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October 12, 2012

Romney Remark Results in Self-Google Bomb

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is getting the “completely wrong” type of publicity from Google Images.

When the term “completely wrong” is typed into a Google Images search, hundreds of photos of the Republican candidate pop up, reminiscent of the Google Bombs against Rick Santorum and George W. Bush in years past.

The search engine giant, however, says this is not a Google Bomb but an effect of the site’s algorithm, which associates Romney’s image with articles written about his recent interview with Fox News during which he responded to criticism of  his “47 percent” video.

“In this case I said something that’s just completely wrong,” Romney said in the interview, referring to his comment earlier this year that 47 percent of Americans were “victims” dependent on the government.

The secret video of Romney’s slip was leaked to the public late last month.

Fox News has suggested Google is biased, saying it is well known that Google CEO Eric Schmidt supports Obama.

According to a Fox News story that referred to White House visitor records, Schmidt has visited the White House 14 times since January 2009. Schmidt also gave $25,000 for the Obama inauguration in 2008, and $5,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year.

But Romney is not alone in having inopportune phrases linked with his image.

President Barack Obama has been linked to the expression “had a bad night” in Google Images.

“Gov. Romney had a good night. I had a bad night. It’s not the first time I’ve had a bad night,” Obama said during an interview with Diane Sawyer in reaction to his mediocre performance during the first debate.

Obama’s image has also been linked to the phrase “one-term proposition,” referencing Obama’s 2008 remark that if he did not have the economy turned around by 2012 he would be a one-term president.