Let Me Finish...

Helene Stikkel

[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.]



"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."

--Washington, D.C., September 19, 2002


"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, August 29, 2002


"I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind."

--Meet the Press, February 8, 2004


"That's why I went to the Congress last September and proposed fundamental--supplemental funding, which is money for armor and body parts and ammunition and fuel."

--Erie, Pennsylvania,
September 4, 2004


"I didn't join the International Criminal Court because I don't want to put our troops in the hands of prosecutors from other nations. Look, if somebody has done some wrong in our military, we'll take care of it. We got plenty of capability of dealing with justice."

--Niceville, Florida, August 10, 2004

"I'm honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein."

--Washington, D.C., May 25, 2004



"This is a person [Saddam] who has had contacts with al Qaeda."

--October 2002


"He's got connections with al Qaeda."

--October 2002


"This is a guy who has had connections with these shadowy terrorist networks."

--October 2002


"We know he's got ties with al Qaeda."

--November 2002


"In terms of [Iraq's] support for terrorism, we have established that Iraq has permitted al Qaeda to operate within its territory. As the president said recently, 'The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist organizations. And there are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq.' The president has made his position on Iraq eminently clear, and in the coming weeks and months we shall see what we shall see."

--John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, speech to the
Hudson Institute


"We know that he's had connections with al Qaeda."

--November 2002


"He's had connections with shadowy terrorist networks like al Qaeda."

--November 2002


"We know that he has had contacts with terrorist networks like al Qaeda."

--November 2002


"And, not only that, he is--would like nothing better than to hook up with one of these shadowy terrorist networks like al Qaeda, provide some weapons and training to them, let them come and do his dirty work, and we wouldn't be able to see his fingerprints on his action."

--November 2002


"Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda."

--January 2003



"I, in the state of Texas, had heard a lot of discussion about a faith-based initiative eroding the important bridge between church and state."

--January 29, 2001  


"God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East."

--GWB to Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, as reported in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, June 23, 2003


"God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear."

--Los Angeles, March 3, 2004


"But the true strength of America is found in the hearts and souls of people like Travis, people who are willing to love their neighbor, just like they would like to love themselves."

--Springfield, Missouri,
February 9, 2004



"We have had triumphs, we have made mistakes, we have had sex."

--Candidate George Herbert Walker Bush on the stump, describing his special relationship with outgoing President Ronald Reagan, 1988


"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."

--GWB interviewed in the Washington Post, March 9, 2001



"You no-good fucking son of a bitch! I saw what you wrote. We're not going to forget this."

--speaking to Wall Street Journal columnist Al Hunt in a restaurant, 1988--in front of Hunt's four-year-old daughter--after Hunt predicted an '88 Republican ticket that did not include Bush Sr.


"Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out."

--Speaking to Condi Rice, March 2002, a full year before the invasion of Iraq


"Go fuck yourself."

--Vice President Dick Cheney to Sen. Patrick Leahy, floor of Senate, June 22, 2004


"Fuck Bush."

--Google search string that yields
approximately 17,000 results

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