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Quotes - Dubya the Grammarian (2006)
(Choice instances of Dubya's trademark diction)
We, we have met with Syria since I have been the President of the United States. We have talked to them about what is necessary for them to have a better relationship with the United States, and they're not unreasonable requests. You know, we've, we've suggested to them that they no longer allow — Saddamists to send money and arms across their border into Iraq to fuel the violence — some of the violence that we see. We've talked to them about, they've gotta leave the democrat Lebanon alone.
I really do want the new Secretary of Defense to have time to get to know people and hear people and be a part of this deliberation. And he will not be sworn in until next Monday. I also — one of the interesting things about this experience is that there's a lot of ideas and a lot of opinions. And I want to make sure I hear from as many of those ideas and opinions as possible. Today I heard from some opinions that matter a lot to me, and these are the opinions of those who wear the uniform.
People, ideas, opinions... all animate objects capable of conversation. Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2006
And one of the things that has changed for American foreign policy is a threat overseas can now come home to hurt us, and September the 11th should be a wake-up call for the American people to understand what happens if there is violence and safe havens in a part of the world.
Dubya offers a somewhat mangled take on post-9/11 foreign policy, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006
When NATO was formed in 1949, its principal mission was to protect Europe from a Soviet tank invasion. Today, the Soviet threat is gone. And under the able leadership of the Secretary General, NATO is transforming from a static alliance focused on the defense of Europe, into an expedentiary alliance ready to deploy outside of Europe in the defense of freedom.
The White House transcript notes that the word Dubya was searching for was "expeditionary", Riga, Latvia, Nov. 28, 2006
You know, the plans of Mr. Zarqawi was to foment sectarian violence. ...The bombings that took place recently was a part of a pattern that has been going on for about nine months.
Plurals and singulars never cease to outfox Dubya, Tallinn, Estonia, Nov. 28, 2006
Out, our Declaration of Independence makes it clear that the human right to dignity and equality is not a grant of government. It is the gift from the author of life. And Martin Luther King considered the Declaration one of America's great, as he called it, charters of freedom. He called our founders' words, quote, "a promise that all men — yes, black men, as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unailable right of liberty, life, and the pursuit of happiness."
I believe Iraq had a lot to do with the election, but I believe there was other factors, as well.
What other factors was involved? White House, Nov. 8, 2006
I do believe they [Democrats] care about the security. I don't — I thought they were wrong not making sure our professionals had the tools, and I still believe that. I don't see how you can protect the country unless you give these professionals tools. They just have a different point of view. That doesn't mean they don't want America to get attacked.
Dubya doubles up on negatives here, White House, Nov. 8, 2006
MARIA BARTIROMO (CNBC): I'm curious, have you ever Googled anybody? Do you use Google?
DUBYA: Uhh, occasionally. One of the things I've used on The Google is, uhh, to pull up maps.
The Google, available on the Internets. White House, Oct. 23, 2006
Nobody has accused me of having a real sophisticated vocabulary.
No argument here, White House, Oct. 11, 2006
I worked with [Arizona Congressman] Rick [Renzi] to pass what's called the Healthy Forest Initiative. See, his district has got a lot of important forests. It means that we can work together with local folks to thin out those forests so they're not full of combustionable fuel.
By that twisted phrase, he means "trees". Scottsdale, Arizona, Oct. 4, 2006
It gives me great comfort to be able to tell the loved ones of those who wear our uniform that if you get hurt you will receive first class, compassionate care from the United States military.
It's great to know that Dubya is able to remain comfortable, Washington, D.C., Sep. 29, 2006
The goals of this country is to enhance prosperity and peace.
Grammar goes out the door again, in the White House Conference on Global Literacy, New York, New York, Sep. 18, 2006
I'm going to answer one question as this legislation proceeds, and it's this. The intelligence community must be able to tell me that the bill Congress sends to my desk will allow this vital program to continue. That's what I'm going to ask.
Excuse me, Dubya, but that wasn't a question. It was an imperative. White House, Sep. 15, 2006
I would hope people aren't trying to rewrite the history of Saddam Hussein — all of a sudden, he becomes kind of a benevolent fellow. He's a dangerous man. And one of the reasons he was declared a state sponsor of terror was because that's what he was. He harbored terrorists. He paid for families of suicide bombers. Never have I said that Saddam Hussein gave orders to attack 9/11.
