The "Bushisms" of George H.W. Bush

George H.W. Bush standing at a podium, laughing

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Best known for being the forty-first president of the United States and father of the forty-third president, George Herbert Walker Bush also gained some notoriety for his numerous verbal slips. While not as prone to such gaffes as his son, George H.W. still had plenty of "Bushisms" to call his own. Read some of the most famous and funniest quotes from this former president.

Funniest Bushisms

"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." —in 1988
"We're enjoying sluggish times, and not enjoying them very much." —in 1992
"I just am not one who – who flamboyantly believes in throwing a lot of words around." —in 1990
"Please don't ask me to do that which I've just said I'm not going to do, because you're burning up time. The meter is running through the sand on you, and I am now filibustering." —in 1989
"If you're worried about caribou, take a look at the arguments that were used about the pipeline. They'd say the caribou would be extinct. You've got to shake them away with a stick. They're all making love lying up against the pipeline and you got thousands of caribou up there." —speaking in 1991 about the Alaskan pipeline
"It's no exaggeration to say the undecideds could go one way or another." —in 1988
"I put confidence in the American people, in their ability to sort through what is fair and what is unfair, what is ugly and what is unugly." –in 1989
"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." —speaking to employees of an insurance company during the 1992 New Hampshire primary
"I've told you I don't live and die by the polls. Thus I will refrain from pointing out that we're not doing too bad in those polls." –in 1991
"I'm not the most articulate emotionalist." –in 1989
"We Bushes cry easily." –in 1989
"Let me give you a little serious political advice. One single word. Puppies. Worth the points." —in 1990
"It has been said by some cynic, maybe it was a former president, 'If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.' Well, we took them literally—that advice—as you know. But I didn't need that because I have Barbara Bush." —in 1989
"Now, like, I'm President. It would be pretty hard for some drug guy to come into the White House and start offering it up, you know? I bet if they did, I hope I would say, 'Hey, get lost. We don't want any of that.'" —speaking to a group of students about drug abuse
"These, they're very dangerous. They trap you. Especially these furry ones; it's these furry guys that get you in real trouble. They can reach out and listen to something so – keep it respectful here." —speaking to Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1991 about the need to be careful when speaking near an open microphone
"When I need a little advice about Saddam Hussein, I turn to country music." —in 1991
"And let me say in conclusion, thanks for the kids. I learned an awful lot about bathtub toys – about how to work the telephone. One guy knows – several of them know their own phone numbers – preparation to go to the dentist. A lot of things I'd forgotten. So it's been a good day." —in 1992
"Please just don't look at the part of the glass, the part that is only less than half full." –in 1991
"To kind of suddenly try to get my hair colored, and dance up and down in a miniskirt or do something, you know, show that I've got a lot of jazz out there and drop a bunch of one-liners, I'm running for the president of the United States – I kind of think I'm a scintillating kind of fellow." —in 1988
"I hope I stand for antibigotry, anti-Semitism, antiracism. This is what drives me." —in 1988
"High tech is potent, precise, and in the end, unbeatable. The truth is, it reminds a lot of people of the way I pitch horseshoes. Would you believe some of the people? Would you believe our dog? Look, I want to give the high-five symbol to high tech." —in 1989
"If a frog had wings, he wouldn't hit his tail on the ground. Too hypothetical." —in 1992
"Those are two hyporhetorical questions." —in 1988
"The Democrats want to ram it down my ear in a political victory." —in 1991
"I don't want to get, you know, here we are close to the election — sounding a knell of overconfidence that I don't feel." —in 1988
"Ozone Man, Ozone. He's crazy, way out, far out, man." —speaking about Al Gore during the 1992 presidential campaign
"Boy, they were big on crematoriums, weren't they? —during a tour of Auschwitz in 1989
"I will never apologize for the United States of America. I don't care what the facts are." —in 1988
"I'm for Mr. Reagan, blindly." —in 1984
"I've been talking the same way for years, so it can't be that serious." —in 1988
"Fluency in English is something that I'm often not accused of." —in 1989