Gaffe Track: Jeb Says Supergirl Is 'Pretty Hot'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

The candidate: Jeb Bush

The gaffe: At a forum in Las Vegas (hosted by the Koch brothers-affiliated Libre Initiative, no less), he was asked who his favorite superhero was. (The question stipulated Marvel.) After mentioning Batman, he added: “I saw that Supergirl is on TV. I saw it when I was working out this morning. There’s an ad promoting Supergirl. She looked kind of—she looked pretty hot.”

The defense: Some people agree that Supergirl is, in fact, pretty hot.

Why it matters: For one, awkwaaaaard. For another, the question asked for Marvel characters, and Bush named two DC Comics characters—Batman and Supergirl. (And Bush says DC isn’t in his D.N.A.!) It’s neither easy nor wise to alienate female and nerd voters in one fell swoop.

The moral: There are much better ways to debunk the “war on women.”