Presidential Stuff

Presidential Quotations
Assembled by Michael LaRocca

Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals.
—George Washington

The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. —John Adams (often misattributed to George Washington)

The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster: cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.
—Thomas Jefferson

The fetters imposed on liberty at home have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defense against real, pretended or imaginary dangers abroad. —James Madison

The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil. —James Monroe

America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. —John Quincy Adams

Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error. —Andrew Jackson

As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it. —Martin Van Buren

A decent and manly examination of the acts of government should not only be tolerated, but encouraged. —William Henry Harrison

I can never consent to being dictated to. —John Tyler

There is more selfishness and less principle among members of Congress than I had any conception of, before I became President of the U.S. The passion for office among members of Congress is very great, if not absolutely disreputable, and greatly embarrasses the operations of the Government.
—James Knox Polk

The idea that I should become President seems to me too visionary to require a serious answer. It has never entered my head, nor is it likely to enter the head of any other person. —Zachary Taylor

Nothing brings out the lower traits of human nature like office-seeking. Men of good character and impulses are betrayed by it into all sorts of meanness.
—Millard Fillmore

The maintenance of large standing armies in our country would be not only dangerous, but unnecessary. —Franklin Pierce

The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men.
—James Buchanan

The bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.
—Abraham Lincoln

It’s a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
—Andrew Johnson

I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution. —Ulysses S. Grant

Nothing brings out the lower traits of human nature like office seeking.
—Rutherford B. Hayes

The President is the last person in the world to know what the people really want and think. —James A. Garfield

I may be president of the United States, but my private life is nobody’s damned business. —Chester Arthur

A man is known by the company he keeps, and also by the company from which he is kept out. —Grover Cleveland

We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.
—Benjamin Harrison

War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.
—William McKinley

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. —Theodore Roosevelt

The world is not going to be saved by legislation. —William Howard Taft

I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.
—Woodrow Wilson

Progression is not proclamation nor palaver. It is not pretense nor play on prejudice. It is not of personal pronouns, nor perennial pronouncement. It is not the perturbation of a people passion-wrought, nor a promise postponed.
—Warren G. Harding

I don’t know much about Americanism, but it’s a damn good word with which to carry an election. —Warren G. Harding

Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business. —Calvin Coolidge

When large numbers of men are unable to find work, unemployment results.
—Calvin Coolidge

Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die.
—Herbert Hoover

Remember, remember always, that all of us… are descended from immigrants and revolutionists. —Franklin D. Roosevelt

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. —Franklin D. Roosevelt

The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.
—Harry S. Truman

It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own. —Harry S. Truman

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. —Harry S. Truman

Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed. —Dwight D. Eisenhower

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired is, in a final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. —Dwight D. Eisenhower

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. —John F. Kennedy

Evil acts of the past are never rectified by evil acts of the present.
—Lyndon B. Johnson

Certainly in the next 50 years we shall see a woman president, perhaps sooner than you think. A woman can and should be able to do any political job that a man can do. —Richard M. Nixon

We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another – until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices.
—Richard M. Nixon

I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators.
—Gerald R. Ford

Things are more like they are now than they have ever been.
—President Gerald Ford

China should not pay any attention to anything that is said in America during an election year. —Jimmy Carter

Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them. —Ronald Reagan

I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them. —George H.W. Bush

The era of big government is over. —Bill Clinton

I’m a uniter, not a divider. —George W. Bush

If you’re not with us, you’re against us. —George W. Bush

I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.
—George W. Bush

I remember meeting the mother of a child who was abducted by North Koreans right here in the Oval Office. —George W. Bush

Assembled by Michael LaRocca

A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.’

Americans… still believe in an America where anything’s possible — they just don’t think their leaders do.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.

I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

I think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody.

I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.

If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists — to protect them and to promote their common welfare — all else is lost.

If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.

Issues are never simple. One thing I’m proud of is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues.

My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington.

No one is pro-abortion.

There is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.

We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times… and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.

We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.

We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old — and that’s the criterion by which I’ll be selecting my judges.

We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.

What Washington needs is adult supervision.


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