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Quotes - Dubya the Debater
(Dubya unleashing his immense rhetorical prowess)
Uhh — Gosh, I — don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those, uhh, exaggerations.
To quote Dubya (Mar. 13, 2002): "I — I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him." Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
BOB SCHIEFFER: Suddenly we find ourselves with a severe shortage of flu vaccine. How did that happen?
DUBYA: Uhhh — Bob, we relied upon a company out of England to provide about half of the flu vaccines for the United States citizen, and it turned out that the vaccine they were producing was contaminated. And so we took the right action and didn't allow contamidated medicine into our country.
Yes, he actually said "contamidated", while taking credit for the UK government's intervention in preventing export of contaminated vaccine (and by the way, the "company out of England" is Chiron Corporation of Emeryville, California, which operates a vaccine production facility in England), Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
We have a problem with litigation in the United States of America. Vaccine manufacturers are worried about getting sued, and therefore they have backed off from providing this kind of vaccine. One of the reasons I'm such a strong believer in legal reform is so that people aren't afraid of producing a product that is necessary for the health of our citizens and then end up getting sued in a court of law.
On why America doesn't produce all of its flu vaccine domestically, and trying to blame it on medical litigation Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
The last debate, my opponent said well they only — those lawsuits only caused costs to go up by 1 percent. Well, he didn't — he didn't in — include the defensive practice of medicine, that costs the federal government some 28 billion dollars a year and costs our society between 60 and 100 billion dollars a year. Uhh, thirdly, one of the reasons why there's still high cost in, in medicine is because this is — the, the, the, they don't use an information technology. It's like if you looked at the — it's the equivalent of the — of the buggy and horse days.
Dubya never explains the meaning of "defensive practice of medicine", but rewards the patient listener with the "buggy and horse" line, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
I believe we ought to love our neighbor like we love ourself, as manifested in public policy through the faith-based initiative where we've unleashed the armies of compassion to help heal people who hurt.
Dubya comes out boldly for narcissism, and the stormtroopers of compassion, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
In all due respect, I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about — oh, never mind.
One of many attempts at humor in the Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
But the best way to protect our citizens from guns is to prosecute those who commit crimes with guns.
I'm trying to figure out how gun crime victims are protected by this solution, since you can't prosecute in advance of the crime, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
You cannot solve a problem unless you diagnose the problem. And we weren't diagnosing problems. And therefore just kids were being shuffled through the school. And guess who would get shuffled through? Children whose parents wouldn't speak English as a first language just move through.
A display of sloppy diction that seems to make the point that some children have parents who refuse to speak English, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
I believe part of a hopeful society is one in which somebody owns something.
For Dubya's sake, I wish that made sense, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
[Laura is] out campaigning along with our girls. And she speaks English a lot better than I do.
She ain't the only one, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
After listening to the litany of complaints and the dour pessimism, I did all I could not to make a bad face.
It sounds like it genuinely was hard for Dubya to avoid making faces during the debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 9, 2004
Uhh — I hear there's rumors on the, uhh, Internets that we're gonna have a — draft. We're not going to have a draft. Period.
There's more than one Internet? Astounding. Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
JOHN KERRY: We're gonna build alliances. We're not gonna go unilaterally, we're not gonna go alone like this President did.
CHARLES GIBSON: Mr. President, let's extend for a minute.
DUBYA: Let me just — I've gotta answer this.
GIBSON: Exactly. And with Reservists being held on duty and —
DUBYA: Let me answer just, what he just said about going alone.
GIBSON: [obscured] Well, I wanted to get into the issue of the backdoor draft.
DUBYA: You tell Tony Blair we're going alone! Tell Tony Blair we're going alone!
It is naive and dangerous to take a policy that he suggested the other day, which is to have bilatarelations with North Korea.
This is what happens when Dubya tries to say "bilateral relations", Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
You see, he's proposed 2.2 trillion dollars of new spending. And say, you say "Well, how are you gonna pay for it?" He said, well, he's going to raise the taxes on the rich — that's what he said — the top two brackets. That raises, he says 800 billion. We say 600 billion. We've got battling green eye shades.
