The Complete Bushisms

The 43rd president's accidental wit and wisdom.
March 20 2009 3:48 PM

The Complete Bushisms

Updated frequently.

(Continued from Page 9)

"The suicide bombings have increased. There's too many of them."—Albuquerque, N.M., Aug. 15, 2001

"Brie and cheese."—Taunting a reporter who recently spent time on the West Coast, Crawford, Texas, Aug. 23, 2001

"You'll hear people say it's racist to test. Folks, it's racist not to test. Because guess who gets shuffled through the system oftentimes? Children whose parents don't speak English as a first language, inner-city kids. It's so much easier to quit on somebody than to remediate."—Referring to his education bill, Independence, Mo., Aug. 21, 2001 (Thanks to Julie Reagan.)

"One of the interesting initiatives we've taken in Washington, D.C., is we've got these vampire-busting devices. A vampire is a—a cell deal you can plug in the wall to charge your cell phone."—Denver, Aug. 14, 2001

"There's a lot of people in the Middle East who are desirous to get into the Mitchell process. And—but first things first. The—these terrorist acts and, you know, the responses have got to end in order for us to get the framework—the groundwork—not framework, the groundwork to discuss a framework for peace, to lay the—all right."—Referring to former Sen. George Mitchell's report on Middle East peace, Crawford, Texas, Aug. 13, 2001 (Thanks to Michael Shively.)

"My administration has been calling upon all the leaders in the—in the Middle East to do everything they can to stop the violence, to tell the different parties involved that peace will never happen."—Crawford, Texas, Aug, 13, 2001 (Thanks to Michael Shively.)

"You saw the president yesterday. I thought he was very forward-leaning, as they say in diplomatic nuanced circles."—Referring to his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Rome, July 23, 2001 (Thanks to Alex Hernandez.)

''I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe—I believe what I believe is right."—Rome, July 22, 2001

"I can't tell you what it's like to be in Europe, for example, to be talking about the greatness of America. But the true greatness of America are the people."—Visiting the Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C., July 2, 2001

"Well, it's an unimaginable honor to be the president during the Fourth of July of this country. It means what these words say, for starters. The great inalienable rights of our country. We're blessed with such values in America. And I—it's—I'm a proud man to be the nation based upon such wonderful values."—Visiting the Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C., July 2, 2001

"I want to thank you for coming to the White House to give me an opportunity to urge you to work with these five senators and three congressmen, to work hard to get this trade promotion authority moving. The power that be, well most of the power that be, sits right here."—Washington, D.C., June 18, 2001

"We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease."—Gothenburg, Sweden, June 14, 2001

"I haven't had a chance to talk, but I'm confident we'll get a bill that I can live with if we don't."—Referring to the McCain-Kennedy patients' bill of rights, Brussels, Belgium, June 13, 2001

"Can't living with the bill means it won't become law."—Referring to the McCain-Kennedy patients' bill of rights, Brussels, Belgium, June 13, 2001

"Russia is no longer our enemy and therefore we shouldn't be locked into a Cold War mentality that says we keep the peace by blowing each other up. In my attitude, that's old, that's tired, that's stale."—Des Moines, Iowa, June 8, 2001

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"Anyway, I'm so thankful, and so gracious—I'm gracious that my brother Jeb is concerned about the hemisphere as well."—Miami, Fla., June 4, 2001

"It's important for young men and women who look at the Nebraskachamps to understand that quality of life is more than just blocking shots."—Remarks to the UniversityofNebraskawomen's volleyball team, the 2001 national champions,Washington,D.C.,May 31, 2001

"Our nation must come together to unite."—Tampa, Fla., June 4, 2001

"So on behalf of a well-oiled unit of people who came together to serve something greater than themselves, congratulations."—Remarks to the University of Nebraska women's volleyball team, the 2001 national champions, Washington, D.C., May 31, 2001

"If a person doesn't have the capacity that we all want that person to have, I suspect hope is in the far distant future, if at all."—Remarks to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute,Washington,D.C.,May 22, 2001

"Thirdly, the explorationists are willing to only move equipment during the winter, which means they'll be on ice roads, and remove the equipment as the ice begins to melt, so that the fragile tundra is protected."—Conestoga, Pa., May 18, 2001

"Presidents, whether things are good or bad, get the blame. I understand that."—Washington, D.C., May 11, 2001 (Thanks to Jay Schlossberg.)

"For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It's just unacceptable. And we're going to do something about it."—Philadelphia, May 14, 2001 (Thanks to John Brooks.)

"There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead."Washington, D.C., May 11, 2001

"But I also made it clear to [Vladimir Putin] that it's important to think beyond the old days of when we had the concept that if we blew each other up, the world would be safe."Washington, D.C., May 1, 2001 (Thanks to Gene Mosher.)

