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Adventures in George W. Bushspeak - 2000

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"Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2000

"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." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2000

"I also have picked a secretary for Housing and Human Development. Mel Martinez from the state of Florida." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2000

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000 (Listen to audio clip)

"See, without the tax relief package, there would have been a deficit, but there wouldn't have been the commiserate --"not commiserate --"the kick to our economy that occurred as a result of the tax relief. --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. Dec. 15, 2000

"Dick Cheney and I do not want this nation to be in a recession. We want anybody who can find work to be able to find work." --George W. Bush, 60 minutes II, CBS, December 5, 2000

"I knew it might put him in an awkward position that we had a discussion before finality has finally happened in this presidential race." --George W. Bush, describing a phone call to Sen. John Breaux. Crawford, Texas, Dec. 2, 2000

"The great thing about America is everybody should vote." --George W. Bush, Austin, Texas, Dec. 8, 2000

"As far as the legal hassling and wrangling and posturing in Florida, I would suggest you talk to our team in Florida led by Jim Baker." --George W. Bush, Crawford, Texas, Nov. 30, 2000

"The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law." --George W. Bush, Austin, Texas, Nov. 22, 2000

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

"If you don't stand for anything, you don't stand for anything! If you don't stand for something, you don't stand for anything!" --George W. Bush, Bellevue Community College, Nov. 2, 2000

"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." --George W. Bush, Nov. 2, 2000

"Laura and I are proud to call John and Michelle Engler our friends. I know you're proud to call him governor. What a good man the Englers are." --George W. Bush, Nov. 2000

"I'm not really the type to wander off and sit down and go through deep wrestling with my soul." --George W. Bush, as quoted in Vanity Fair, October 2000

"Never again in the halls of Washington, D.C., do I want to have to make explanations that I can't explain." --George W. Bush, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 31, 2000

"They said, 'You know, this issue doesn't seem to resignate with the people.' And I said, you know something? Whether it resignates 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." --George W. Bush, Portland, Ore., Oct. 31, 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. " --George W. Bush, on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 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." --George W. Bush, Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

"I don't want nations feeling like that they can bully ourselves and our allies. I want to have a ballistic defense system so that we can make the world more peaceful, and at the same time I want to reduce our own nuclear capacities to the level commiserate with keeping the peace." --George W. Bush, Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 23, 2000

"I don't want nations feeling like that they can bully ourselves and our allies. I want to have a ballistic defense system so that we can make the world more peaceful, and at the same time I want to reduce our own nuclear capacities to the level commiserate with keeping the peace." --George W. Bush, Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 23, 2000

"Bill wrote a book at Yale. I read one." --George W. Bush, on William F. Buckley, Al Smith Dinner, New York City, Oct. 19, 2000

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream." --George W. Bush, LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000 (Listen to audio clip)

"It's your money. You paid for it." --George W. Bush, LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

"If affirmative action means what I just described, what I'm for, then I'm for it." --George W. Bush, during the third presidential debate, St. Louis, Mo., October 18, 2000

"Quotas are bad for America. It's not the way America is all about." --George W. Bush, third presidential debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 18, 2000

"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." --George W. Bush, third presidential debate, St. Louis, Mo., October 18, 2000 (Listen to audio clip)

"If I become president, we're going to have emergency-room care, we're going to have gag orders." --George W. Bush, third presidential debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 18, 2000

"Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used to know it." --George W. Bush, third presidential debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 18, 2000

"I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun." --George W. Bush, third presidential debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 18, 2000

"I mean, there needs to be a wholesale effort against racial profiling, which is illiterate children." --George W. Bush, second presidential debate, Oct. 11, 2000

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"Our priorities is our faith." --George W. Bush, Greensboro, N.C., Oct. 10, 2000

"I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question." --George W. Bush, in response to a question about whether he wished he could take back any of his answers in the first debate. Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Oct. 4, 2000

"There 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.'" --George W. Bush, Boston, Mass., Oct. 3, 2000

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." --George W. Bush, Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000 (Listen to audio clip)

"One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected." --George W. Bush, Los Angeles, Sept. 27, 2000

"I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy." --George W. Bush, Redwood, Calif., Sept. 27, 2000

