Dumbest Political Quotes of All Time

Generic politician making promises

RapidEye/Getty Images

of 91

Dan Quayle on the Holocaust

''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.''

—Dan Quayle

of 91

George W. Bush on OB-GYNs

''Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country.''

—President George W. Bush, Sept. 6, 2004

of 91

Hank Johnson on Guam Capsizing

''My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.''

—Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) expressing concern during a congressional hearing that the presence of a large number of American soldiers might upend the island of Guam

of 91

George H.W. Bush's Freudian Slip

''For seven and a half years I've worked alongside President Reagan. We've had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We've had some sex...uh...setbacks.''

—President George H.W. Bush, in 1988

of 91

Ronald Reagan on Facts

''Facts are stupid things.''

Ronald Reagan, at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, ''Facts are stubborn things''

of 91

George W. Bush on Working Three Jobs

''You work three jobs? ... Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that.''

—President George W. Bush, to a divorced mother of three in Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005

of 91

Barack Obama on Visiting 57 States

''I've now been in 57 states — I think one left to go.''

Barack Obama, at a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon, May 9, 2008

of 91

Dan Quayle on Astronauts

''Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.''

—Dan Quayle

of 91

Sarah Palin on Putin

''As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where — where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border.''

—Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS's Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008

of 91

George W. Bush: "Is Our Children Learning?"

''Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?''

—George W. Bush, Jan. 11, 2000

of 91

George W. Bush: "Childrens Do Learn"

''As yesterday's positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured.''

—President George W. Bush, on the No Child Left Behind Act, Sept. 26, 2007

of 91

Joe Biden on Barack Obama

''I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man.''

—Then Sen. Joe Biden on then-Sen. Barack Obama when he was first running for president

of 91

George W. Bush Gets Fooled

''There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.''

—President George W. Bush, Sept. 17, 2002

of 91

Condoleezza Rice's Freudian Slip

''As I was telling my husb—. As I was telling President Bush.''

—National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who is unmarried, overheard making a slip of the tongue at a Washington dinner party, April 2004

of 91

Ted Stevens: The Internet Is a Series of Tubes

''The internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.''

—Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Steven (R-AK), explaining the workings of the Internet during a debate on net neutrality

of 91

Richard Nixon on the White House Tapes

''You know, I've always wondered about the taping equipment. But I'm damn glad we have it.''

—President Richard Nixon to White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman

of 91

Richard Nixon on Burning the White House Tapes

''I was under medication when I made the decision to burn the tapes.''

—Richard Nixon

of 91

George W. Bush on the "Internets"

''I heard there's rumors on the Internets that we're going to have a draft.''

—President George W. Bush, during the second presidential debate, Oct. 2004

of 91

Rudy Giuliani Forgets 9/11

''We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we've had one under Obama.''

—Rudy Giuliani, Mr. 9/11, forgetting 9/11, Jan. 8, 2010

of 91

Bush's Press Secretary Forgets 9/11

''We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term.''

—Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, forgetting 9/11, Nov. 24, 2009

of 91

Ted Kennedy on His Nickname

'They don't call me Tyrannosaurus Sex for nothing.''

—Ted Kennedy

of 91

Dan Quayle on the Vice Presidency

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared."

—Dan Quayle

of 91

George W. Bush on His Legacy

''I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.''

—President George W. Bush, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

of 91

Larry Craig on His Bathroom Arrest for Soliciting Gay Sex

''(I have) a wide stance.''

—Sen. Larry Craig, explaining to his arresting officer why he was playing footsie in a Minneapolis airport mens' room

of 91

Joe Biden on Indian-Americans

''You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent... I'm not joking.''

Joe Biden, in a private remark to an Indian-American man caught on C-SPAN, June, 2006

of 91

Nancy Pelosi on Health Care Reform

''But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.''

—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talking about President Obama's healthcare law

of 91

Donald Rumsfled on the Unknown

''We know there are known knowns: there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns: that is to say we know there are things we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know.''

—Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Defense Department briefing, Feb. 12, 2002

of 91

Dick Cheney Wrongheaded Prediction About the Iraq War

''My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.''

—Vice President Dick Cheney, on invading Iraq, ''Meet the Press,'' March 16, 2003

of 91

George W. Bush on Being "Misunderestimated"

''They misunderestimated me.''

—President George W. Bush, Nov. 6, 2000

of 91

John Kerry on Flip-Flopping

''I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it.''

—Sen. John Kerry, on voting against a military funding bill for U.S. troops in Iraq, March 19, 2004

of 91

Dan Quayle on California

'I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix.''

—Dan Quayle

of 91

Bill Clinton on Marijuana

''When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale and never tried it again.''

Bill Clinton

of 91

Dan Quayle on Irreversible Trends

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

—Dan Quayle

of 91

Barbara Bush on Hurricane Katrina Evacuees

"What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (chuckle) -- this is working very well for them.''

