After the budget standoff ended in crushing defeat last week and the political damage reports began to pile up for Republicans, one longtime party leader after another stepped forward to chastise their less seasoned, Tea Party-inspired colleagues who drove the losing strategy.

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  • President Barack Obama

    Obama's second-term agenda had to take a backseat after several scandals caught the media's attention in May. Republicans' continued scrutiny of the Obama administration's handling of the attacks in Benghazi was a <a href="" target="_blank">significant distraction</a>. Within the same week that the Internal Revenue Service revealed it had <a href="" target="_blank">targeted tea party groups</a> requesting tax-exempt status, news broke that the DOJ <a href="" target="_blank">seized</a> months of phone records of journalists for the Associated Press.

  • George W. Bush

    Bush's first and second terms were marked by significant scandals. During Bush's second term, his administration <a href="" target="_blank">came under scrutiny</a> for its handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the firings of numerous federal prosecutors. In 2007, the leak of a CIA agent's name led to the conviction of I. Lewis Libby, then-Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. Additional scandals included the arrest of a domestic policy aide after he was caught shoplifting, the resignation of a senior State Department official directly affiliated with the infamous D.C. Madam and an investigation tracing $12 billion worth of funds left unaccounted for in correlation to the Iraq War. <em>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">The Washington Post</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Salon</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">The Daily Beast</a> </em>

  • Bill Clinton

    Though he denied the allegations at first, Clinton <a href="" target="_blank">was eventually impeached</a> in his second term after an <a href="" target="_blank">affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky</a> came to light. He avoided being removed from office. In addition to his affair with Lewinsky, Clinton battled <a href="" target="_blank">the Whitewater scandal</a>, a real estate deal gone awry years before he took office. Amid the investigation, the Clintons were accused of fraud and abuse of power. <em>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">The Washington Post</a> </em> <em><strong>Correction:</strong> An earlier version of this slide incorrectly stated that Clinton had avoided impeachment.</em>

  • Ronald Reagan

    <a href="" target="_blank">The Iran-Contra affair</a>, an arrangement where weapons were sold to Iran in hopes that the funds would support the Nicaraguan Contras, <a href="" target="_blank">rocked the Reagan administration</a>. The scandal derailed parts of Reagan's second-term agenda, which was originally intended to be centered on the Soviet Union and the Cold War. <em>Source: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em>

  • Richard Nixon

    After burglars were arrested inside the <a href="" target="_hplink">Watergate building in 1972</a>, it was revealed that they were affiliated with Nixon's reelection campaign. The men were caught in the middle of stealing files and wiretapping phones in the office of the Democratic National Committee. Nixon later raised "hush money" to stop the FBI investigation into the burglars. On August 8, 1974, <a href="" target="_hplink">Nixon resigned</a> after his role in the Watergate scandal was exposed. Source: <a href="" target="_hplink"></a> and <a href="" target="_hplink">The New York Times</a>

  • Dwight Eisenhower

    In 1958, Eisenhower's Chief of Staff Sherman Adams resigned after a scandal revealed <a href="" target="_blank">he met with federal agencies</a> on behalf of a businessman who had given him gifts. According to The New York Times, the recession's effects on the economy resulted in the Republican Party losing 48 House seats. Eisenhower reportedly referred to 1958 as one of the worst years of his life. <em>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">The New York Times</a></em>

  • Franklin Roosevelt

    In 1937, Roosevelt announced his intent to make the Supreme Court more efficient by expanding it to include as many as 15 judges. Roosevelt was immediately accused of <a href="" target="_blank">"packing" the court</a> so that his New Deal legislation would face fewer roadblocks. <em>Source: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em>

  • Ulysses S. Grant

    Grant's first and second terms were riddled with <a href="" target="_blank">scandals</a>. In 1875, associates close to Grant were accused of attempting to defraud the federal government of millions, though Grant himself was not directly involved in the schemes. <em>Source: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em>

  • Thomas Jefferson

    During his second term, Jefferson passed the <a href="" target="_blank">Embargo Act</a>, which halted trade between the United States and Great Britain. Jefferson hoped Great Britain would be more affected by the Embargo Act than the United States. Unfortunately, however, the act put tremendous strain on the American economy and <a href="" target="_blank">divided the nation</a>. Josiah Quincy, a leader of the Federalists Party, fiercely opposed the Embargo Act, claiming it was wrong to <a href="" target="_blank">abandon commercial prosperity</a>. <em>Source: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Crucible of Power</a> and <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em>