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Quotes - Dubya the Grammarian (2007)
(Choice instances of Dubya's trademark diction)
One of the most serious long-term challenges facing our country is dependence on oil — especially oil from foreign lands. It's a serious challenge. And members of Congress up here understand the challenge and so do I. Because this dependence harms us economically through high and volatile prices at the gas pump. Dependence creates pollution and contributes to greenhouse gas admissions.
I can remember the first home I bought in Midland, Texas. I remember going down to the savings and loan and sitting down with the savings and loan officer and negotiating with the savings and loan officer. Well, this day and age you're going to use — mortgages have been bundled, so the savings and loan doesn't own the mortgage anymore, or the bank doesn't loan the mortgage anymore, the local lending institute doesn't loan the mortgage anymore. It's owned by some international group, perhaps, or it's been bundled into an asset. And so there's hardly anybody to negotiate with. And so some lenders aren't sure where to turn. They have credit-worthiness, they may get pinched as their interest rates reset.
Ironically, Dubya's brother Neil Bush was the director of Silverado Savings and Loan when it collapsed in 1988, costing taxpayers $1.6 billion. Perhaps Dubya's apparent inability to master that industry's terminology is an attempt to distance himself from the association? North Fredericksburg, Virginia, Dec. 17, 2007
Front lines of this efforts are parents, are teachers, are counselors who are sending our kids a clear message, drug use is not fun. It is not glamorous. It is harmful. And I want to thank those who are making that — a clear message. Drugs destroys lives.
Dubya sums it all up with some classic singular/plural disagreement. Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2007
And the fundamental question I have for President Musharraf is, will these elections be under emergency rule or law? Because if they are, it's going to be hard for — well, it'll be hard for those of us who have belief that he's advanced Pakistan's democracy to, to say that's, that's still the case.
The way Dubya answers his own "fundamental question" makes it sound as if both emergency rule and law are unacceptable. Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 2007
This Thanksgiving, we are grateful for a harvest big enough to feed us all — and millions more. We're grateful for citizens who reach out to those who struggle, and for neighbors in need — from neighbors in need to the strangers they've never met.
Even though he stops himself mid-sentence, he manages not to correct himself. White House, Nov. 20, 2007
I also thank everybody who voted online to choose the names for our guests of honor. And I'm pleased to announce the winning names. They are May and Flower. They're certainly better than the names the Vice President suggested, which was Lunch and Dinner.
A weak joke punctuated with weak grammar. White House, Nov. 20, 2007
By the way, nothin' finer than bein' a New York City fire fighter. He rushed to the scene of the World Trade Center on September the 11th, 2001. While others were leavin', he's a bunch of 'em that went in.
I'm going to talk about the importance of having good judges who adhere to this philosophy. And I will explain the need to reform a confirmation process that is making it more difficult to persuade decent and intelligence people to accept the call to public service.
How ironic that is the word in the sentence that he gets wrong... Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2007
If you've got somebody in harm's way, you want the President being — making advice, not — be given advice by the military, and not making decisions based upon the latest Gallup poll or focus group.
Bumbling his way through an explanation of his hands-off approach to determining military strategy, New Albany, Indiana, Nov. 13, 2007
Lindsey Graham is no better friend to the United States military and to our veterans. I'm looking forward to going to Fort Jackson today. It is fitting that I'm going with Senator Lindsey Graham. He cares deeply about those who volunteered to serve our nation and he's a strong supporter of the nation's veterans. He's a strong supporter of the nation's veterans.
Well, I guess we know what he was trying to say there at the beginning... Columbia, South Carolina, Nov. 2, 2007
And as we keep pressure on the enemy, we must always remember that the ultimate path to peace will come from the spread of freedom and liberty, that freedom is the great alternative to the ideology of the murderers and the radicals, that but workin' help — to work — to help others become free, that our noble military is lavin' — layin' the foundation for peace for generations to come.
A long, long sentence with a poor payoff for ol' Dubya. Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Nov. 2, 2007
We got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nukyular weapon.
Dubya once again proving he's never afraid to escalate the war rhetoric. And yes, he actually said "have" rather than "having" in the last sentence. White House, Oct. 17, 2007
And so, yes, we're making progress. But, no, I fully understand those who say you can't win this thing militarily. That's exactly what the United States military says, that you can't win this military.
Dubya almost makes it out of the last sentence unscathed. White House, Oct. 17, 2007
In my judgment, the best way to solve this issue with North Korea peacefully is to put it in — keep it in the context of six-party talks. And the reason why is that diplomacy only works if there are consequences when diplomacy breaks down, and it makes sense for there to be other people at the table so that if North Korea were to have said to all of us, we're going to do x, y, or z, and they don't, that we have other — people other than the United States being consequential.
