Let Me Finish...

W in his own words

[Editor's note: This list of quotations (all from President George W. Bush except where noted) was gleaned from news accounts and from databases of Bush quotes, most notably Jacob Weisberg's Bushisms collection at Slate and the Dubyaspeaks.com website, which features audio clips of many of the remarks.]



Helene Stikkel

"If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign."

--Hilton Head, South Carolina,
February 16, 2000



"This is an impressive crowd--the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base."

--New York City, October 19, 2000


"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, August 21, 2000



"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., December 18, 2000, just after the Supreme Court
decision that settled the 2000 election


"I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for predecessors as well."

--Washington, D.C., January 29, 2001


"Tribal sovereignty means that it's sovereign. 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., August 6, 2004


"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program."

--St. Charles, Missouri,
November 2, 2000

"You see, the Senate wants to take away some of the powers of the administrative branch."

--Washington, D.C.,
September 19, 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, California, May 1, 2002


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

--Tokyo, February 18, 2002


"The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law."

--Austin, Texas, November 22, 2000


"It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the internet."

--Arlington Heights, Illinois,
October 24, 2000


"[A]s you know, these are open forums, you're able to come and listen to what I have to say."

--Washington, D.C., October 28, 2003


"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."

--Washington Post, August 21, 2002


"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 the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

--quoted in Bob Woodward,
Bush at War


"[T]hat's just the nature of democracy. Sometimes pure politics enters into the rhetoric."

--Crawford, Texas, August 8, 2003


"Recession means that people's incomes, at the employer level, are going down, basically, relative to costs, people are getting laid off."

--Washington, D.C., February 19, 2004


"If most of the breaks go to wealthy people it's because most of the people who pay taxes are wealthy."

--On the stump in Iowa, January 5, 2000


"Investment means you're purchasing something, and somebody has to make that which you purchase and sell that which you purchase. And that's how the economy works."

--Hudson, Wisconsin, August 18, 2004


"That's why you've got to be careful about this rhetoric, we're only going to tax the rich. You know who the--the rich in America happen to be the small business owners. That's what that means."

--Annandale, Virginia, August 9, 2004


"You can't tax the rich enough to pay for [Kerry's] promises. Guess who he's going to tax? He's going to tax me and you."

--Lebanon, Ohio, May 4, 2004



"I saw an airplane hit the tower--the TV was obviously on--and I used to fly myself, and I said, 'There's one terrible pilot.'"

--Orlando, Florida, December 4, 2001, responding to school child's question about what he thought when the first World Trade Center tower was struck on September 11


"I saw a poll that said the 'right-track, wrong-track' in Iraq was better than here in America."

--Rose Garden press conference,
September 23, 2004


"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."

--Speaking to a gathering of Pentagon officials, August 5, 2004


"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., December 11, 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."

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