CEOs really put their feet (and anything else they could find) in their mouths this year.
With the presidential election and the looming fiscal cliff, CEOs have taken great pains to make sure they're heard, but in some cases their political interventions have backfired. There have been insensitive marketing campaigns, aggressive attacks on the president, and silly endorsements galore.
Now it's time to take a moment to appreciate all of the ridiculous moments that our favorite and least favorite CEOs have brought us this year.
Check out the most ridiculous statements from CEOs in 2012:
Jack Welch: 'Can't Debate So Change Numbers'
After the September jobs report revealed that the unemployment rate had dropped below 8 percent, former GE CEO Jack Welch accused the Obama campaign of cooking the number, in an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/jack-welch-tweet-jobs-numbers_n_1942270.html">October 5 tweet</a>: "Unbelievable jobs numbers... these Chicago guys will do anything... can't debate," he wrote.
Jamie Dimon: 'It's a free. Fucking. Country.'
When <em>New York</em> magazine asked JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon about his unwavering support of Wall Street, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/13/jamie-dimon-free-fucking-country_n_1772433.html">Dimon responded</a>: "This is not the Soviet Union... This is the United States of America. That's what I remember. Guess what.... It's a free. Fucking. Country."
Donald Trump's Challenge To Obama
Donald Trump's silliness really needs no introduction. He offered this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/donald-trump-announcement-obama-5-million-college-transcripts-passport_n_2016304.html" target="_hplink">challenge to the president</a> in October: "If Barack Obama opens up and gives his college records and applications and if he gives his passport applications and records, I will give, to a charity of his choice... a check, immediately, for $5 million."
Lloyd Blankfein Compares Fiscal Cliff To WWII
In November, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/lloyd-blankfein-fiscal-cliff-wwii-world-war-ii_n_2204984.html">the following in a CNBC interview</a>: "There have been times in our history when I know the business community was very, very engaged in the affairs of our country and added a particular area of expertise that was valued at that time," Blankfein told Javers on Wednesday. "For example in the war, when it came time to increase production, of course the CEOs came down."
Warren Buffett: Jamie Dimon Is Best Choice For Treasury Secretary
This prediction may have been a miss for the Oracle of Omaha. Warren Buffett said in an interview in November that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon would make a great Treasury Secretary, taking the whole revolving door thing to another level. "If we did run into problems in markets, I think he would actually be the best person you could have in the job," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/warren-buffett-jamie-dimo_n_2197455.html">Buffett said of Dimon.</a>
John Schnatter vs. Obamacare
Papa John's CEO John Schnatter said he would <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/09/papa-johns-obamacare-john-schnatter_n_2104202.html">cut workers' hours and increase pizza prices</a> to fight the impact that he feels Obamacare will have on his company. Schnatter was hit with some backlash over the stance, including a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/14/papa-johns-obamacare-boycott-meme_n_2129800.html" target="_hplink">set of memes</a> that went viral.
David Siegel Threatens To Fire Everyone If Obama Wins
Siegel, CEO of timeshare company Westgate resorts emailed employees <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/09/david-siegel-email_n_1951801.html">threatening layoffs if Obama was reelected</a>: "If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company." Instead, Siegel ended up having a change of heart and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/david-siegel-westgate-letter-layoffs-firings-obama-win-victory-raises_n_2092582.html">gave his employees raises</a> after Obama's victory.
Robert Benmosche Wants You To Work Until You're 80
AIG CEO Robert Benmosche has enough money for a seaside villa, but he thinks ordinary Europeans should be working until they're 80. Benmosche told Bloomberg from said seaside villa that it would take normals working <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/04/aig-ceo-robert-benmosche-_n_1569072.html" target="_hplink">well into their golden years</a> to solve the European debt crisis.
Dov Charney: Hurricane Sandy Marketing 'Not A Serious Matter'
In the middle of Hurricane Sandy's destruction of the east coast, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/american-apparel-hurricane-sandy-marketing-dov-charney_n_2056410.html">American Apparel promoted a "Sandy Sale"</a> for customers who were "bored" during the storm. In response to critics who noted that the marketing tactic may be a bit insensitive American Apparel CEO Dov Charney said: "We're here to sell clothing. I'm sleeping well at night knowing this was not a serious matter."