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 8)

"Columbia carried in its payroll classroom experiments from some of our students in America."—Bethesda, Md., Feb. 3, 2003

"And, most importantly, Alma Powell, secretary of Colin Powell, is with us."—Washington, D.C., Jan. 30, 2003

"The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself."—Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 29, 2003

"When Iraq is liberated, you will be treated, tried, and persecuted as a war criminal."—Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 2003 (Thanks to Chad Conwell.)

"Many of the punditry—of course, not you (laughter)—but other punditry were quick to say, no one is going to follow the United States of America."—Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2003

"One year ago today, the time for excuse-making has come to an end."—Washington, D.C., Jan. 8, 2003

"I think the American people—I hope the American–I don't think, let me—I hope the American people trust me."—Washington, D.C., Dec. 18, 2002

"The goals for this country are peace in the world. And the goals for this country are a compassionate American for every single citizen. That compassion is found in the hearts and souls of the American citizens."—Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2002 (Thanks to Michael Shively.)

"There's only one person who hugs the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids upon the death of their loved one. Others hug but having committed the troops, I've got an additional responsibility to hug and that's me and I know what it's like."—Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2002

"In other words, I don't think people ought to be compelled to make the decision which they think is best for their family."—Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2002 (Thanks to Stephanie Nichols.)

"Sometimes, Washington is one of these towns where the person—people who think they've got the sharp elbow is the most effective person." —New Orleans, Dec. 3, 2002 (Thanks to Michael Shively.)

"The law I sign today directs new funds and new focus to the task of collecting vital intelligence on terrorist threats and on weapons of mass production."—Washington, D.C., Nov. 27, 2002

"These people don't have tanks. They don't have ships. They hide in caves. They send suiciders out."—Speaking about terrorists, Portsmouth, N.H., Nov. 1, 2002

"I know something about being a government. And you've got a good one."—Stumping for Gov. Mike Huckabee, Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 4, 2002

"I need to be able to move the right people to the right place at the right time to protect you, and I'm not going to accept a lousy bill out of the United Nations Senate."—South Bend, Ind., Oct. 31, 2002

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 "John Thune has got a common-sense vision for good forest policy. I look forward to working with him in the United Nations Senate to preserve these national heritages."

"Any time we've got any kind of inkling that somebody is thinking about doing something to an American and something to our homeland, you've just got to know we're moving on it, to protect the United Nations Constitution, and at the same time, we're protecting you."—Aberdeen, S.D., same day (Thanks to George Dupper.)

"Let me tell you my thoughts about tax relief. When your economy is kind of ooching along, it's important to let people have more of their own money."—Boston, Oct. 4, 2002

"I was proud the other day when both Republicans and Democrats stood with me in the Rose Garden to announce their support for a clear statement of purpose: you disarm, or we will."—Speaking about Saddam Hussein, Manchester, N.H., Oct. 5, 2002 (Thanks to George Dupper.)

"You see, the Senate wants to take away some of the powers of the administrative branch."—Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002

"We need an energy bill that encourages consumption."—Trenton, N.J., Sept. 23, 2002

"People say, how can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you."—Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002

"I'm plowed of the leadership of Chuck Grassley and Greg Ganske and Jim Leach."—Davenport, Iowa, Sept. 16, 2002

"There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again."—Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

"There's no doubt in my mind that we should allow the world worst leaders to hold America hostage, to threaten our peace, to threaten our friends and allies with the world's worst weapons."—South Bend, Ind., Sept. 5, 2002

"If you don't have any ambitions, the minimum-wage job isn't going to get you to where you want to get, for example. In other words, what is your ambitions? And oh, by the way, if that is your ambition, here's what it's going to take to achieve it."—Speech to students in Little Rock, Ark., Aug. 29, 2002 (Thanks to George Dupper.)

"See, we love—we love freedom. That's what they didn't understand. They hate things; we love things. They act out of hatred; we don't seek revenge, we seek justice out of love."—Oklahoma City, Aug. 29, 2002

"There's no cave deep enough for America, or dark enough to hide."—Oklahoma City, Aug. 29, 2002 (Thanks to Michael Shively.)

"President Musharraf, he's still tight with us on the war against terror, and that's what I appreciate. He's a—he understands that we've got to keep al-Qaida on the run, and that by keeping him on the run, it's more likely we will bring him to justice."—Ruch, Ore., Aug. 22, 2002 (Thanks to Scott Miller.)

"I'm a patient man. And when I say I'm a patient man, I mean I'm a patient man."