"It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas." --George W. Bush, Beaverton, Ore., Sep. 25, 2000

"I am a person who recognizes the fallacy of humans." --George W. Bush, Oprah, Sept. 19, 2000

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

"America better beware of a candidate who is willing to stretch reality in order to win points." --George W. Bush, aboard his campaign plane, Sept. 18, 2000

"The idea of putting subliminable messages into ads is ridiculous." --George W. Bush, Sept. 2000

"The woman who knew that I had dyslexia --" I never interviewed her." --George W. Bush, responding to a magazine article claiming he suffered from dyslexia, Orange, Calif., Sept. 15, 2000

"The best way to relieve families from time is to let them keep some of their own money." --George W. Bush, Westminster, Calif., Sept. 13, 2000

"They have miscalculated me as a leader." --George W. Bush, Westminster, Calif., Sept. 13, 2000

"I don't think we need to be subliminable about the differences between our views on prescription drugs." --George W. Bush, Orlando, Fla., Sept. 12, 2000 (Listen to audio clip)

"This is what I'm good at. I like meeting people, my fellow citizens, I like interfacing with them." --George W. Bush, outside Pittsburgh, Sept. 8, 2000

"Listen, Al Gore is a very tough opponent. He is the incumbent. He represents the incumbency. And a challenger is somebody who generally comes from the pack and wins, if you're going to win. And that's where I'm coming from." --George W. Bush, Detroit, Sept. 7, 2000

"We'll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers." --George W. Bush, Houston, Texas, Sept. 6, 2000

"We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans." --George W. Bush, Scranton, Pa., Sept. 6, 2000

"I regret that a private comment I made to the vice presidential candidate made it through the public airways." --George W. Bush, on his "major league asshole" remark, Allentown, Pa., Sept. 5, 2000.

"Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness." --George W. Bush, in a CNN online chat, Aug. 30, 2000

"I don't know whether I'm going to win or not. I think I am. I do know I'm ready for the job. And, if not, that's just the way it goes." --George W. Bush, Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 21, 2000

"We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.'' --George W. Bush, Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 21, 2000 (Listen to audio clip)

"I have a different vision of leadership. A leadership is someone who brings people together." --George W. Bush, Bartlett, Tenn., Aug. 18, 2000

"I want you to know that farmers are not going to be secondary thoughts to a Bush administration. They will be in the forethought of our thinking." --George W. Bush, Salinas, Calif., Aug. 10, 2000

"Unfairly but truthfully, our party has been tagged as being against things. Anti-immigrant, for example. And we're not a party of anti-immigrants. Quite the opposite. We're a party that welcomes people." --George W. Bush, Cleveland, July 1, 2000

"The only things that I can tell you is that every case I have reviewed I have been comfortable with the innocence or guilt of the person that I've looked at. I do not believe we've put a guilty ... I mean innocent person to death in the state of Texas." --George W. Bush, NPR, June 16, 2000

"There's not going to be enough people in the system to take advantage of people like me." --George W. Bush, on the coming Social Security crisis, Wilton, Conn., June 9, 2000

"Actually, I --" this may sound a little West Texas 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." --George W. Bush, Hardball, MSNBC, May 31, 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." --George W. Bush on abortion, MSNBC's "Hardball," May 31, 2000

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

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

"The fact that he relies on facts --" says things that are not factual --" are going to undermine his campaign." --George W. Bush on Al Gore, New York Times, March 4, 2000

"It just seems so un-American to me, the picture of the guy storming the house with a scared little boy (Elian Gonzalez) there. I talked to my little brother, Jeb --" I haven't told this to many people. But he's the governor of --" I shouldn't call him my little brother --" my brother, Jeb, the great governor of Texas." --George W. Bush, interview with the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, April 27, 2000

"Laura and I really don't realize how bright our children is sometimes until we get an objective analysis." --George W. Bush, CNBC, 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." -George W. Bush, in Los Angeles as quoted by the Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2000

"I think anybody who doesn't think I'm smart enough to handle the job is underestimating." --George W. Bush, U.S. News & World Report, April 3, 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 --" federal cufflink." --George W. Bush, at Fritsche Middle School, Milwaukee, March 30, 2000

