Dan Quayle Funny Quotes and Misstatements

Dan Quayle
Gary Newkirk / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Vice presidents don't make big headlines on a daily basis or are as well remembered as their presidents, being in the shadow of the head of the United States' executive branch. Unfortunately for vice president Dan Quayle, he's well remembered for many of the things that came out of his mouth incorrectly, twisted around, or just plain wrong. People in public speaking could well take his advice, though, "Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things."

Dan Quayle Malapropisms

"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child."
"I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican."
"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared.'"

"When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame."

"Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it."

"You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and, as far as I am concerned, happy campers you will always be."
—in a speech to American Samoans


"What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."

"We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world."

"Add one little bit on the end...Think of 'potato,' how's it spelled? You're right phonetically, but what else...? There ya' go...all right!"
—"correcting" a student's correct spelling of the word "potato" during a spelling bee at an elementary school (he told the student to add an "e" at the end)

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teaches our children."

On Space

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit...Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."

"For NASA, space is still a high priority."

"[It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system."

"We are leaders of the world of the space program. We have been the leaders of the world of our...of the space program and we're not going to continue where we're going to go, notwithstanding the Soviet Union's demise and collapse—the former Soviet Union—we now have independent republics which used to be called the Soviet Union. Space is the next frontier to be explored. And we're going to explore. Think of all the things we rely upon in space today: communications from...Japan, detection of potential ballistic missile attacks. Ballistic missiles are still here. Other nations do have ballistic missiles. How do you think we were able to detect some of the Scud missiles and things like that? Space, reconnaissance, weather, communications—you name it. We use space a lot today."

On History

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century."

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."

On the Future

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy—but that could change."

"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."
"The future will be better tomorrow."

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."

With Geography

"We have a firm commitment to NATO. We are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."
"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
"It's wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago."

And Finally...

"The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make."
"I stand by all my misstatements."