated with the alt-right. But the Trump campaign had embraced the frog. Trump retweeted images of himself resembling the frog, and one of his sons posted an Instagram photo featuring Pepe.

27. Ben Carson just...stood. Waiting.

Facebook: video.php

Despite being America's most famous neurosurgeon (probably), Carson looked vaguely lost at various points throughout the 2016 election, including literally during the introductions for a debate.

26. Trump and "The Snake."

video-cdn.buzzfeed.com

Trump's dramatic readings of the lyrics to "The Snake," became a regular feature of his campaign rallies. ("The Snake" is about a woman who cares for a snake in need and ends up getting bitten by it, and Trump used it to stoke fears about immigration and Syrian refugees.)

Anyway, Trump read the poem a lot, and people loved it, and that was a thing that happened.

25. Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as chairwoman of DNC literally as the Democratic convention was starting.

In a normal year, this would probably be a top-five crazy thing.Wasserman Schultz stepped down from her position at the Democratic National Committee following the release of WikiLeaks emails that Bernie Sanders' supporters used as evidence that the DNC favored Clinton's campaign. At a breakfast before the Democratic National Convention, she was booed by the Democrats in attendance.
Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

In a normal year, this would probably be a top-five crazy thing.

Wasserman Schultz stepped down from her position at the Democratic National Committee following the release of WikiLeaks emails that Bernie Sanders' supporters used as evidence that the DNC favored Clinton's campaign. At a breakfast before the Democratic National Convention, she was booed by the Democrats in attendance.

24. Lincoln Chafee wanted Americans to adopt the metric system.

video-cdn.buzzfeed.com

In terms of purely random moments: Lincoln Chafee thought Americans adopting the metric system was a major issue because he included it in his announcement speech.

23. A bird landed on the podium of a major presidential candidate, and he called it a dove, asking us for world peace.

The Crowd At A Bernie Sanders Rally Went Wild When A Bird Flew Into The Event https://t.co/iav5IjRbMJ

During a campaign event, a bird landed on Bernie Sanders' podium, and the audience went wild for it. Sanders told the audience that the bird was actually a dove asking for world peace.

22. Trump tweeted a picture of a "Frozen" coloring book.

Where is the outrage for this Disney book? Is this the 'Star of David' also? Dishonest media! #Frozen

After Trump drew criticism for being anti-Semitic because he tweeted a photo of Clinton that appeared to have the Star of David symbol next to it, he expressed regret for deleting the image. He also tweeted a photo of a Frozen children's coloring book with a star on the cover, asking where the outrage was over that Disney book.

21. "What, like, with a cloth or something?"

29 Most WTF Moments Of The Election: "Wipe It With A Cloth" #Election2016

In a flustered moment while answering questions about her email controversy, Clinton tried to make light of the situation by making a joke when asked if she wiped her email server clean. "What, like with a cloth or something?" she answered. The emails would remain an issue Clinton critics would point to throughout her run as a reason they could not trust her.

20. Trump got into a fight with the pope.

29 Most WTF Moments Of The Election: Trump vs. The Pope #Election2016

Trump's bulldog-style politics meant he went head to head with a lot of people, to the point that it was almost unsurprising whenever a new feud surfaced. But it was surprising to some that even the pope was dragged into the fray by Trump. After the pope said a person who only thinks about building walls is not Christian, Trump went on the defensive.

19. A dude climbed Trump Tower.

A man calling himself a "researcher" climbed Trump Tower today looking to meet with Donald https://t.co/GnuccodL5Q https://t.co/M1eVzLKPtJ

A man seeking a private audience with Donald Trump took an unconventional route to get his attention: He scaled Trump Tower with suction cups. Police were able to snatch him into the building by removing windows. Only in 2016 when the Republican nominee has a tower for someone to climb would this happen.

18. Clinton called half of Donald Trump's supporters bigoted and irredeemable, and/but in a very odd way!

video-cdn.buzzfeed.com

At a fundraiser in New York, Clinton made a controversial statement in which she dismissed half of Trump's supporters as "irredeemable." In this half, she included racists, xenophobes, and homophobes. She later expressed regret for being "grossly generalistic."

17. Gary Johnson didn’t know what Aleppo is.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson: “And what is Aleppo?" "You’re kidding." “No."

If you were wondering how the definition of a gaffe would change after this election, at least it turns out geography can still be a big one. During an interview, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson was asked what he would do about Aleppo, a city in Syria at the center of the refugee crisis. This incident resulted in a significant amount of attention for Johnson, but not necessarily in a good way.

