Top 50 Bushisms and Dumb Bush Quotes

  • "I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn’t here." —at the President’s Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002
  • "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
  • "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.” —Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001
  • "We both use Colgate toothpaste." —after a reporter asked what he had in common with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Camp David, Md., Feb. 23, 2001
  • "Tribal sovereignty means that; it’s sovereign. I mean, you’re a — you’ve been given sovereignty, and you’re viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities." —Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2004 (Watch video)
  • "I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what’s moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves." —Washington, D.C., Sept. 21, 2003
  • "I’m the commander — see, I don’t need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being president." —as quoted in Bob Woodward’s Bush at War
  • "I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport." —Washington, D.C., Oct. 3, 2001
  • "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
  • "I saw a poll that said the right track/wrong track in Iraq was better than here in America. It’s pretty darn strong. I mean, the people see a better future." —Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2004
  • "Oh, no, we’re not going to have any casualties." —discussing the Iraq war with Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson, as quoted by Robertson
  • "I hear there’s rumors on the Internets that we’re going to have a draft." —presidential debate, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 8, 2004 (Watch video)
  • "Haven’t we already given money to rich people? Why are we going to do it again?" —to economic advisers discussing a second round of tax cuts, as quoted by former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil, Washington, D.C., Nov. 26, 2002
  • "We need an energy bill that encourages consumption." —Trenton, N.J., Sept. 23, 2002
  • "After standing on the stage, after the debates, I made it very plain, we will not have an all-volunteer army. And yet, this week — we will have an all-volunteer army!" —Daytona Beach, Fla., Oct. 16, 2004 (Watch video)
  • "Do you have blacks, too?" —to Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2001
  • "This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating." —as quoted by the New York Daily News, April 23, 2002
  • "I got to know Ken Lay when he was head of the — what they call the Governor’s Business Council in Texas. He was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994. And she had named him the head of the Governor’s Business Council. And I decided to leave him in place, just for the sake of continuity. And that’s when I first got to know Ken and worked with Ken." —attempting to distance himself from his biggest political patron, Enron Chairman Ken Lay, whom he nicknamed "Kenny Boy," Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2002
  • "It is white." —after being asked by a child in Britain what the White House was like, July 19, 2001
  • 31. "I couldn’t imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah." —at a White House menorah lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2001
  • "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, Penn., May 14, 2001
  • "I don’t know why you’re talking about Sweden. They’re the neutral one. They don’t have an army." —during a Dec. 2002 Oval Office meeting with Rep. Tom Lantos, as reported by the New York Times
  • "You forgot Poland." —to Sen. John Kerry during the first presidential debate, after Kerry failed to mention Poland’s contributions to the Iraq war coalition, Miami, Fla., Sept. 30, 2004
  • "I’m the master of low expectations." —aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003
  • "I’m also not very analytical. You know I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things." —aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003
  • "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, Italy, July 22, 2001
  • "We need to counter the shockwave of the evildoer by having individual rate cuts accelerated and by thinking about tax rebates." —Washington, D.C. Oct. 4, 2001
  • "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 wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it…I’m sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn’t yet….I don’t want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I’m confident I have. I just haven’t — you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I’m not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one." —President George W. Bush, after being asked to name the biggest mistake he had made, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2004
  • "The really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway." —explaining why high taxes on the rich are a failed strategy, Annandale, Va., Aug. 9, 2004
  • "My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we’re going to run out of debt to retire." —radio address, Feb. 24, 2001
  • "You know, when I was one time campaigning in Chicago, a reporter said, ‘Would you ever have a deficit?’ I said, ‘I can’t imagine it, but there would be one if we had a war, or a national emergency, or a recession.’ Never did I dream we’d get the trifecta." —Houston, Texas, June 14, 2002 (There is no evidence Bush ever made any such statement, despite recounting the trifecta line repeatedly in 2002. A search by the Washington Post revealed that the three caveats were brought up before the 2000 campaign — by Al Gore.)
  • "See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don’t attack each other. Free nations don’t develop weapons of mass destruction." —Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 3, 2003
  • "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." —State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2003, making a claim that administration officials knew at the time to be false
  • "In Iraq, no doubt about it, it’s tough. It’s hard work. It’s incredibly hard." —repeating the phrases "hard work," "working hard," "hard choices," and other "hard"-based verbiage 22 times in his first debate with Sen. John Kerry
  • "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." —Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2001
  • "I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority." —Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002
  • "But all in all, it’s been a fabulous year for Laura and me." —summing up his first year in office, three months after the 9/11 attacks, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001
  • "I try to go for longer runs, but it’s tough around here at the White House on the outdoor track. It’s sad that I can’t run longer. It’s one of the saddest things about the presidency." —interview with "Runners World," Aug. 2002
  • "Can we win? I don’t think you can win it." —after being asked whether the war on terror was winnable, "Today" show interview, Aug. 30, 2004
  • "I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace." —Washington, D.C. June 18, 2002
  • "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job." —to a group of Amish he met with privately, July 9, 2004
  • "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." —speaking underneath a "Mission Accomplished" banner aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 2003
  • “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories … And we’ll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they’re wrong, we found them." —Washington, D.C., May 30, 2003
  • "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere!" —President George W. Bush, joking about his administration’s failure to find WMDs in Iraq as he narrated a comic slideshow during the Radio & TV Correspondents’ Association dinner, Washington, D.C., March 24, 2004
  • "If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator." —Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000
  • "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 (Watch video)
  • "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country." —Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004 (Watch video)
  • "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004 (Watch video)
  • "My answer is bring them on." —on Iraqi insurgents attacking U.S. forces, Washington, D.C., July 3, 2003

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