Two things on this one: 1) Dubya's exclusive formula for diplomatic success suggests he will have little success at it, and 2) What does "being consequential" mean? White House, Oct. 17, 2007
And so you're fixing to see what they call a fiscal showdown in Washington. One of the reasons why they — the Congress gets to propose, and if it doesn't meet needs, as far I'm concerned, I get to veto. And that's precisely what I intend to do.
Intend to what? "Get to veto?" And what became of the reasons you were in the middle of explaining? Rogers, Arkansas, Oct. 15, 2007
And as the person who have asked these brave young men and women to go into combat, I feel a special obligation to make sure that our veterans, particularly those who served under my watch, get the absolute best care.
Dubya turns himself into a plural... Rogers, Arkansas, Oct. 15, 2007
You know, when you give a man more money in his pocket — in this case, a woman more money in her pocket to expand a business, it — they build new buildings. And when somebody builds a new building, somebody has got to come and build the building. And when the building expanded, it prevented additional opportunities for people to work.
Oops. One letter in a key word makes all the difference. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Oct. 3, 2007
In other words, when they say, well, poor children aren't being covered in America, if that's what you're hearing on your TV screens.
According to Dubya, TV screens emit sound. Fascinating... Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Oct. 3, 2007
I believe it's in our interests to help relieve the suffering of HIV/AIDS on the continent of Africa. It's in our interests to do so. It's part of the belief system that says, you know, that we have obligations and duties to ourself. No, by relieving suffering overseas, not only do you lift the moral sights of our country, but it recognizes the reality of the world in which we live.
As is often the case, Dubya's usage of "No," doesn't make sense. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Oct. 3, 2007
Scientists estimate that nearly 20 percent of the world's greenhouse gas admissions are attributable to deforestation.
Dubya swaps emissions with admissions again, Washington, D.C., Sep. 28, 2007
As yesterday's positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured.
Not surprisingly, the White House initially elected to leave this mistake out of the official transcript. New York, New York, Sep. 26, 2007
It's sad — that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person, like, uhh, Alberto Gonzales, is impeding from doin' important work, because his good name was dragged through the — mud for political reasons.
Yes, I'm sure all of those Republicans that called for his resignation were doing so for purely political reasons... By the way, the White House transcript corrected Dubya's flub to say "impeded". Waco, Texas, Aug. 27, 2007
One reason one meets is to reconfirm friendships, is to make sure that not only at the leaders' level is there conversations taking place that are friendly, but that that spirit translates throughout our governments.
Singular? Plural? Always confusing for Dubya. Montebello, Canada, Aug. 21, 2007
One of the questions I recently asked about, is there a functioning government, is there — a lot of Americans look at it and say, there's nothing happening there. There's, like, no government at all, I expect they're saying.
If that is what "they" are saying, I imagine it, like, made more sense when they said it. White House, Aug. 9, 2007
I would readily concede to you this is a difficult issue because the reason there is tax preferences in the first place are there are powerful interests that have worked to get the preference in the code.
Another in a long line of singular/plural mismatches, Washington, D.C., Aug. 9, 2007
I appreciate the fact that Hank Paulson agreed to join my administration, after a long career as one of the world's most successful investment bankers. Here's how he puts it. He said, 'This is far and away the strongest global economy I've seen in my business lifetime.' In other words, not only is our economy strong, but so is the economies around the world.
Yes they is... That's how Dubya puts it. Washington, D.C., Aug. 8, 2007
The purpose of government is to make it more possible for people to realize dreams, and to enhance the entrepreneurial spirit. That has been the policies of this administration and it will continue to be the policies of this administration.
Grammar Dubya, grammar... Washington, D.C., Aug. 8, 2007
We talked about the need to stem the narcotics trade. I'm sure the President will comment on this. He understands that it's very important for farmers to be incented to grow crops other than poppy, and that he knows full well the United States is watching, measuring and trying to help eradicate poppy cultivation.
Dubya rolls out the word "incent" again, Camp David, Maryland, Aug. 6, 2007
It's a — it's, we have an amazing country, where people's instinct, first instinct, is to help save life, and there's a lot of peoples' first instincts here in the Twin Cities was to save the lives of somebody who was hurtin', and I know the people of this community thank those, their fellow citizens who did that.
Dubya twists some grammatical pretzels for those in attendance at his tour of the I-35W bridge collapse site, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Aug. 4, 2007
When Congress returns in September, we need to work together on additional reforms, including the important issue of providing meaningful liability protection to those who are alleged to have assisted our Nation following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Puzzling use of the word "alleged" in a statement from Dubya that was released on the White House website, White House, Aug. 4, 2007
Whatever their chosen field, the National Laureatsesses Sciences and Technology have brought great credit to themselves through this country.
