If the 2012 elections proved anything, it's that words matter. Unfortunate comments about rape by Rep. Todd Akin (R) in Missouri and Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) in Indiana likely cost the Republican Party two Senate seats they otherwise would have won.
And Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" remarks may have cost Republicans the White House as well.
It was so bad that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) even urged his party last month to "stop being the stupid party."
With that in mind, here's a round up of the 10 most controversial comments — some inflammatory, some just plain crazy — made by Republican politicians in the first month of 2013:
1. "I think video games is a bigger problem than guns, because video games affect people."
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), quoted by Kotaku.
2. "We will look forward to interrogating him at his hearing next week, mercilessly. We will bring him back for only time waterboarding to get the truth out of him."
— Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), quoted by Politico, joking that he'll get the truth out of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) when he faces confirmation hearings to be the next secretary of state.
3. "They are used to defend our property and our families and our faith and our freedom, and they are absolutely essential to living the way God intended for us to live."
— California Rep. Tim Donnelly (R), talking about guns on The Bottom Line.
4. "These are people who are going to have to answer to a much higher power than me about why they have appealed and appealed and appealed."
— Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), quoted by the Columbus Dispatch, saying critics of his JobsOhio program will have to answer to God.
5. "When it's for self protection, you need as much firepower as needed to protect your family."
— Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R), quoted by the Clarion Ledger, saying he'll oppose President Obama's gun control initiatives.
6. "Assault weapons is a misused term used by suburban soccer moms who do not understand what is being discussed here."
— Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R), quoted by the Missouri News Horizon, on efforts to ban assault weapons.
7. "He's partly right on that."
— Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), an OB-GYN, quoted by the Marietta Daily Journal, on Todd Akn's "legitimate rape" comments.
8. "We may have to shed blood every couple hundred years to preserve our freedoms."
— Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), quoted by Chicago's DNAinfo, adding that conservatives are losing the "war" with Democrats for U.S. voters.
9. "I refuse to play the game of 'assault weapon.' That's any weapon. It's a hammer. It's the machetes in Rwanda that killed 800,000 people, an article that came out this week, the massive number that are killed with hammers."
— Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas), on the Dennis Miller Show, arguing that banning assault weapons won't work.
10. "A holstered gun is not a deadly weapon... But anything can be used as a deadly weapon. A credit card can be used to cut somebody's throat."
— New Hampshire state Rep. Dan Dumaine (R), quoted by the Concord Monitor, opposing a move to ban guns for the chamber floor.