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Quotes - Dubya on the Presidency (2001 and earlier)
(Democracy in a nutshell, with the emphasis on "nut")
 
2008 and after : 2007 : 2006 : 2005 : 2004 : 2003 : 2002 : 2001 and earlier
I don't believe God picked who was going to be the president.
We'd have a problem if he did, Barbara Walters interview, Dec. 4, 2001

And I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower the TV was obviously on, and I use to fly myself, and I said, "There's one terrible pilot."
Dubya quoting himself on his first reaction to seeing an airliner piloted into the World Trade Center, Orlando, Florida, Dec. 4, 2001

She had a relative named Eisenhower, and he and I share something in common we're both Presidents.
Engaging again in present tense references to long-deceased leaders, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Washington, D.C., Oct. 25, 2001

A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it.
And after all, being easy is what it's all about, White House, Jul. 26, 2001

Well, it's an unimaginable honor to be the president during the Fourth of July of this country. It means what these words say, for starters. The great inalienable rights of our country. We're blessed with such values in America. And I it's I'm a proud man to be the nation based upon such wonderful values.
Patriotic and confused all at the same time, Washington, D.C., Jul. 2, 2001

REPORTER: Given what's going on with energy prices and the difficulties in the economy, can you assure the American people at the start of your term that they'll be better off at the end of it than they are today? And, if they're not, should they blame you?
DUBYA: Well, I certainly hope they're better off. There's no question that the minute I got elected the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead.
Not a great choice of words, Washington, D.C., May 11, 2001

There are some times when a president shows up that can make a situation worse... And, you know, I'm adverse to a camera. On the other hand, I think the president can either help or not help a situation, and I'll just have to make a judgment call each time.
Very Dubya-ish sentence construction, CNN interview with John King, Apr. 25, 2001

The way I like to put it is this. There's no bigger issue for the President to remind the moms and dads of America, if you happen to have a child, be fortunate to have a child, your biggest priority is going to be to love your children.
That's the way he likes to put it. Washington, D.C., Mar. 16, 2001

We're concerned about AIDS inside our White House make no mistake about it.
The alternate interpretation of this statement was probably unintended, Washington, D.C., Feb. 7, 2001

I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for predecessors as well.
I'm not sure how he plans to accomplish that, Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2001

Then I went for a run with the other dog and just walked. And I started thinking about a lot of things. I was able to can't remember what it was. Oh, the inaugural speech, started thinking through that.
Pre-inaugural interview, U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 22, 2001

Redefining the role of the United States from enablers to keep the peace to enablers to keep the peace from peacekeepers is going to be an assignment.
Yes, I imagine it will be... Interview with the New York Times, Jan. 14, 2001

I want it to be said that the Bush administration was a results-oriented administration, because I believe the results of focusing our attention and energy on teaching children to read and having an education system that's responsive to the child and to the parents, as opposed to mired in a system that refuses to change, will make America what we want it to be, a literate country and a hopefuller country.
"Literate" and "hopefuller" in the same sentence. Who could ask for more? Washington, D.C., Jan. 11, 2001

I am mindful of the difference between the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of these leaders that I know the difference, and that difference is they pass the laws and I execute them.
Hopefully not to be taken literally, Washington, D.C., Dec. 18, 2000

If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier... just so long as I'm the dictator.
During his first trip to Washington as President-Elect, Washington, D.C., Dec. 18, 2000

Dick [Cheney] and I felt like we won the first election three times and we're confident that when it's all said and done that he and I will be honored to be the president and vice president.
Confirming the suspicion that Cheney's really in charge, Austin, Texas, Dec. 2, 2000

Election night, we won. And then there was a recount, and we won. And there was a selected recount as a result of different legal maneuverings, and we won that. And I believe one of these days that all this is going to stop and Dick Cheney and I will be the president and the vice president.
Having trouble remembering his and Dick Cheney's respective roles in his upcoming administration, Austin, Texas, Nov. 30, 2000

The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law.
Dubya confusing the executive and the judicial branches of government, just weeks before becoming President, Austin, Texas, Nov. 22, 2000

There is a very good chance that Dick Cheney and I will be President and Vice President.
A repeat performance of the Nov. 30 quote above, Crawford, Texas, Nov. 11, 2000

Anyway, after we go out and work our hearts out, after you go out and help us turn out the vote, after we've convinced the good Americans to vote, and while they're at it, pull that old George W. lever, if I'm the one, when I put my hand on the Bible, when I put my hand on the Bible, that day when they swear us in, when I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear to not to uphold the laws of the land.
Well, at least he managed to slip the Bible in three times, right? Toledo, Ohio, Oct. 27, 2000

I would have my Secretary of Treasury be in touch with the financial centers, not only here but at home.
And in these parts, as well. Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 3, 2000

I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy.
Your guess is as good as mine... Redwood, California, Sep. 27, 2000

It's amazing to me that the President of the United States would spend time trying to be a political pundit. He's so desperate to keep his legacy intact he'll say anything, just like Al Gore.
Dubya takes the high road on the campaign circuit with a two-pronged jab at President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, on his campaign plane, Aug. 1, 2000

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.
Why is that? Wayne, Michigan, Jun. 28, 2000

I'm gonna talk about the ideal world, Chris. I've read I understand reality. If you're asking me as the president, would I understand reality, I do.
On abortion (and reality), "Hardball" (MSNBC), May 31, 2000

But it's the president who sets the tone. And it's the president who reaches out. But it's the president who also must share credit, as well, if something positively is done. But the president is also going to spend the capital sorry to be blowing on too long.
Dubya offers a very enjoyable sequence of presidential postulations, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Apr. 27, 2000

HILLER: Can you name the president of Chechnya?
DUBYA: No, can you?
HILLER: Can you name the president of Taiwan?
DUBYA: Yeah, Lee.
HILLER: Can you name the general who is in charge of Pakistan?
DUBYA: Wait, wait, is this 50 questions?
HILLER: No, it's four questions of four leaders in four hot spots.
DUBYA: The new Pakistani general, he's just been elected, not elected, this guy took over office. It appears this guy is going to bring stability to the country and I think that's good news for the subcontinent.
HILLER: Can you name him?
DUBYA: General. I can't name the general. General.
HILLER: And the prime minister of India?
DUBYA: The new prime minister of India is No.
DUBYA: Can you name the foreign minister of Mexico?
HILLER: No sir, but I would say to that, I'm not running for President.
DUBYA: I understand. But the point is, if what you're suggesting is what I'm suggesting to you is that if you can't name the foreign minister of Mexico, therefore you're not capable of what you do, but the truth is you are whether you can or not.
Showing his extensive knowledge of world politics and capacity to accept criticism, or not, when questioned by Andy Hiller, political correspondent for WHDH-TV (Boston) New Hampshire, Nov. 3, 1999

I'm going to be a president who hails success as well as failure.
At least he's honest, I guess, date unknown

If I'm the president, we're going to have emergency-room care, we're going to have gag orders.
Campaigning for President, date unknown

I'm a decisive person.... I'll read. I won't read treatises. I'll read summaries.
Explaining his notion of "Cliff's Notes" leadership to the National Journal, date unknown

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.
Putting the public at ease, date unknown

2008 and after : 2007 : 2006 : 2005 : 2004 : 2003 : 2002 : 2001 and earlier

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