A simple set of screw-ups at the National Medal of Science and Technology Recipients award presentation, but Dubyaesque nevertheless. White House, Jul. 27, 2007
The long-term solution for your grandkids' sake is to defeat their ideology of hate with an ideology of light, and that's called liberty and democracy.
Dubya's poor grammar equates grandkids with terrorists, Nashville, Tennessee, Jul. 19, 2007
There is a conversion of visions between what Iraqi leaders want, what our partners want and what our friends in the region want, and the vision articulated by my administration, the Iraq Study Group and others here at home.
I'm assuming he was supposed to say "convergence" here, only he didn't... White House, Jul. 12, 2007
I wouldn't ask a mother or a dad — I wouldn't put their son in harm's way if I didn't believe this was necessary for the security of the United States and peace of the world.
Another instance (more here) where Dubya decides to pair up mother with dad, in stark contradiction to normal usage rules. Cleveland, Ohio, Jul. 10, 2007
If we were to allow them to gain control of Iraq, they would have control of a nation with massive oil reserves — which they could use to fund new attacks and exhort economic blackmail on those who didn't kowtow to their wishes.
Dubya comes up with an inventive new use for the word "exhort" here, Martinsburg, West Virginia, Jul. 4, 2007
The world is seeing the promise and potential of the peaceful use of nukyular energy. I emphasize that word, peaceful use, because one of my predecessors, Dwight David Eisenhower, in 1953 called on the world's scientists and engineers to find a way to produce peaceful power from atomic energy that would serve the needs, rather than the fears, of mankind.
However, I think President Eisenhower could discern the difference between one word and two... Athens, Alabama, Jun. 21, 2007
This process has been drug out a long time, which says to me it's political.
This grammar in the sentence above says to me that Dubya's degrees from Yale and Harvard should be viewed with extreme skepticism. Sofia, Bulgaria, Jun. 11, 2007
REPORTER: The Pope has said Iraq was worrisome.
DUBYA: Yes, he's worrisome about the Christians inside Iraq being mistreated by the Muslim majority.
I am worried about Dubya's worrisome tendency to botch the English language, Rome, Italy, Jun. 9, 2007
Besides my bilateral meetings with the leadership, I am looking forward to my democracy speech. Vaclav Havel has asked me to come and speak to a democracy forum. I feel very strongly that the United States must take the lead in promoting democracy around the world — even in places where it may not look like it could — that it's very hospitable, because I believe, ultimately, it is hospitable. And so it's going to be an important speech and I'm working on it.
I suspect it could use a lot of work... White House, Jun. 1, 2007
Oh, I know there's a big debate about how to deal with these folks. I will just tell you my view. You can't ration with them. You can't compromise with them. You can't hope for the best with them. You must treat them as they are, cold-blooded killers, and bring them to justice before they hurt us.
Not only does he fall back on calling terrorists "folks", he drops in a new use for the word "ration", Edison, New Jersey, May 30, 2007
This bill sets enforcement benchmarks that have got to be met before other aspects of the comprehensive bill are triggered. In other words, there has to be certain accomplishments in place before other aspects of the bill come into being. And here are some of those — markers. Increasing the number of Border Patrol agents. In other words, we said we're going to double them. They've got to get doubled, until other aspects of the bill come into being.
Dubya stretches the usefulness of the phrase "In other words" here, although clearly this isn't the first time. Glynco, Georgia, May 29, 2007
There's a lot of blowhards in the political process, you know, a lot of hot-air artists, people who have got something fancy to say.
Aside from the singular/plural mismatch in Dubya's conjugation, this one is just fun to read. White House, May 17, 2007
First of all, Petraeus, General Petraeus is an expert on counterinsurgency, and his top priority is to help the Iraqi leaders — who, by the way, were elected by nearly 12 million of their citizens — secure their population.
Dubya opts with "securing their population" instead of what he hopefully meant to say: "provide security for their people". Dubya's version sounds kinda totalitarian. Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007
Information is moving — you know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it's also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets.
I'm sure it's a total coincidence, but the audio and video clips posted on the White House website for this appearance in front of the Associated General Contractors of America just happen to have the passage where Dubya says "Internets" edited out. Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007
The comfort women issue is a regrettable chapter in the history of the world, and I accept the Prime Minister's apology. I thought it was very — I thought his statements — Kono's statement, as well as statements here in the United States were very straightforward and from his heart. ...We had a personal visit on the issue. He gave his — he told me what was on his heart about the issue, and I appreciated his candor.
