Feb. 23, 2012 at 3:46 PM ET
Do presidential candidates really want to be taking cues from George Costanza, Jerry Seinfeld's work-avoiding friend who once called himself "lord of the idiots"?
Republican candidate Mitt Romney thought he did -- but first, he mangled the quote and its source, and later, the actor in question fired back.
At Wednesday's Arizona debate, Romney paused to let the audience applaud, then cracked, "As George Costanza would say, when they're applauding, stop."
The crowd laughed, but a better response came that night on Twitter from Jason Alexander, the actor who played Costanza on "Seinfeld."
"Thrilled Gov. Romney enjoys my old character," Alexander tweeted. "I enjoyed the character he used 2 b 2. If he'd embrace that again, he'd b a great candidate."
As BuzzFeed points out, the actual quote Romney was reaching for was first uttered by Jerry, not George. The comedian told his friend, "Showmanship, George. When you hit that high note, you say goodnight and walk off."
Costanza later tried out the technique by walking out of business meetings once he'd delivered a zinger.
Joked Bob Bloom, "Just don't use cheap envelopes when sending out Inaugural Ball invitations." (On the show, George's fiancee Susan died after licking toxic envelope glue when he cheaped out on wedding invites.)
And Mike Biff declared, "Costanza 4 Prez -- Terrorists will now be called 'Moops,'" referring of course to George disputing a Trivial Pursuit answer that's typed as "Moops" instead of "Moors."
Sadly, the actor who played Costanza's boss in the scenes where he attempted the walk-off technique, Daniel von Bargen, attempted suicide Monday, and audio of his disturbing 911 call has been posted online.
The New York Daily News reports that as of Wednesday, von Bargen was in critical condition.
How would George Costanza be as president? Tell us on Facebook.