Mitt Romney Misquotes George Costanza And Other High-Profile Figures Talking On Fictional Characters (PHOTOS)

The GOP frontrunner misquoted the Seinfeld everyman, but he's not the first to take on a pop-culture character. From Murphy Brown to Tinky Winky, more fictional targets of high profile figures' ire.

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images; Andrew Eccles, NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images; Andrew Eccles, NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images

Mitt Romney and George Costanza

What better way to let average Joes know you're one of them than with  reference to everyman George Costanza?

Unfortunately, Romney got the quote wrong and made himself an easy target for Seinfeld's Jason Alexander. At the debate Wednesday, Romney quipped: "As George Costanza would say, when they're applauding, stop." But the line was Jerry's, who actually said, "Showmanship, George. When you hit the high note, you say goodnight and walk off." In response, Alexander tweeted, "Thrilled Gov. Romney enjoys my old characer. I enjoyed the character he used 2 b 2. If he'd embrace that again, he'd b a great candidate."

J. David Ake, AFP / Getty Images; Everett Collection

Dan Quayle and Murphy Brown

Back in 1992, Dan Quayle uttered 38 words about a fictional TV character that continue to set the standard for out-of-touch political statements. During a speech about family values, Quayle took on Murphy Brown's decision to have a baby out of wedlock. Said Quayle: "It doesn't help matters when prime-time TV has Murphy Brown—a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid, professional woman -- mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another lifestyle choice." Brown struck back in an episode titled "You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato" (a jab at his misspelling of the word potato at a spelling bee) that criticized the vice president for not accepting nontraditional families.

Bill Greenblatt, Liaison / Getty Images; Fox

Barbara Bush and Marge Simpson

Marge Simpson may be the most famous cartoon mom in the world, so it should come as no surprise that she didn't take former First Lady Barbara Bush's criticism laying down. In 1990, Bush told People that The Simpsons was "the dumbest thing [she had] ever seen." Marge shot back with a polite letter, telling the first lady that she was "deeply hurt." She added, "If we're the dumbest thing you ever saw, Washington must be a good deal different than what they teach me at the current events group at the church." Touched by the letter, Bush responded, asking for forgiveness for a "loose tongue."

Getty Images; Everett Collection

Jerry Falwell and Tinky Winky

Could a Teletubby be gay? Jerry Falwell certainly thought so. Falwell accused Tinky Winky, the Teletubby with the triangle on its head, of being gay because he was purple. Falwell denounced the show, saying that purple is the "gay-pride color" and the triangle is "the gay-pride symbol." Tinky Winky also carried a handbag, but a spokesman for the show said that it was ridiculous to read sexual innuendo into a children's show.

Roger L. Wollenberg , UPI / Landov; Everett Collection

L. Brent Bozell and Ally McBeal

Ally McBeal had a tough time at love, and L. Brent Bozell, founder of the media research center, wasn't too sympathetic. It seems the cast of Ally McBeal was having a little too much sex. The episode that riled Bozell saw the title character engaged in an anonymous tryst with a carwash attendant. But Bozell didn't just take on the show, which also included some girl-on-girl kissing. He also slammed the state of American culture. Said Bozell, "The newest rage is Fox's Ally McBeal, and what this says about the state of popular culture today is rather dreadful."

Getty Images (2)

Gloria Steinem and Playboy Bunnies

In the early 1960s, Gloria Steinem went undercover as a Playboy bunny to expose how women were being taken advantage of. Four decades later, the famous feminist took on the NBC drama The Playboy Club, saying the show glorified "prostitution and male dominance" while ignoring the difficult situations the women found themselves in. The show wasn't well received and was eventually canceled.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images; Randy Holmes, ABC / Getty Images

Mitt Romney and Big Bird

Open season extends even to jumbo-size cartoon fowl when it comes to balancing the budget, Mitt Romney said at an Iowa campaign stop in December of last year. While discussing how he would stop subsidies to PBS, he said, “Look, I’m going to stop that. I’m going to say that PBS is going to have to have advertisements.” Some of those ads, he said, would even be directed toward the tender eyeballs of the age 2 to 5 demographic. “We’re not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements, alright?” Sure, Romney would have no problem going against years of television precedent—the Federal Trade Commission said in the 1970s that advertising to kiddies under 6 was unfair—but one supposes one should take some comfort in the fact that he wouldn’t rub out the beloved character completely.

Getty Images; HBO

Sarah Palin and "Sarah Palin"

Sarah Palin has had a rocky relationship with members of what she calls the "lame stream" media. And, the book Game Change certainly didn't paint her in a favorable light. Now, Palin's surrogates are lashing out at the movie version of the bestselling book, saying the HBO film is harsh and Julianne Moore's performance doesn't accurately portray the former Alaska governor. Meg Stapleton, a close Palin confident, told reporters, "This is sick. The media has gone too far. You accepted the false narrative of a couple of people who sought revenge and fabricated a story more than three years ago."