"Nothing he [Saddam Hussein] has done has convinced me—I'm confident the Secretary of Defense—that he is the kind of fellow that is willing to forgo weapons of mass destruction, is willing to be a peaceful neighbor, that is—will honor the people—the Iraqi people of all stripes, will—values human life. He hasn't convinced me, nor has he convinced my administration."—Crawford, Texas, Aug. 21, 2002

"I'm thrilled to be here in the bread basket of America because it gives me a chance to remind our fellow citizens that we have an advantage here in America—we can feed ourselves."—Stockton, Calif., Aug. 23, 2002 (Thanks to Christopher Baird.)

"There's no bigger task than protecting the homeland of our country."

"The federal government and the state government must not fear programs who change lives, but must welcome those faith-based programs for the embetterment of mankind."—Stockton, Calif., Aug. 23, 2002 (Thanks to George Dupper.)

"I love the idea of a school in which people come to get educated and stay in the state in which they're educated."

"There may be some tough times here in America. But this country has gone through tough times before, and we're going to do it again."

"I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here."

"I can assure you that, even though I won't be sitting through every single moment of the seminars, nor will the vice president, we will look at the summaries."

"Tommy [Thompson, Health and Human Services secretary,] is a good listener, and he's a pretty good actor, too."

"The trial lawyers are very politically powerful. … But here in Texas we took them on and got some good medical—medical malpractice.""I firmly believe the death tax is good for people from all walks of life all throughout our society."

—Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002

"There was no malfeance involved. This was an honest disagreement about accounting procedures. ... There was no malfeance, no attempt to hide anything."—White House press conference, Washington, D.C., July 8, 2002 

"I also understand how tender the free enterprise system can be."—White House press conference, Washington, D.C., July 9, 2002

"Over 75 percent of white Americans own their home, and less than 50 percent of Hispanos and African Americans don't own their home. And that's a gap, that's a homeownership gap. And we've got to do something about it."—Cleveland, Ohio, July 1, 2002

"Whether you're here by birth, or whether you're in America by choice, you contribute to the vitality of our life. And for that, we are grateful."—Washington, D.C., May 17, 2002

"I'd rather have them sacrificing on behalf of our nation than, you know, endless hours of testimony on congressional hill."—National Security Agency, Fort Meade, Maryland, June 4, 2002

"We're working with Chancellor Schröder on what's called 10-plus-10-over-10: $10 billion from the U.S.,$10 billion from other members of the G7 over a 10-year period, to help Russia securitize the dismantling—the dismantled nuclear warheads."—Berlin, Germany, May 23, 2002

"Do you have blacks, too?"—To Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2001

"This is a nation that loves our freedom, loves our country."—Washington, D.C, May 17, 2002

"The public education system in America is one of the most important foundations of our democracy. After all, it is where children from all over America learn to be responsible citizens, and learn to have the skills necessary to take advantage of our fantastic opportunistic society."—Santa Clara, Calif., May 1, 2002

"After all, a week ago, there were—Yasser Arafat was boarded up in his building in Ramallah, a building full of, evidently, German peace protestors and all kinds of people. They're now out. He's now free to show leadership, to lead the world."—Washington, D.C., May 2, 2002 (Thanks to M. Bateman.)

"This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating."—as quoted by the New York Daily News, April 23, 2002

"I want to thank the dozens of welfare to work stories, the actual examples of people who made the firm and solemn commitment to work hard to embetter themselves."—Washington, D.C., April 18, 2002 (Thanks to George Dupper.)

"And so, in my State of the—my State of the Union—or state—my speech to the nation, whatever you want to call it, speech to the nation—I asked Americans to give 4,000 years—4,000 hours over the next—the rest of your life—of service to America. That's what I asked—4,000 hours." —Bridgeport, Conn., April 9, 2002

"It would be a mistake for the United States Senate to allow any kind of human cloning to come out of that chamber."—Washington, D.C., April 10, 2002

"For a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times."—Tokyo, Japan, Feb. 18, 2002

"We've tripled the amount of money—I believe it's from $50 million up to $195 million available."—Lima, Peru, March 23, 2002

"We've got pockets of persistent poverty in our society, which I refuse to declare defeat—I mean, I refuse to allow them to continue on. And so one of the things that we're trying to do is to encourage a faith-based initiative to spread its wings all across America, to be able to capture this great compassionate spirit."—O'Fallon, Mo., Mar. 18, 2002

"There's nothing more deep than recognizing Israel's right to exist. That's the most deep thought of all. ... I can't think of anything more deep than that right."—Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002

"I understand that the unrest in the Middle East creates unrest throughout the region."—Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002