—Former First Lady Barbara Bush, on the Hurricane Katrina evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston, Sept. 5, 2005

of 91

Gary Hart's Monkey Business

''The attractive lady whom I had only recently been introduced to dropped into my lap....I chose not to dump her off.''

—Former Senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart, on his encounter with Donna Rice

of 91

George H.W. Bush on Faith

''You cannot be president of the United States if you don't have faith. Remember Lincoln, going to his knees in times of trial and the Civil War and all that stuff. You can't be. And we are blessed. So don't feel sorry for -- don't cry for me, Argentina. Message: I care.''

— President George H.W. Bush, speaking to employees of an insurance company during the 1992 New Hampshire primary

of 91

Sarah Palin on Quitting

''It may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: 'Sit down and shut up,' but that's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out.''

—Sarah Palin, quitting her job as governor, adding, ''Only dead fish go with the flow,'' July 3, 2009

of 91

Al Gore on Zebras

'A zebra does not change its spots.''

Al Gore

of 91

Richard Nixon: "I Am Not a Crook"

''People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got.''

—Richard Nixon at a Nov. 17, 1973 news conference

of 91

Bill Clinton on the Meaning of the Word "Is"

''It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is.''

—Bill Clinton, during his 1998 grand jury testimony on the Monica Lewinsky affair

of 91

Sarah Palin Can't Name a Supreme Court Decision

''Well, let's see. There's — of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but —''

—Sarah Palin, unable to name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with other than Roe vs. Wade, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008

of 91

Gerald Ford on the Current State of Things

''Things are more like they are now than they have ever been.''

—President Gerald Ford

of 91

Dan Quayle Misspells Potato

''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!''

—Dan Quayle, ''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

of 91

Barry Goldwater on Peanut butter

''If you don't mind smelling like peanut butter for two or three days, peanut butter is darn good shaving cream.''

—Barry Goldwater

of 91

Dan Quayle on Losing One's Mind

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

—Dan Quayle

of 91

Mark Sanford's Spokesman Coins Euphemism for Illicit Sex

''The governor is hiking the Appalachian Trail.''

—a spokesman for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford regarding Sanford's disappearance in June of 2009, when he was visiting his mistress in Argentina

of 91

George W. Bush on Our Enemies

''Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.''

—President George W. Bush, Aug. 5, 2004

of 91

Arnold Scharzengger on Gay Marriage

''I think that gay marriage should be between a man and a woman.''

—California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

of 91

Dan Quayle on Good Judgment

''I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.''

—Dan Quayle

of 91

Dick Cheney Tells Senator to "Go F**k Yourself"

''Go f**k yourself.''

—Vice President Dick Cheney to Sen. Patrick Leahy, during an angry exchange on the Senate floor about profiteering by Halliburton, June 22, 2004

of 91

Dan Quayle on Bondage

''Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.''

—Dan Quayle

of 91

Ted Kennedy on His Fiancee

''She's a wonderful, wonderful person, and we're looking to a happy and wonderful night — ah, life.''

—Sen. Ted Kennedy, speaking about his then-fiancee, Victoria Reggie

of 91

Alexander Haig: "I Am in Control"

''I am in control here. As of now, I am in control here in the White House.''

—Alexander Haig, Secretary of State, after President Reagan was shot, unaware that he was fourth in the line of succession

of 91

Donald Rumsfeld on Death and War

''Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.''

—former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, 2003

of 91

Dan Quayle on Latin America

''I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.''

—Dan Quayle

of 91

Herbert Hoover on the National Debt

''Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.''

—President Herbert Hoover

of 91

Jimmy Carter on Lust

''I've looked on many women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me.''

—President Jimmy Carter, in an interview with 'Playboy' one month prior to the 1976 election

of 91

Senator Scott Brown Pimps Out His Daughters on Live TV

''In case anyone's wondering out there, yes, they're both available... Only kidding. Only kidding. Arianna is definitely not. But Ayla is.''

—Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), pimping out his daughters in his election night victory speech, Jan. 20, 2010

of 91

Pat Robertson Suggests Nuking State Department

''Maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off on Foggy Bottom to shake things up''

—Pat Robertson, on nuking the State Department, Oct. 9, 2003

of 91

Bob Packwood on His Diaries

''A number of things that I put in (the diary) were inaccurate, and some of them simply weren't true... On occasion, I discovered I would recount conversations that simply didn't happen.''

—Sen. Bob Packwood, referring to his infamous diaries in which he boasted of his sexual dalliances with staff members

of 91

Ronald Reagan on Latin America

''Well, I learned a lot... I went down to (Latin America) to find out from them and (learn) their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries''

—President Ronald Reagan

of 91

Glenn Beck Calls Obama a Racist

''This president I think has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture... I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.''

Glenn Beck, on President Obama, sparking an advertiser exodus from his FOX News show, July 28, 2009

of 91

Trent Lott Praises Strom Thurmond

''When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either.''

—Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), praising the career of onetime segregationist Strom Thurmond in 2002

of 91

John Edwards on Cheating on His Wife

''Can I explain to you what happened? First of all it happened during a period after she was in remission from cancer.''

—Former Sen. John Edwards, on cheating on his wife, ABC News interview, Aug. 8, 2008

of 91

Joe Biden to Wheelchair-bound Man: "Stand Up"

''Stand up, Chuck, let 'em see ya.''

—Joe Biden, to Missouri state Sen. Chuck Graham, who is in a wheelchair, Columbia, Missouri, Sept. 12, 2008

of 91

Sarah Palin Makes Up Word "Refudiate"

''Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.''

—a Tweet by Sarah Palin, which she quickly removed after being ridiculed for inventing the word ''refudiate,'' July 18, 2010

of 91

Joe Lieberman Boasts About His "Joementum"

''Be excited. This is Joementum here in New Hampshire.''

—Sen. Joseph Lieberman to Wolf Blitzer, on his momentum leading up to the New Hampshire Primary, where he characterized his fifth place finish as a ''three-way split decision for third place''

of 91

Ronald Reagan on the Deficit

''I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.''

—President Ronald Reagan

of 91

George Tenet on WMD's in Iraq

'Don't worry, it's a slam-dunk.''

—CIA Director George Tenet, reassuring President George W. Bush in 2002 on the case for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

of 91

Ann Coulter on 9/11 Widows

''These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband's death so much.''

—Conservative pundit Ann Coulter, on 9/11 widows who were critical of the Bush administration

of 91

Tom DeLay on Being the Federal Government

''I AM the federal government.''

—Then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, to the owner of Ruth's Chris Steak House, after being told to put out his cigar because of federal government regulations banning smoking in the building, May 14, 2003

of 91

FEMA Director on Hurricane Katrina: "Things Are Going Well"

''Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well.''

FEMA Director Michael Brown, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Sept. 1, 2005

of 91

George W. Bush: "I'm the Decider"

''I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense.''

—President George W. Bush, April 18, 2006

of 91

Marion Barry on Crime in Washington, D.C.

''Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.''

—Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, D.C.

of 91

Joe Wilson to Obama: "You Lie!"

''You lie!''

—Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-SC) shouted retort to Obama's address before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9, 2009

of 91

Rod Blagojevich on Selling Obama's Senate Seat

''I'm just not giving it up for f***in' nothing. I'm not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.'' ... ''Give this motherf****r Obama his senator? F**k him. For nothing. F**k him.'''

—Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, recorded in a federal wiretap trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat. The day before his arrest, he invited authorities to tape his conversations, saying there is ''nothing but sunshine hanging over me.''

of 91

Colin Powell on Iraq and WMD's

''Every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.''

—Secretary of State Colin Powell, addressing the United Nations on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in 2003

of 91

George W. Bush to His FEMA Director: "You're Doing A Heck of a Job"

''Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.''

—President Bush, to FEMA director Michael Brown, while touring hurricane-ravaged Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2005

of 91

Marion Barry on Congress

''What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?''

—Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, D.C.

of 91

Richard Nixon on the Law

''When the President does it, that means it's not illegal.''

Richard Nixon, in a 1977 interview with David Frost

of 91

Baghdad Bob on the Iraq Invasion

''I triple guarantee you. There are no American infidels in Baghdad.''

—Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (AKA ''Baghdad Bob''), during the U.S. invasion of Iraq, March 2003

of 91

Donald Rumsfeld on Osama Bin Laden

''We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead.''

—Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, 2003

of 91

Gerald Ford on the Soviet Union

''There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.''

—President Gerald Ford, in a 1976 presidential debate with Jimmy Carter

of 91

James Stockdale in the Vice Presidential Debate

''Who am I? Why am I here?''

—Adm. James Stockdale, Ross Perot's running mate, in the 1992 vice presidential debate

of 91

Bill Clinton Hits on a Mommy

''If I were a single man, I might ask that mummy out. That's a good-looking mummy.''

—Bill Clinton, on ''Juanita,'' a newly discovered Incan mummy on display at the National Geographic museum

of 91

John Kerry Botches Joke About Bush

''You know, education — if you make the most of it — you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.''

—Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), botching a joke about President Bush getting us stuck in Iraq

of 91

Warren G. Harding on Being President

''I am a man of limited talents from a small town. I don't seem to grasp that I am the President.''

—President Warren G. Harding

of 91

Richard Nixon on Being Pope

''I would have made a good Pope.''

—President Richard Nixon

of 91

Bill Clinton on His Affair with Monica Lewinsky

''I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people."

—Bill Clinton, Jan. 26, 1998

of 91

Monica Lewinsky on Her Affair With Bill Clinton

''It could have been spinach dip or something.''

Monica Lewinsky in her grand jury testimony, on the semen stain on her infamous blue dress

of 91

Martin Van Buren on Traveling by Railroad

''As you well know, Mr. President, railroad carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed."

—then governor and future president Martin Van Buren, 1829