The Gaffes of George W. Bush
His most embarrassing quotes, in context.
Posted Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2003, at 10:41 AM
Slate continues its short features on the 2004 presidential candidates. Previous series covered the candidates' biographies, buzzwords, agendas, worldviews, best moments, worst moments, and flip-flops. This series assesses each candidate's most embarrassing quotes, puts them in context, and explains how the candidate or his supporters defend the comments. Today's subject is George W. Bush.
Quote: "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" (Jan. 11, 2000).
Quote: "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family" (Jan. 27, 2000).
Quote: "This is Preservation Month. I appreciate preservation. It's what you do when you run for president. You gotta preserve" (remarks during "Perseverance Month," Los Angeles Times, Jan. 28, 2000).
Quote: "The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady in my case" (San Antonio Express-News, Jan. 30, 2000).
Quote: "The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law" (Nov. 22, 2000).
Quote: "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test'' (Feb. 21, 2001).
Quote: "I've coined new words, like misunderstanding and Hispanically" (March 29, 2001).
Quote: "Neither in French nor in English nor in Mexican" (declining to answer reporters' questions, April 21, 2001).
Quote: "I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here" (Aug. 13, 2002).
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.
Avi Zenilman is a former Slate intern.
Photograph of George W. Bush by Khaled Mouftah/AFP Photo.