12 Quotes Politicians Wish They Could Take Back

RealClear Staff


No matter where your political ideas lie, we can all agree on one thing: politicians shouldn't be allowed to speak in public. Or at least when the media is listening. 

Over the years, politicians have said all kinds of regrettably hilarious things. Here are our favorites. 

1. “It all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

Bill Clinton's 1998 Grand Jury quote about his affair with Monica Lewinsky took a nosedive into the surreal at this point. 

2. “Outside of the killings, DC has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.”

We were trying to keep these quotes national, but DC Mayor Marion Barry's 1989 line about his town's safety was just too rich to ignore. 

3. "In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."

Oh, Joe Biden. We will miss you when you are gone. But for now, let's remember the incredibly insensitive quasi-joke you made back in 2006. 

4. “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.”

You cannot have a list of political quotes without George W. Bush. Frankly, we're proud of ourselves for waiting this long to toss one in. This 2000 Bush-ism ranks among his best or worst, depending on which side of the aisle you sit.

5. “When the President does it that means that it’s not illegal.”

You really didn't need the picture to know that was one of Richard Nixon's famous last words, did you? 

6. "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

You should all be thanking Al Gore right now as you read this article on his lovely invention.

7. “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.'”

Welcome back, Joe Biden! A couple of notes from your 2008 interview with Katie Couric: 1. FDR took office after the stock crash. 2. We're pretty sure there weren't any TVs back then. 

8. “It’s been a great ride. But I know how quickly these fads can pass. You all remember the pet rock, the mood ring, Howard Dean.”

President Obama gets nasty with the nastiest political howler of all time. 

9. “Well, I learned a lot….I went down to (Latin America) to find out from them and (learn) their views. You’d be surprised. They’re all individual countries.”

Ronald Reagan dropping some geographical knowledge on us all in 1982. 

10. “I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman”

It all seems like a hazy dream now, but yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the governor of California once, and, yes, he said things like this. 

11. “I love California; I practically grew up in Phoenix.”

Dan Quayle, you get the gold star. 

12. "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be Vice President of the United States of America. Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me."

One last time, Vice President Joe Biden, ladies and gentlemen. 



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