The two Dubya-riffic parts of this quotation: 1) "what was on his heart", 2) dropping all formality to refer to Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono simply as "Kono". Camp David, Maryland, Apr. 27, 2007
The Iraqis are fully staffed, and — and they've got their team in there, but we don't. And so, what Gen. Petraeus is saying — some early signs, still dangerous, but give me — give my chance a plan to work.
If the definition of success in Iraq or anywhere is no suicide bombers, we'll never be successful. We will have handed al Qaeda — that's what it takes in order to determine whether or not these young democracies, for example, can survive. Think about that: if our definition is no more suiciders, you've just basically said to the suiciders, go ahead. ...Yesterday's bombing — we don't have the intel on it. I suspect it's al Qaeda. Al Qaeda convinces the suiciders to show up. Al Qaeda understands the effects of this kind of warfare on the minds of not only people in Iraq, but here — and elsewhere in the world.
Even though he gets the term right at the beginning (suicide bombers), he goes right back to using his favorite made-up word: suiciders. Tipp City, Ohio, Apr. 19, 2007
You know, I'm — I've been in politics long enough to know that polls just go poof at times.
Dubya explains his low poll numbers with a poof, Tipp City, Ohio, Apr. 19, 2007
Ed, I'm not going to predict to you the methodology they'll use. Just you need to know they want to hit us again. We do everything we can here at the homeland to protect us. That's why I've got a Homeland Security Department. That's why we are inconveniencing air traffickers, to make sure nobody is carrying weapons on airplanes.
Air traffickers? Is that what air passengers are called now? White House, Apr. 3, 2007
I'm a strong proponent of the restoration of the wetlands, for a lot of reasons. There's a practical reason, though, when it comes to hurricanes. The stronger the wetlands, the more likely the damage of the hurricane.
In a rare admission that Dubya said the opposite of what makes sense, they added a "[sic]" mark to the official White House transcript of this passage. New Orleans, Louisiana, Mar. 1, 2007
The only thing I can tell you is that when I speak, I'm very conscience about the audiences that are listening to my words.
This isn't the first time Dubya has substituted "conscience" for "conscious". He's even done the reverse, too. White House, Feb. 14, 2007
Uhh, before I'm gonna take some questions, I'd like to comment about one other, uhh — diplomatic development, and that took place in the Far East. At the six-party talks in Beijing, North Korea agreed to specific actions that will bring us closer to a Korea Peninshula that is free of nukyular weapons. Specifically, North Korea agreed that within 60 days, it will shut down and seal all operations at the primary nukyular facilities it has used to produce weapons-grade plutonium. It has agreed to allow international inspectors to verify and monitor this progress. It is committed to disclosing all of its nukyular programs as an initial step towards abananning these programs.
In this global economy, new competition means that American businesses must constantly approve.
Incredibly, the official White House transcript noted this mistake, incidicating that he was supposed to say "improve". New York, New York, Jan. 31, 2007
I think that the Vice President is a person reflecting a half-glass-full mentality, and that is he's been able to look at — as have I, and I hope other Americans have — the fact that the tyrant was removed, 12 million people voted, there is an Iraqi constitution in place that is a model for — and unique for the Middle East.
Serving up another verbal gem along with the usual gummed-up diction in his defense of VP Dick Cheney, Interview with Juan Williams (NPR), Jan. 29, 2007
And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I'm sorry it's the case, and I'll work hard to try to elevate it.
Truer unintended words have never been spoken, Interview with Juan Williams (NPR), Jan. 29, 2007
We thought long and hard about what to propose. We proposed a bold initiative, an initiative that takes equities out of the system, so people are treated fairly.
He might have wanted to think a little longer and harder as he was saying this, Lee's Summit, Missouri, Jan. 25, 2007
Some in this chamber are new to the House and the Senate — and I congratulate the Democrat majority.
Is it really asking too much to have him correctly say "Democratic majority"? 2007 State of the Union address, Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2007
Failure — and this is what is hard, I think, for the American people to understand and one of the reasons why I appreciate talking to you is that people have got to understand that if we fail in Iraq, it is likely there will be safe haven from which people will be able to launch attacks from America.
Dubya is experiencing prepositional difficulties... Interview with PBS' Jim Lehrer, Jan. 16, 2007
I don't want people blaming our military. We got a bunch of good military people out there doing what we've asked them to do. And the temptation is gonna find scapegoats. Well, if the people want a scapegoat, they got one right here in me 'cause it's my decisions.
scape·goat, n. "Someone punished for the errors of others." (Source: www.dictionary.com) Doesn't exactly sound like Dubya is owning up to anything here, or exonerating his generals, does it? Interview with CBS News' Scott Pelley, Camp David, Maryland, Jan. 12, 2007
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