Apparently "9/11" has been attacked... White House, Sep. 15, 2006
It's important to have members of the United States Senate who understand the call of history and are willing to stand strong in the face of an enemy who is relenting.
Wrong word, Dubya. This one means the opposite of what you were probably trying to say. Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 31, 2006
I've, I've got a eckullectic reading list.
I'm sure he must know the word "eclectic" but this sure sounds different, New Orleans, Louisiana, Aug. 29, 2006
REPORTER: What is your philosophy on granting presidential pardons?
DUBYA: You know, I don't have the criterion in front of me, Mark, but we have a strict criterion that we utilize — we being the Justice Department and the White House Counsel. And I, frankly, haven't compared the number of pardons I've given to any other President.
Either Dubya only has one criterion that determines all the pardons he issues, or he doesn't understand what criterion means. White House, Aug. 21, 2006
But we want an education system to educate every child. And here's our vision of how it's done. First, you must have leadership that sets high standards. It's amazing what happens when you have low standards. Guess what happens. You get low results. It's what I call the soft bigotry of low expectations. If you don't have high standards, you get lousy results, particularly in some neighborhoods. And that's unacceptable to a person like Lynn Swann and me.
Nice grammar, Dubya. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Aug. 15, 2006
This is a competitive company. It's a company that can't fill every order it gets because they're constrained by being able to find enough workers.
"Not being able to" would make a lot more sense, and is therefore probably what he was supposed to say, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Aug. 10, 2006
Today OMB Director Rob Portman released the latest review. I'm pleased to report that it's got some good news for the American taxpayer. This economy is growing, federal taxes are rising, and we're cutting the federal deficit faster than we expected.
Oops. White House, Jul. 11, 2006
I will be making the troop level decisions based upon what General George Casey recommends. We owe that to our troops. We owe that to their families. We owe that to the Iraqi.
Do you have one particular Iraqi in mind? Chicago, Illinois, Jul. 7, 2006
I tell people, let's don't fear the future, let's shape it.
Dubya offers a grammatically-challenged form of encouragement, Omaha, Nebraska, Jun. 7, 2006
Community colleges are practical. They design curriculum that meets the needs of today's world.
Plurals clash with singulars in a discussion on education, Omaha, Nebraska, Jun. 7, 2006
The first thing we got to understand as a country is that illegal immigration undermines the rule of law. It creates an underground economy. It can danger our national security
And we certainly don't want our national security dangered... Artesia, New Mexico, Jun. 6, 2006
If one were to measure progress on the number of suiciders, if that's your definition of success, I think it gives — I think it will — I think it obscures the steady, incremental march toward democracy we're seeing. In other words, it's very difficult — you can have the most powerful army of the world — ask the Israelis what it's like to try to stop suiciders. ...That's the — but that's one of the main — that's the main weapon of the enemy, the capacity to destroy innocent life with a suicider. ...Trying to stop suiciders — which we're doing a pretty good job of on occasion — is difficult to do. And what the Iraqis are going to have to eventually do is convince those who are conducting suiciders who are not inspired by al Qaeda, for example, to realize there's a peaceful tomorrow.
Dubya unleashes the made-up word "suicider" 5 times in quick succession — a new record, White House, May 23, 2006
We're honored that the Flying Tomato represented our country, and we want to thank all the dudes and dudesses of the snowboarders who are here.
Dubya takes a painful stab at being hip in a ceremony with the 2006 U.S. Winter Olympic and Paralympic Teams, White House, May 17, 2006
I sent a supplemental up to the United States Congress recently to make sure our troops what they have they need to be able to do their jobs.
I guess we know what he's trying to say, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2006
Churches all across the country are reaching out — synagogues, people from different faiths understand that it makes sense to help their parishioners realize the benefits of this plan.
"Parishioners" of different faiths? Nice word choice. Sun City Center, Florida, May 9, 2006
There was two major conflicts in Europe, World War I and World War II.
Was... Were... someday he'll have the difference worked out, Sun City Center, Florida, May 9, 2006
There's not going to be a answer for diversifying away from foreign sources of oil.
Meant to emphasize that there would be multiple answers to the problem rather than a single answer, but comes out sounding like — well, Dubya. Sun City Center, Florida, May 9, 2006
I, personally, have a working relationship with Vladimir Putin and that's very important. I've got a warm relationship with him. It's a relationship where I can sit down with him and ask him direct questions as to why he's made the decisions he's made. It's a relationship where he questions me about what the intentions of the United States may be. It's one that I value, and I think it's an important relationship not only for the United States to have, but it's an important relationship for countries in Europe for the United States to have a relationship with Vladimir Putin.
