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 11)

"I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question."—In response to a question about whether he wished he could take back any of his answers in the first debate. Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Oct. 4, 2000 (Thanks to Peter Feld.)

"I would have my secretary of treasury be in touch with the financial centers, not only here but at home."—Boston, Oct. 3, 2000 (Thanks to M. Bateman.)

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."—Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

"I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy."—Redwood, Calif., Sept. 27, 2000

"One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected."—Los Angeles, Sept. 27, 2000

"It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas."—Beaverton, Ore., Sep. 25, 2000

"Well, that's going to be up to the pundits and the people to make up their mind. I'll tell you what is a president for him, for example, talking about my record in the state of Texas. I mean, he's willing to say anything in order to convince people that I haven't had a good record in Texas."—MSNBC, Sept. 20, 2000

"I am a person who recognizes thefallacy of humans."—Oprah, Sept. 19, 2000

"A tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness."—The Edge With Paula Zahn, Sept. 18, 2000

"The woman who knew that I had dyslexia—I never interviewed her."—Orange, Calif., Sept. 15, 2000

"The best way to relieve families from time is to let them keep some of their own money."—Westminster, Calif., Sept. 13, 2000

"They have miscalculated me as a leader."—Ibid.

"I don't think we need to be subliminable about the differences between our views on prescription drugs."—Orlando, Fla., Sept. 12, 2000

"This is what I'm good at. I like meeting people, my fellow citizens, I like interfacing with them."—Outside Pittsburgh, Sept. 8, 2000

"That's Washington. That's the place where you find people getting ready to jump out of the foxholes before the first shot is fired."—Westland, Mich., Sept. 8, 2000

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"Listen, Al Gore is a very tough opponent. He is the incumbent. He

represents the incumbency. And a challenger is somebody who generally

comes from the pack and wins, if you're going to win. And that's where

I'm coming from."—Detroit, Sept. 7, 2000 (Thanks to Michael Butler, Houston, Texas.)

"We'll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers."—Houston, Texas, Sept. 6, 2000

"We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans."—Scranton, Pa., Sept. 6, 2000

"I regret that a private comment I made to the vice presidential candidate made it through the public airways."—Allentown, Pa., Sept. 5, 2000.

"The point is, this is a way to help inoculate me about what has come and is coming."--on his anti-Gore ad, in an interview with the New York Times, Sept. 2, 2000

"As governor of Texas, I have set high standards for our public schools, and I have met those standards."--CNN online chat, Aug. 30, 2000

"Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness."--Ibid.

"I don't know whether I'm going to win or not. I think I am. I do know I'm ready for the job. And, if not, that's just the way it goes."—Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 21, 2000

''This campaign not only hears the voices of the entrepreneurs and the farmers and the entrepreneurs, we hear the voices of those struggling to get ahead."—Ibid.

"We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.''—Ibid.

"I have a different vision of leadership. A leadership is someone who brings people together."—Bartlett, Tenn., Aug. 18, 2000 (Thanks to Tarja Black.)

"I think he needs to stand up and say if he thought the president were wrong on policy and issues, he ought to say where."—Interview with the Associated Press, Aug. 11, 2000 (Thanks to Ryan Rhodes.)

"I want you to know that farmers are not going to be secondary thoughts to a Bush administration. They will be in the forethought of our thinking."—Salinas, Calif., Aug. 10, 2000 (Thanks to Kris Sester.)

"And if he continues that, I'm going to tell the nation what I think about him as a human being and a person."—President George H.W. Bush, on the Today show, Aug. 1, 2000

"You might want to comment on that, Honorable."--To New Jersey's secretary of state, the Hon. DeForest Soaries Jr., as quoted by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post, July 15, 2000

"This case has had full analyzation and has been looked at a lot. I understand the emotionality of death penalty cases."--Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 23, 2000 (Thanks to Johnny Green.)

"States should have the right to enact reasonable laws and restrictions particularly to end the inhumane practice of ending a life that otherwise could live."—Cleveland, June 29, 2000 (Thanks to Douglas Basford.)

"Unfairly but truthfully, our party has been tagged as being against things. Anti-immigrant, for example. And we're not a party of anti-immigrants. Quite the opposite. We're a party that welcomes people."—Cleveland, July 1, 2000 (Thanks to M. Bateman.)

"The fundamental question is, 'Will I be a successful president when it comes to foreign policy?' I will be, but until I'm the president, it's going to be hard for me to verify that I think I'll be more effective."—In Wayne, Mich., as quoted by Katharine Q. Seelye in the New York Times, June 28, 2000

"The only things that I can tell you is that every case I have reviewed I have been comfortable with the innocence or guilt of the person that I've looked at. I do not believe we've put a guilty ... I mean innocent person to death in the state of Texas." All Things Considered, NPR, June 16, 2000 (Thanks to Andy Nouraee.)

"I'm gonna talk about the ideal world, Chris. I've read—I understand reality. If you're asking me as the president, would I understand reality, I do."—On abortion, Hardball, MSNBC; May 31, 2000

 "There's not going to be enough people in the system to take advantage of people like me."—On the coming Social Security crisis; Wilton, Conn.; June 9, 2000 (Thanks to Andy Mais.)

"I think anybody who doesn't think I'm smart enough to handle the job is underestimating."—U.S. News & World Report, April 3, 2000 (Thanks to Alfred Stanley, Austin, Texas.)

Bush: "First of all, Cinco de Mayo is not the independence day. That's dieciséis de Septiembre, and ..."

Matthews: "What's that in English?"

Bush: "Fifteenth of September." (Dieciséis de Septiembre = Sept. 16)

Hardball, MSNBC, May 31, 2000 (Thanks to numerous readers.)

"Actually, I—this may sound a little West Texan to you, but I like it. When I'm talking about—when I'm talking about myself, and when he's talking about myself, all of us are talking about me."—Ibid.

"This is a world that is much more uncertain than the past. In the past we were certain, we were certain it was us versus the Russians in the past. We were certain, and therefore we had huge nuclear arsenals aimed at each other to keep the peace. That's what we were certain of. ... You see, even though it's an uncertain world, we're certain of some things. We're certain that even though the 'evil empire' may have passed, evil still remains. We're certain there are people that can't stand what America stands for. ... We're certain there are madmen in this world, and there's terror, and there's missiles and I'm certain of this, too: I'm certain to maintain the peace, we better have a military of high morale, and I'm certain that under this administration, morale in the military is dangerously low."—Albuquerque, N.M., the Washington Post, May 31, 2000

"He has certainly earned a reputation as a fantastic mayor, because the results speak for themselves. I mean, New York's a safer place for him to be."—On Rudy Giuliani, The Edge With Paula Zahn, May 18, 2000 (Thanks to Peter Goldman.)

"The fact that he relies on facts—says things that are not factual—are going to undermine his campaign."—New York Times, March 4, 2000 (Thanks to Garry Trudeau.)

"I think we agree, the past is over."—On his meeting with John McCain, Dallas Morning News, May 10, 2000

"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it."--Reuters, May 5, 2000 (Thanks to Allison Fansler.)