16. Trump told Hispanics he loves them by tweeting a picture of him eating a taco salad.

Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics! https://t.co/ufoTeQd8yA

Trump ran his campaign with an anti-immigration tone, starting by calling for a wall to be built between Mexico and America during his announcement speech. While his campaigning tone did not change, he did use Cinco de Mayo as an opportunity to tweet about the taco bowls at Trump Tower Grill and let Hispanics know he loves them.

15. Ben Carson was a terrible surrogate. Like, the worst.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

When Corey Lewandowski got a misdemeanor battery charge, Carson was asked to comment. His response was, "You've probably been charged with something, too."

14. Rubio malfunctions at the debate.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Add it to the list of Rubio gaffes, too. In one of the GOP debates, Rubio gave one of his talking points about Obama multiple times verbatim during a face-off with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Trump, not yet the nominee, just stood back and watched the meltdown happen.

13. Cruz picked Fiorina as his running mate in April even though he lost.

29 Most WTF Moments Of The Election: Carly Fiorina Busts Out In Song #Election2016

Can you even do that? Cruz did. In one of his last-ditch efforts to gain momentum before eventually losing out to Trump for the nomination, Cruz announced Carly Fiorina, the lone female Republican candidate for president who had already dropped out, as his would-be running mate. It didn’t pay off. Bonus: Fiorina sang when she accepted Cruz’s offer.

12. Ana Navarro yelling "pussy" while a Trump surrogate gets offended.

video-cdn.buzzfeed.com

The best moment of live cable TV this year.

11. Trump encouraged America to check out a sex tape.

Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?

This election, it wasn’t unusual to hear about the Republican nominee’s late-night tweets. But the one where he encouraged America to check out a sex tape he alleged former Miss Universe Alicia Machado starred in may have taken the cake for the most controversial during the campaign.

10. Trump said one of his accusers would not be his "first choice."

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

If it wasn’t wild enough that a presidential candidate was accused of sexually assaulting and harassing women, Trump took it further. He told an audience in North Carolina that one of his accusers, a woman who says Trump sexually assaulted her on an airplane years ago, would not be his “first choice.”

9. A Trump adviser said Hillary Clinton should be tried for treason and shot on a firing line.

So... yeah.

8. Trump gave out Lindsey Graham's personal phone number.

GIF: @realDonaldTrump shows what the @lindseygrahamsc campaign confirms is Graham's personal cell phone number

This was probably one of the early warning signs of what it would be like for a Republican who got on Trump's bad side. After Sen. Lindsey Graham repeatedly called Trump a "jackass," Trump gave out his personal phone number, a prop that accompanied a story told about Graham calling Trump to ask him for a good reference.

7. Trump claimed thousands of Muslims cheered on 9/11.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Trump claimed thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered on 9/11, but the fact is that it is not true. Other public officials discredited Trump's statements.

6. Trump suggested Cruz’s dad was involved in the JFK assassination plot.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

As far as conspiracy theories in this election go, this was one of the earlier ones. Trump linked Ted Cruz’s father to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

5. Marco Rubio made a dick joke about Donald Trump.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Apparently, Rubio finally got sick of Trump's "Little Marco" nickname for him. At one of his rallies, he implied Trump had a small penis. “You know what they say about men with small hands,” Rubio said, pausing before continuing. “You can’t trust ‘em. You can’t trust ‘em.” Rubio later expressed regret for making the comment, but it was far too late. The comment led to...

4. Trump defended his dick size in a GOP debate.

video-cdn.buzzfeed.com

Trump often stood out from the other candidates vying for the Republican nomination because he knew how to steal the spotlight from them, particularly during debates. When Sen. Marco Rubio suggested Trump had a small penis during one of his rallies, Trump used the debate stage to set the record straight.

3. Melania Trump read a speech... plagiarized from Michelle Obama.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

When Melania Trump spoke on the Monday night of the convention, everybody for a little while was like, "Hey, you know that was fine." Then people on Twitter started pointing out that her speech literally had a paragraph — about her parentsthat was lifted from First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech. It's some of the worst staffing work in recent political history.

2. Clinton nearly collapsed at a 9/11 ceremony.

Video shows Hillary Clinton struggling to walk after "overheating" at NYC 9/11 memorial

Watching someone faint — or come close to fainting — will freak you out. It's incredibly unusual to see a presidential candidate do this (though not unprecedented — George H.W. Bush once passed out as president). Clinton tried to quietly leave a 9/11 ceremony early after becoming overheated and dehydrated but was caught on video nearly collapsing on her way out. It was revealed by her campaign later in the day that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia the previous Friday.

1. "Grab 'em by the pussy."

video-cdn.buzzfeed.com

ADVERTISEMENT