"Whatever it took to help Taiwan defend theirself."On how far we'd be willing to go to defend Taiwan, Good Morning America, April 25, 2001

"First, we would not accept a treaty that would not have been ratified, nor a treaty that I thought made sense for the country."On the Kyoto accord in an interview with the Washington Post, April 24, 2001

"It's very important for folks to understand that when there's more trade, there's more commerce."Quebec City, Canada, April 21, 2001

"Neither in French nor in English nor in Mexican."—Declining to answer reporters' questions at the Summit of the Americas, Quebec City, Canada, April 21, 2001

"We must have the attitude that every child in America—regardless of where they're raised or how they're born—can learn."—New Britain, Conn., April 18, 2001 (Thanks to Eric Beerbohm.)

"It is time to set aside the old partisan bickering and finger-pointing and name-calling that comes from freeing parents to make different choices for their children."—Remarks on "parental empowerment in education," Washington, D.C., April 12, 2001 (Thanks to J.R. Taylor.)

I think we're making progress. We understand where the power of this country lay. It lays in the hearts and souls of Americans. It must lay in our pocketbooks. It lays in the willingness for people to work hard. But as importantly, it lays in the fact that we've got citizens from all walks of life, all political parties, that are willing to say, I want to love my neighbor. I want to make somebody's life just a little bit better."—Concord Middle School, Concord, N.C., April 11, 2001

"This administration is doing everything we can to end the stalemate in an efficient way. We're making the right decisions to bring the solution to an end."—Washington, D.C., April 10, 2001

"The Senate needs to leave enough money in the proposed budget to not only reduce all marginal rates, but to eliminate the death tax, so that people who build up assets are able to transfer them from one generation to the next, regardless of a person's race."—Washington, D.C., April 5, 2001

"It would be helpful if we opened up ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge). I think it's a mistake not to. And I would urge you all to travel up there and take a look at it, and you can make the determination as to how beautiful that country is."—Press conference, Washington, D.C., March 29, 2001

"I've coined new words, like, misunderstanding and Hispanically."—Radio-Television Correspondents Association dinner, Washington, D.C., March 29, 2001

"And we need a full affront on an energy crisis that is real in California and looms for other parts of our country if we don't move quickly."—Press conference, Washington, D.C., March 29, 2001

"I assured the prime minister, my administration will work hard to lay the foundation of peace in the Middle—to work with our nations in the Middle East, give peace a chance. Secondly, I told him that our nation will not try to force peace, that we'll facilitate peace and that we will work with those responsible for a peace."—Photo opportunity with Ariel Sharon, Washington, D.C., March 20, 2001 (Thanks to Scott Beber.)

"There are some monuments where the land is so widespread, they just encompass as much as possible. And the integral part of the—the precious part, so to speak—I guess all land is precious, but the part that the people uniformly would not want to spoil, will not be despoiled. But there are parts of the monument lands where we can explore without affecting the overall environment."—Media round table, Washington, D.C. March 13, 2001

"A lot of times in the rhetoric, people forget the facts. And the facts are that thousands of small businesses—Hispanically owned or otherwise—pay taxes at the highest marginal rate."—to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Washington, D.C., March 19, 2001

"But the true threats to stability and peace are these nations that are not very transparent, that hide behind the—that don't let people in to take a look and see what they're up to. They're very kind of authoritarian regimes. The true threat is whether or not one of these people decide, peak of anger, try to hold us hostage, ourselves; the Israelis, for example, to whom we'll defend, offer our defenses; the South Koreans."—Media roundtable, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2001 (Thanks to Peter Sagal)

"I do think we need for a troop to be able to house his family. That's an important part of building morale in the military."—Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, March 12, 2001

"I suspect that had my dad not been president, he'd be asking the same questions: How'd your meeting go with so-and-so? … How did you feel when you stood up in front of the people for the State of the Union Address—state of the budget address, whatever you call it."—Interview with the Washington Post, March 9, 2001

"I think there is some methodology in my travels." —Washington, D.C., March 5, 2001

"I'm also honored to be here with the speaker of the Housejust happens to be from the state of Illinois. I'd like to describe the speaker as a trustworthy man. He's the kind of fellow who says when he gives you his word he means it. Sometimes that doesn't happen all the time in the political process."Chicago, March 6, 2001 (Thanks to Gary Belkin.)

"Ann and I will carry out this equivocal message to the world: Markets must be open."—Swearing-in ceremony for Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, Washington, D.C., March 2, 2001

"Of all states that understands local control of schools, Iowa is such a state."Council Bluffs, Iowa, Feb. 28, 2001 (Thanks to Peter Sagal)

"Those of us who spent time in the agricultural sector and in the heartland, we understand how unfair the death penalty is."Omaha, Neb., Feb. 28, 2001

"My pan plays down an unprecedented amount of our national debt."Budget address to Congress, Feb. 27, 2001

"The budget caps were busted, mightily so. And we are reviewing with people like Judd Gregg from New Hampshire and others some budgetary reform measures that will reinstateyou know, possibly reinstate budgetary discipline. But the caps no longerthe caps, I guess they're there. But they didn't mean much."Washington, D.C., Feb. 5, 2001 (Thanks to Ehren Meditz)

"I have said that the sanction regime is like Swiss cheesethat meant that they weren't very effective."White House press conference, Washington, D.C., Feb. 22, 2001

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