Top Funniest Ronald Reagan Quotes

Ronald Reagan in a cowboy hat

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Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States. He was known for his charismatic personality—after all, he was a Hollywood actor before going into politics—and sense of humor. Read some of the funniest Ronald Reagan quotes here.


"My fellow Americans. I'm pleased to announce that I've signed legislation outlawing the Soviet Union. We begin bombing in five minutes." -joking during a mike check before his Saturday radio broadcast
"It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?"
"I hope you're all Republicans." -speaking to surgeons as he entered the operating room following a 1981 assassination attempt
"Honey, I forgot to duck." -to his wife, Nancy, after surviving the assassination attempt
"I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.
"I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency—even if I'm in a Cabinet meeting."
"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
"Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying."
"I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers: Go ahead, make my day." -threatening to veto tax-increase legislation after getting his record tax cut to date in 1981. He ultimately followed with two tax increases, though declined to go any further.
"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"
"I don't know. I've never played a governor." -asked by a reporter in 1966 what kind of governor he would be
"Facts are stupid things." -at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"
"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles."
"All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk."
"There is absolutely no circumstance whatever under which I would accept that spot. Even if they tied and gagged me, I would find a way to signal by wiggling my ears." -on possibly being offered the vice presidency in 1968
"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards. If you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book."
"You can tell a lot about a fella's character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful." -explaining why he liked to have a jar of jelly beans on hand for important meetings
"I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." -during a 1984 presidential debate with Walter Mondale
"There you go again." -during a 1984 presidential debate with Walter Mondale
"The state of California has no business subsidizing intellectual curiosity." -responding to student protests on college campuses during his tenure as California governor
"Approximately 80 percent of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources."
"Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his."
"We are trying to get unemployment to go up, and I think we're going to succeed."
"As a matter of fact, Nancy never had any interest in politics or anything else when we got married."
"I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born."
"One way to make sure crime doesn't pay would be to let the government run it."
"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement."
"If you're explaining, you're losing."
"I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."
"Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
"I'm afraid I can't use a mule. I have several hundred up on Capitol Hill." -refusing a gift of a mule
"What we have found in this country, and maybe we're more aware of it now, is one problem that we've had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice."
"How are you, Mr. Mayor? I'm glad to meet you. How are things in your city?" -greeting Samuel Pierce, his secretary of Housing and Urban Development, during a White House reception for mayors
"My name is Ronald Reagan. What's yours?" -introducing himself after delivering a prep school commencement address. The individual responded, "I'm your son, Mike," to which Reagan replied, "Oh, I didn't recognize you."
"One picture is worth 1,000 denials."
"I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon."
"A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah."
"Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
"Politics is just like show business. You have a hell of an opening, you coast for awhile, you have a hell of a closing."
"What does an actor know about politics?" -criticizing Ed Asner for opposing American foreign policy
"What makes him think a middle-aged actor, who's played with a chimp, could have a future in politics?" -on Clint Eastwood's bid to become mayor of Carmel
"How can a president not be an actor?" -when asked "How could an actor become president?'