Highlighted for your enjoyment... White House, May 5, 2006
I've come to realize that the nature of the German people are such that war is very abhorrent, that Germany is a country now that is — no matter where they sit on the political spectrum, Germans are — just don't like war. And I can understand that.
The question is can the German people understand Dubya's numerous grammatical shifts? White House, May 5, 2006
I was not pleased that Hamas has refused to announce its desire to destroy Israel.
I think Hamas has consistently announced its desire, but hasn't renounced its desire, which is presumably what Dubya is hoping for. White House, May 4, 2006
Today we saw again that the terrorists are willing to try to define the world the way they want to see it. There was bombings today in Egypt.
Meanwhile, Dubya continues to redefine grammar the way he wants to speak it, Las Vegas, Nevada, Apr. 24, 2006
And it recognizes that we have got to educate our children — now! — for the skill sets necessary for tomorrow. And this is a better place — there's no better place to talk about that — and there is no better place to talk about that right here at Parkland Magnet Middle School for Aerospace Technology. Thanks for letting us come by. God bless.
He reformulates the phrase twice but never quite gets there, probably because he was trying to get the long name of the middle school right in his head (although he nearly makes "Magnet" sound like "Maggot" in the end). Rockville, Maryland, Apr. 18, 2006
The tests show we're fine in the fourth grade in math, and we're okay in eighth grade. They start to slip up prior to going to high school. That is the time to intervene in a child's academic career to make sure he or she has that skill set necessary to become the mathematicians or the scientists or the engineers by the time they get out of college.
In his push for an improved educational system, Dubya offers shifting plural/singular references that rival his best work to date, Rockville, Maryland, Apr. 18, 2006
There's no need to have a health care system for our seniors that doesn't meet needs. And one of the things I noticed in analyzation of the health care system for seniors, analyzation of Medicare, was that medicine had changed, but Medicare hadn't.
Granted, analyzation is a word, but a Google search for "analyzation of health care" turned up 0 results, while "analysis of health care" turned up 86,000 results. Jefferson City, Missouri, Apr. 11, 2006
I strongly believe what we're doing is the right thing. If I didn't believe it — I'm going to repeat what I said before — I'd pull the troops out, nor if I believed we could win, I would pull the troops out.
I believe him when he claims this isn't the first time he's said something like this, Charlotte, North Carolina, Apr. 6, 2006
What we're doing is difficult work. And one — the interesting thing that's happening is, is that imagine an enemy that says we will kill innocent people because we're trying to encourage people to be free.
Dubya has a "we" (sorry, couldn't resist...) bit of a pronoun reference mismatch here, White House, Mar. 21, 2006
The people of the city still have many challenges to overcome, including old-age resentments that still create suspicion.
I think he's looking for "age-old", but his version is more fun. Cleveland, Ohio, Mar. 20, 2006
After the bombing, most Iraqis saw what the — perpetuators of the, of this attack were trying to do.
Stumbling through his analysis of the motivation of the "perpetuators" behind the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, Iraq. George Washington University, Washington, D.C., Mar. 13, 2006
The third part of our plan is to develop new technologies to defend against IEDs. We're puttin' the best minds in America to work on this effort. The Department Defense recently garnered some 6 — gathered 600 leaders from industry and academmia, the national laboratories, the National Academy of Sciences, all branches of the military, and every — uhh, relevant government agency to discuss technology solutions to the IED threat.
Dubya's truncated variation of the Department of Defense, use of the word "garnered" instead of "gathered", and mispronunciation of "academia"... All missing from the official White House transcript. George Washington University, Washington, D.C., Mar. 13, 2006
I think it sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it's OK for a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of the world can't manage the port.
The last four words kind of mess up the grammatical structure, White House, Feb. 21, 2006
One way to aleve the pressure on price is to expand the use of liquified natural gas through new terminals.