Nothing really wrong with this phrase, it just sounds funny coming out of Dubya's mouth, Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
When a drug comes in from Canada, I want to make sure it cures you and doesn't kill you. And that's why the FDA and that's why the Surgeon General are looking very carefully to make sure it can be done in a safe way. I've got an obligation to make sure our government does everything we can to protect you. And what my worry is is that, you know, it looks like it's from Canada, and it might be from a third world.
Dubya comes close to making his point without messing up, Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
I can see why people at your workplace think [John Kerry] changes positions a lot, because he does. He said he voted for the $87 billion and — or voted against it right before he voted for it. And that sends a confusing signal to people.
Dubya's John Kerry story is so confusing that even Dubya couldn't get it straight. What he was trying to say was that Kerry voted for it before voting against it, but close enough, I guess. Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
I wasn't happy when we found out there wasn't weapons, and we've got an intelligence group together to figure out why.
To figure out why there weren't weapons, or why Dubya wasn't happy about there not being weapons? Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
JOHN KERRY: Ninety-eight percent of America, I'm giving you a tax cut and I'm giving you health care.
CHARLES GIBSON: Mr. President, a minute-and-a-half.
DUBYA: Let me see where to start here. First, the National Journal named Senator Kennedy the most liberal senator of all. And that's saying something in that bunch. You might say that took a lot of hard work.
This point might have hit home a little better if Dubya had gotten Senator Kerry's name right, Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
I'm going to tell you what I really think is going to happen over time is technology is going to change the way we live for the good for the environment. That's why I proposed a hydrogen automobile — hydrogen-generated automobile. We're spending 1 billion dollars to come up with the technologies to do that.
Are "hydrogen-generated automobiles" actually made from hydrogen? That would be quite a vehicle. Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
I don't think my opponent has got the right view about the world to make us safe. I really don't. First of all, I don't think he can succeed in Iraq. And if Iraq were to fail, it'd be a haven for terrorists, and there would be money and the world would be much more dangerous.
There would be money? Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
And so people are going to have to look at the record. Look at the record of the man running for the President.
If only he could have said "running for President" or "running for the Presidency", Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
JAMES HUBB: Mr. President, how would you rate yourself as an environmentalist? What specifically has your administration done to improve the condition of our nation's air and water supply?
DUBYA: Off-road diesel engines. We have reached an agreement to reduce pollution from off-road diesel engines by 90 percent. I've got a plan to increase the wetlands by three million.
Three million what? Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
We proposed and passed a Healthy Forest bill, which was essential to working with — particularly in western states, to make sure that our forests were protected. What happens in those forests, because of lousy federal policy, is they grow to be — they are not — they're not harvested. They're not taken care of.
By "taken care of" and "protected", Dubya of course means "chopped down and sold as lumber", Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
JOHN KERRY: Ladies and gentlemen, that's just not true what he said. The Wall Street Journal said 96 percent of small businesses are not affected at all by my plan. And you know why he gets that count? The president got $84 from a timber company that he owns, and he's counted as a small business. Dick Cheney's counted as a small business. That's how they do things. That's just not right.
DUBYA: I own a timber company? [LAUGHTER] That's news to me. [LAUGHTER] Need some wood?
Actually, Dubya does own a timber company. You can read the details at factcheck.org (you know, the website Dick Cheney got wrong in the 2004 VP debate?), Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
I wouldn't pick a judge who said that the Pledge of Allegiance couldn't be said in a school because it had the words "under God" in it. I think that's an example of a judge allowing personal opinion to enter into the decision-making process, as opposed to strict interpretation of the Constitution. Another example would be the Dred Scott case, which is where judges years ago said that the Constitution allowed slavery because of personal property rights. That's personal opinion. That's not what the Constitution says. The Constitution of the United States says we're all — it doesn't say that, it doesn't speak to the equality of America.
Sorta ran out of logical steam toward the end there, Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
On the tax cut, it's a big decision. I did the right decision.
Yes, you... did? Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
[John Kerry] complains about the fact our troops don't have adequate equipment, yet he voted against the $87 billion supplemental I sent to the Congress, and then issued one of the most amazing quotes in political history: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
I'm not sure if Dubya is the most reliable judge of what constitutes "one of the most amazing quotes in political history", Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
The truth of the matter is, if you listen carefully, Saddam would still be in power if he [John Kerry] were the President of the United States, and the world would be a lot better off.