Photo by Joeff Davis

"Reading is the basics for all learning." --George W. Bush, announcing his "Reading First" initiative in Reston, Va., March 28, 2000

"I don't want to win? If that were the case, why the heck am I on the bus sixteen hours a day, shaking thousands of hands, giving hundreds of speeches, getting pillared in the press and cartoons and still staying on message to win?" --George W. Bush, Newsweek, Feb. 28, 2000

"I thought how proud I am to be standing up beside my dad. Never did it occur to me that he would become the gist for cartoonists." --George W. Bush, Newsweek, Feb. 28, 2000

"The Bob Jones policy on interracial dating, I mean I spoke out on interracial dating. I spoke against that. I spoke out against interracial dating. I support the policy of interracial dating." --George W. Bush, interview with CBS News, February 25, 2000

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

"I don't have to accept their tenants. I was trying to convince those college students to accept my tenants. And I reject any labeling me because I happened to go to the university." --George W. Bush, Today, Feb. 23, 2000

"I understand small business growth. I was one." --George W. Bush, New York Daily News, Feb. 19, 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." --George W. Bush, on Sen. John McCain, speaking to reporters in Florence, S.C., Feb. 17, 2000

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

"We ought to make the pie higher." --George W. Bush, South Carolina Republican Debate, Feb. 15, 2000 (Listen to audio clip)

"Put the 'off' button on." --George W. Bush, February 14, 2000, giving advice to parents troubled by the graphic fare on television

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

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

"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?" --George W. Bush, Concord, N.H., Jan. 29, 2000

"This is Preservation Month. I appreciate preservation. It's what you do when you run for president. You gotta preserve." --George W. Bush, speaking during "Perseverance Month" at Fairgrounds Elementary School in Nashua, New Hampshire, Jan. 28, 2000

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

"When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you knew exactly who they were. It was us versus them, and it was clear who them was. Today we are not so sure who the they are, but we know they're there." --George W. Bush, Iowa Western Community College, Jan 21, 2000

"What I am against is quotas. I am against hard quotas, quotas they basically delineate based upon whatever. However they delineate, quotas, I think vulcanize society. So I don't know how that fits into what everybody else is saying, their relative positions, but that's my position.'' --George W. Bush, as quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 21, 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." --George W. Bush, Des Moines Register debate, Iowa, Jan. 15, 2000

"This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mential losses." --George W. Bush, speaking at a South Carolina oyster roast, Jan. 14, 2000

"We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor just like you like to be liked yourself." --George W. Bush, as quoted in the Financial Times, Jan. 14, 2000

"Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" --George W. Bush, Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000

"Governor Bush will not stand for the subsidation of failure." --George W. Bush, Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000

"If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow." --George W. Bush, Jan. 2000

"One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures." --George W. Bush, Jan. 3, 2000

"What I'm suggesting to you is, if you can't name the foreign minister of Mexico, therefore, you know, you're not capable of what you do. But the truth of the matter is you are, whether you can or not." --George W. Bush, as quoted in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Nov. 6, 1999

"General. I can't name the general." --George W. Bush, after being asked to name the President of Pakistan, Boston, Mass., Nov. 3, 1999

"The important question is, how many hands have I shaked?" --George W. Bush, on why he hadn't spent more time in New Hampshire, New York Times, Oct. 23, 1999

"If the East Timorians decide to revolt, I'm sure I'll have a statement." --George W. Bush, as quoted in the New York Times, June 16, 1999

"Keep good relations with the Greecians." --George W. Bush, as quoted in The Economist, April 9, 1999

"Kosovians can move back in." --George W. Bush, CNN interview, April 9, 1999

"I became totally inebriated with hitting the big one." --George W. Bush, on his oil drilling days, Texas Monthly, May 1994

"It was just inebriating what Midland was all about then." --George W. Bush, reflecting in 1994 about growing up in Midland, Texas

Special thanks to Slate's Jacob Weisberg, who has been recording the accidental wit and wisdom of George W. Bush since 1999.

Read More Bushisms
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~Compiled by Daniel Kurtzman

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