George W. Bush Quotes
Source Source

"That's right."

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier...just as long as I'm the dictator..."
--Washington, DC, Dec 18, 2000, during his first trip to Washington as President-Elect" (audio)

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."   ---George W. Bush, September 17, 2002, addressing the East Literature Magnet School, Nashville, Tennessee

"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

"Rarely is the question asked: is our children learning"
--Florence, SC, Jan. 11, 2000

"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."
--Hardball, MSNBC, May 31, 2000

"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it."
--Reuters, May 5, 2000

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

"Laura and I really don't realize how bright our children is sometime until we get an objective analysis."
--Meet the Press, April 15, 2000

"I was raised in the West. The west of Texas. It's pretty close to California. In more ways than Washington, D.C., is close to California."
--Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2000

"We want our teachers to be trained so they can meet the obligations; their obligations as teachers. We want them to know how to teach the science of reading. In order to make sure there's not this kind of federal cufflink."
--Fritsche Middle School, Milwaukee, March 30, 2000

"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 (of Al Gore)

"It is not Reaganesque to support a tax plan that is Clinton in nature."
--Los Angeles, Feb. 23, 2000

"I understand small business growth. I was one."
--New York Daily News, Feb. 19, 2000

"How do you know if you don't measure if you have a system that simply suckles kids through?"
--Explaining the need for educational accountability, Beaufort, S.C.,Feb.16, 2000

"The senator has got to understand if he's going to have he can't have it both ways. He can't take the high horse and then claim the low road."
--To reporters in Florence, S.C., Feb. 17, 2000 (of Al Gore)

"If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign."
--Hilton Head, S.C., Feb. 16, 2000

"We ought to make the pie higher."
-South Carolina Republican Debate, Feb. 15, 2000

"I've changed my style somewhat, as you know. I'm less, I pontificate less, although it may be hard to tell it from this show. And I'm more interacting with people."
--Meet The Press, Feb. 13, 2000

"I think we need not only to eliminate the tollbooth to the middle class, I think we should knock down the tollbooth."
--Nashua, N.H., as quoted by Gail Collins, New York Times, Feb. 1, 2000

"The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady in my case."
--Pella, Iowa, as quoted in the San Antonio Express News, Jan. 30, 2000"

"This is Preservation Month. I appreciate preservation. It's what you do when you run for president. You gotta preserve."
--Speaking during Perseverance Month at Fairgrounds Elementary School in Nashua, N.H.

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
--Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000

"This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mental losses."
--At a South Carolina oyster roast; quoted in the Financial Times, Jan.14, 2000

"There needs to be debates, like we're going through. There needs to be townhall meetings. There needs to be travel. This is a huge country."
--Larry King Live, Dec. 16, 1999

"The important question is, How many hands have I shaked?"
 --Answering a question about why he hasn't spent more time in New Hampshire; quoted in the New York Times, Oct. 23, 1999

"Keep good relations with the Grecians."
Quoted in the Economist, June 12, 1999

"I don't remember debates. I don't think we spent a lot of time debating it. Maybe we did, but I don't remember."
--On discussing the Vietnam War as an undergraduate at Yale, in the Washington Post, July 27, 1999

"Put the 'off' button on."
South Carolina, February 14, 2000

"I did denounce it. I de-I denounced it. I denounced interracial dating. I denounced anti-Catholic bigacy... bigotry."
--Referring to his Bob Jones University visit and the subsequent criticism, Virginia, February 25, 2000

"I would have said yes to abortion if only it was right. I mean, yeah it's right. Well no it's not right that's why I said no to it."
--South Carolina, February 14,2000

"My [tax cut] plan is realistic because it avoids meaningless 15-year projections."
--George W. Bush goes to extraordinary lengths to defend his tax cut plan. (Quote is from a Bush speech in Iowa, 12/1/99)

"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."
--New York Times, 7/28/99

"There ought to be limits to freedom"
--at a Press conference at the Texas State House, May 21, 1999, referring to

"We have struggle to not proceed but to preceed to the future of a nation's child."
--Journal Gazette 11/12/00

"My opponent seems to think that Social Security is a federal program. I believe that money is yours and you should be able to invest it yourself."
-The final Presidential debate

"Down in Washington they're playing with Social Security like it's some kind of government program!"
-NBC Nightly News (Date unknown)

"The reason we start a war is to fight a war, win a war, thereby causing no more war!"
--The first Presidential debate

"They said, 'You know, this issue doesn't seem to resignate [sic] with the people.' And I said, you know something? Whether it resignates [sic] or not doesn't matter to me, because I stand for doing what's the right thing, and what the right thing is hearing the voices of people who work.
--Portland, Ore., Oct. 31, 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, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

"If affirmative action means what I just described, what I'm for, then I'm for it."
--The Presidential Debates. St. Louis, Mo., October 18, 2000

"It's going to require numerous IRA agents."
--On Gore's tax plan, Greensboro, N.C., Oct. 10, 2000

"I don't think we need to be subliminable [sic] about the differences between our views on prescription drugs."
--Orlando, Fla., Sept. 12, 2000. He then repeatedly mispronounced the word after his press conference.

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

"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?"
--Concord, N.H., Jan. 29, 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


"They misunderestimated me."
--Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

"That's a chapter, the last chapter of the 20th, 20th, the 21st century that most of us would rather forget. The last chapter of the 20th century. This is the first chapter of the 21st century."
--On the Lewinsky scandal, Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."
—LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000"

"There's a huge trust. I see it all the time when people come up to me and say, 'I don't want you to let me down again.'"
— Boston, Massachusetts, October 3, 2000

"I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question"
--Reynoldsburg, Ohio, October 4, 2000

"You teach a child to read and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."
--February 21, 2001 - President Bush at Townsend Elementary School,  touting his education reform plans. 

"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between mother and child." - Gov GWB

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." ...George W. Bush.

"Welcome to Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts." ...Governor George W. Bush.

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe." ...Gov GW Bush, Jr., 8/11/94

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century."   GW Bush, 9/15/95

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy, but that could change." GWB 5/22/98

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is 'to be prepared'." ...Governor George W. Bush., 12/6/93

"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things." ...Governor George W. Bush., 11/30/96

"Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods."—Austin, Texas, Dec. 20, 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, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

"I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun."

"Mr. Vice President, in all due respect, it is—I'm not sure 80 percent of the people get the death tax. I know this: 100 percent will get it if I'm the president."

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

"Quotas are bad for America. It's not the way America is all about."

"If affirmative action means what I just described, what I'm for, then I'm for it." St. Louis, Mo., October 18, 2000

"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future." ...Governor George W. Bush.

"The future will be better tomorrow." ...Governor George W. Bush.

"We're going to have the best educated American people in the world." ...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 9/21/97

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history." ...Governor George W. Bush.

"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made." GW Bush, Jr. to Sam Donaldson

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe." ...Governor George W. Bush.

"Public speaking is very easy." ...Governor George W. Bush. to reporters in 10/9

"I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican" ...George W. Bush,

"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls." ...Gov G W. Bush

"When I have been asked who caused the riots and the killing in LA, my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame". ...George W. Bush, Jr.

"Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it." ...Gov George W. Bush., 5/20/96

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur." ...Governor George W. Bush., 9/22/97

"For NASA, space is still a high priority." ...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 9/5/93

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children." ...Governor George W. Bush., 9/18/95

"The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that George Bush may or may not make." ...Gov GW Bush.

"We're all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made." ...Governor George W. Bush.

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." ...Gov George W. Bush.