Dubya once again combines "alleviate" and "relieve" to come up with "aleve" Golden, Colorado, Feb. 21, 2006
Uhh, there's a lot of noise in Washington. There's a lot of flattery, there's a lot of, umm, criticism, just a lotta noise. And, uhh, I keep it in — I, I try to keep my life in perspective. I try ta — I don't try to, I do keep my life in perspective. And, uhh, I am focused on achieving certain objectives. Every day — I, I, I said this, and I mean this — every day I think about how to protect America. Every day in the morning, first thing in the morning, I get brief by our intelligence officers about potential threats. That's every morning I'm aware of, uhh, eh, of — the world aroung us. And I told ya — that — that it's, it's, it's — 9/11 changed my thinkin', so my focus is there.
Dubya careens through an explanation of how he keeps his life in perspective, and offers up some gems you have to hear to believe. Tampa, Florida, Feb. 17, 2006
The people of Chicago turned out en masse not only because you were baseball champs, but because you have brought some character to the city. I want to applaud the organization for supporting inner-city Little League. I think it's really important for this great state of baseball to reach out to people of all walks of life to make sure that the sport is inclusive.
Dubya promotes his vision for the "great state of baseball" in a meeting with the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, White House, Feb. 13, 2006
I want you to know that this Patriot Act is under constant review, and there has been no documented abuses under the Patriot Act.
If you don't count this incident of bad grammar, of course. Manhattan, Kansas, Jan. 23, 2006
Seems like to me we ought to encourage marriage in this country, and the tax code ought to encourage that. ...It seems like to me that you want a tax system that encourages a family member to be able to pass their assets on to whomever they choose without the government making it impossible to do so. ...The best way, it seems like to me, to solve the deficit is to keep pro-growth tax policies in place and do something on the spending side. ...Do you realize we've got about 250 years of coal here in America? It seems like to me a wise investment is to figure out how to use that coal in a way that heats your homes and fuels your businesses, and at the same time, protects the environment. ...It seems like to me the more transparency in pricing, the more likely it is consumers will have an input into the cost of health care.
Dubya engages in a seems-like-to-me fest, Sterling, Virginia, Jan. 19, 2006
Countries such as ours have an obligation to step up, working together, sanding, sending a common message, to the Iranians, that, uhh, uhh — that it's — the behavior — kind of — trying to — uhh, clandessintly develop a nukyular weapon, or using the guise of a civilian nukyular weapon program to get the know-how to develop a nukyular weapon is unacceptable.
Three "nukyulars" and one "clandessintly"... who could ask for anything more? (And what is a civilian nukyular weapon program?) White House, Jan. 13, 2006
It seems like to me that if somebody is talking to Al Qaeda, we want to know why.
The whole "it seems like to me" bit (which in itself is an odd expression) is what screws up the inference of this sentence, Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 11, 2006
I fully expect in a democracy — I expect and, frankly, welcome the voices of people saying, you know, Mr. President, you shouldn't have made that decision, or, you know, you should have done it a better way. I understand that. What I don't like is when somebody said, he lied. Or, they're in there for oil. Or they're doing it because of Israel. That's the kind of debate that basically says the mission and the sacrifice were based on false premise. It's one thing to have a philosophical difference — and I can understand people being abhorrent about war. War is terrible. But one way people can help as we're coming down the pike in the 2006 elections, is remember the effect that rhetoric can have on our troops in harm's way, and the effect that rhetoric can have in emboldening or weakening an enemy.
Dubya sets the parameters of a debate that doesn't sound much like a debate, and "being abhorrent about war" doesn't make sense. Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 11, 2006
You took an oath to defend our flag and our freedom, and you kept that oath underseas and under fire.
The speechwriter perhaps gave him "overseas" but Dubya gave us "underseas", Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2006
Laura and I's spirits are uplifted any time we go to a school that's working, because we understand the importance of public education in the future of our country.
I hope he pushes for extra funding for grammar programs, Glen Burnie, Maryland, Jan. 9, 2006
And the best place to start is to make sure every child can read and write and add and subtract. And so that was the spirit behind proposing the No Child Left Behind Act. And as I mentioned, there was a lot of non-partisan cooperation — kind of a rare thing in Washington. But it made sense when it come to public schools.
I think the words he was looking for were "bipartisan" and "came", Glen Burnie, Maryland, Jan. 9, 2006
We're not saying your democracy has to be like yours. We're just saying give your people a chance to live in a free society.
Yes, that wouldn't make any sense at all if that's what we were saying... Washington, D.C., Jan. 5, 2006
If you really think about it, there was three important elections that took place, and in an atmosphere that some predicted wouldn't yield democracy.
And if you really, really think about it, there were three elections, The Pentagon, Jan. 4, 2006
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