Speaking carefully... well, that's a different matter, Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
AUDIENCE MEMBER: With expansions to the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II, my question to you is, why are my rights being watered down and my citizens' around me? And what are the specific justifications for these reforms?
DUBYA: I appreciate that. I really don't think your rights are being watered down. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't support it if I thought that. Every action being taken against terrorists requires court order, requires scrutiny.
Another statement cast in a totally different light by the revelation in January 2006 that at the time of the 2004 presidential debates, Dubya had already initiated a covert program that bypassed the courts and secretly ordered wire taps under his own authority, Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
JIM LEHRER: New question, Mr. President, two minutes. Do you believe the election of Senator Kerry on November the 2nd would increase the chances of the U.S. being hit by another 9/11-type terrorist attack?
DUBYA: I don't believe it's gonna happen. I believe I'm gonna win because the American people know I know how to lead. I've shown the American people I know how to lead.
My concerns about the Senator is that, in the course of this campaign I've been listening very carefully to what he says, and he changes positions on the war on Iraq. It's a — changes positions on something as ff — fundamental as what you believe in your core, in your heart of hearts is right for — in Iraq. I — you cannot lead if you send mexed miss — mixed messages.
Dubya sending mexed missages of his own in the First Presidential Debate, Coral Gables, Florida, Sep. 30, 2004
As a matter of fact, this is a global effort. We're facing a — a — group of folks who have such hatred in their heart, they'll strike anywhere — with any means, and that's why it's essential that we have strong alliances, and we do.
As much as Dubya's handlers would likely prefer him to remove the word "folks" from his terrorism playbook, he just can't let it go, First Presidential Debate, Coral Gables, Florida, Sep. 30, 2004
But I, again, I wanna tell the American people, we're doin' everything we can at home, but you better have a president who chases these terrorists down and bring 'em to justice before they hurt us again.
Dubya takes a chastising, podium-pounding attitude and forgets to add an "s" to "bring" in the shuffle, First Presidential Debate, Coral Gables, Florida, Sep. 30, 2004
I have — I understand everybody in this country doesn't agree with the decisions I've made. And I made some tough decisions. But people know where I stand.
Sometimes his mistaken statements ring truer than what he means to say, First Presidential Debate, Coral Gables, Florida, Sep. 30, 2004
We work very closely with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Great Britain, who have been the folks delivering the message to the mullahs that if you expect to be part of the world of nations, get rid of your nukyular programs.
As soon as they figure out what the world of nations is, perhaps they'll take Dubya up on his offer, First Presidential Debate, Coral Gables, Florida, Sep. 30, 2004
That's kind of a pre-September 10th mentality, to hope that somehow resolutions and failed inspections would make this world a more peaceful place.
Or even kind of a pre-September 11th mentality, but close enough, I guess... First Presidential Debate, Coral Gables, Florida, Sep. 30, 2004
In Iraq, no doubt about it, it's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard. You know why? Because an enemy realizes the stakes. The enemy understands a free Iraq will be a major defeat in their ideology of hatred. That's why they're fighting so vociferously.
Dubya tries (in vain) to insert a big word into his repertoire, First Presidential Debate, Coral Gables, Florida, Sep. 30, 2004
And you know, I think about — Missy Johnson's a fantastic young lady I met in Charlotte, North Carolina, she and her son, Bryan. They came to see me. Her husband, P.J., got killed. He'd been in Afghanistan, went to Iraq. You know, it's hard work to try to love her as best as I can, knowing full well that the decision I made caused her — her loved one to be in harm's way.
Wow, that sure paints an uncomfortable mental image, First Presidential Debate, Coral Gables, Florida, Sep. 30, 2004
JIM LEHRER: Does the Iraq experience make it more likely or less likely that you would take the United States into another preemptive military action?
DUBYA: I would hope I'd never have to. I understand how hard it is to commit troops. I never wanted to commit troops. I never — when I was running — when we had the debate in 2000, I never dreamt I'd be doing that. But the enemy attacked us, Jim, and — ah — I have a solemn duty to protect the American people, to do everything I can to protect us.
Dubya again conflates Iraq and the 9/11 attackers as "the enemy", First Presidential Debate, Coral Gables, Florida, Sep. 30, 2004
Quotas are bad for America. It's not the way America is all about.
No, I guess it isn't, Presidential Debate #3, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 17, 2000
I think also what you need to think about is not the immediate, but what about Medicare? You get a plan that will include prescription drugs, a plan that will give you options. Now, I hope people understand that Medicare today is - is - is important, but it doesn't keep up with the new medicines. If you're a Medicare person, on Medicare, you don't get the new procedures. You're stuck in a time warp in many ways. So it will be a modern Medicare system that trusts you to make a variety of options for you.
Dubya attempts to explain his vision for Medicare, Presidential Debate #3, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 17, 2000
Well, you know, it's hard to make people love one another. I wish I knew the law because I would darn sure sign it. I wish I knew the law that said all of us would be good parents.
He is right about one thing: It is hard to make people love one another. Presidential Debate #3, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 17, 2000
The federal government puts about 6% of the money up. They put about, you know, 60% of the strings where you have to fill out the paperwork. I don't know if you have to be a paperwork-filler-outer, but most of it's because of the federal government.
On education spending, Presidential Debate #3, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 17, 2000
Should I be fortunate enough to earn your confidence, the mission of the United States military will be to be prepared and ready to fight and win war. And therefore prevent war from happening in the first place.
Dubya can't get enough of this logically flawed concept, Presidential Debate #3, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 17, 2000
I mean, there needs to be a wholesale effort against racial profiling, which is illiterate children.
Dubya finds a way to combine two concepts in a way previously unimagined by anyone, Presidential Debate #2, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Oct. 11, 2000
But younger workers, in order to make sure the system exists tomorrow, younger workers ought to be able to take some of your own money and invest it in safe securities to get a better rate of return on that money.
Who's taking whose money? Presidential Debate #2, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Oct. 11, 2000
I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations.
I think I know what he means... Presidential Debate #2, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Oct. 11, 2000
These folks have had eight years to get something done in Washington, D.C. on the uninsured. They have not done it... And my case to the American people is, if you're happy with inactivity, stay with the horse. The horse is up there now.
Dubya tries in vain to come up with an understandable analogy, Presidential Debate #2, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Oct. 11, 2000
Let me make sure the seniors hear me loud and clear. They've had their chance to get something done.
Classy statement. Presidential Debate #1, Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 3, 2000
I've been talking to Vicente Fox, the new president of Mexico... I know him... to have gas and oil sent to U.S.... so we'll not depend on foreign oil.
You know, because oil from Mexico isn't foreign at all, Presidential Debate #1, Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 3, 2000
A family in Allentown, Pennsylvania, I campaigned with them the other day... Under my plan, they get $1800 of tax relief. Under Vice President Gore's plan, they get $145 of tax relief. Now you tell me who stands on the side of the fence.
Specifying who stood on the side of the fence in the first presidential debate, Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 3, 2000
I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and therefore prevent war from happening in the first place.
Ummm, Dubya... I think "fighting and winning a war" constitutes a war "happening", Presidential Debate #1, Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 3, 2000
You bet I cut the taxes at the top. That encourages entrepreneurship. What we Republicans should stand for is growth in the economy. We ought to make the pie higher.
Explaining "GOP Pie Theory" in a South Carolina Republican Debate with John McCain and Alan Keyes, Columbia, South Carolina, Feb. 15, 2000
"Thou shalt not kill" is pretty universal. [School] districts ought to be allowed to post the Ten Commandments, no matter what a person's religion is.
Supporting the concept of a wrathful God in motivating "goodness" in schoolchildren, because it's universal, GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa, Jan. 16, 2000
The administration I'll bring is a group of men and women who are focused on what's best for America, honest men and women, decent men and women, women who will see service to our country as a great privilege and who will not stain the house.
Great choice of words... Des Moines Register debate, Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 15, 2000
I will have a vice president who can become the president. ...I will have a vice president that agrees with my policy. I'm going to have a vice president that likes me.
That last part is especially important, GOP presidential debate in Michigan, Jan. 11, 2000
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