Dan Quayle Quotes Page

Bobby Knight told me this: 'There is nothing that a good defense cannot beat a better offense.' In other words a good offense wins.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle comparing the offensive capabilities of the Warsaw Pact with the defensive system of NATO

Why wouldn't an enhanced deterrent, a more stable peace, a better prospect to denying the ones who enter conflict in the first place to have a reduction of offensive systems and an introduction to defensive capability. I believe that is the route this country will eventually go.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Mars is essentially in the same orbit... somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Hawaii has always been a very pivotal role in the Pacific. It is IN the Pacific. It is a part of the United States that is an island that is right here.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, Hawaii, September 1989

What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle winning friends while speaking to the United Negro College Fund

You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and, as far as I am concerned, happy campers you will always be.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, to the American Samoans, whose capital Quayle pronounces "Pogo Pogo"

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century."
-- Vice President Dan Quayle (The New Yorker, October 10, 1988, p.102)

We expect them [Salvadoran officials] to work toward the elimination of human rights.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

El Salvador is a democracy so it's not surprising that there are many voices to be heard here. Yet in my conversations with Salvadorans... I have heard a single voice.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared'.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, to the Phoenix Republican Forum, March 1990

It's rural America. It's where I came from. We always refer to ourselves as real America. Rural America, real America, real, real, America.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Target prices? How that works? I know quite a bit about farm policy. I come from Indiana, which is a farm state. Deficiency payments - which are the key - that is what gets money into the farmer's hands. We got loan, uh, rates, we got target, uh, prices, uh, I have worked very closely with my senior colleague, (Indiana Sen.) Richard Lugar, making sure that the farmers of Indiana are taken care of.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle on being asked to define the term "target prices." Quayle's press secretary then cut short the press conference, after two minutes and 30 seconds.

I not going to focus on what I have done in the past what I stand for, what I articulate to the American people. The American people will judge me on what I am saying and what I have done in the last 12 years in the Congress.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

I want to be Robin to Bush's Batman.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

We should develop anti-satellite weapons because we could not have prevailed without them in 'Red Storm Rising'.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

The US has a vital interest in that area of the country.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle Referring to Latin America.

Japan is an important ally of ours. Japan and the United States of the Western industrialized capacity, 60 percent of the GNP, two countries. That's a statement in and of itself.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Who would have predicted... that Dubcek, who brought the tanks in in Czechoslovakia in 1968 is now being proclaimed a hero in Czechoslovakia. Unbelievable.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle Actually, Dubcek was the leader of the Prague Spring.

May our nation continue to be the beakon of hope to the world.
-- The Quayle's 1989 Christmas card. [Not a beacon of literacy, though.]

Well, it looks as if the top part fell on the bottom part.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle referring to the collapsed section of the 880 freeway after the San Francisco earthquake of 1989. [this may be a joke; the source is unclear. but it's still funny]

getting [cruise missiles] more accurate so that we can have precise precision.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle referring to his legislative work dealing with cruise missiles

I can identify with steelworkers. I can identify with workers that have had a difficult time.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle addressing workers at an Ohio steel plant,1988

[I will never have] another Jimmy Carter grain embargo, Jimmy, Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter grain embargo, Jimmy Carter grain embargo.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle during the Benson debate

Certainly, I know what to do, and when I am Vice President -- and I will be -- there will be contingency plans under different sets of situations and I tell you what, I'm not going to go out and hold a news conference about it. I'm going to put it in a safe and keep it there! Does that answer your question?
-- Vice President Dan Quayle when asked what he would do if he assumed the Presidency (1988)

Lookit, I've done it their way this far and now it's my turn. I'm my own handler. Any questions? Ask me ... There's not going to be any more handler stories because I'm the handler ... I'm Doctor Spin.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle responding to press reports his aides having to, in effect, "potty train" him.

I would guess that there's adequate low-income housing in this country.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

The real question for 1988 is whether we're going to go forward to tomorrow or past to the -- to the back!
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

We will invest in our people, quality education, job opportunity, family, neighborhood, and yes, a thing we call America.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, 1988

We'll let the sunshine in and shine on us, because today we're happy and tomorrow we'll be even happier.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, 1988

We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

This election is about who's going to be the next President of the United States!
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, 1988

Don't forget about the importance of the family. It begins with the family. We're not going to redefine the family. Everybody knows the definition of the family. [Meaningful pause] A child. [Meaningful pause] A mother. [Meaningful pause] A father. There are other arrangements of the family, but that is a family and family values. I've been very blessed with wonderful parents and a wonderful family, and I am proud of my family. Anybody turns to their family. I have a very good family. I'm very fortunate to have a very good family. I believe very strongly in the family. It's one of the things we have in our platform, is to talk about it. I suppose three important things certainly come to my mind that we want to say thank you. The first would be our family. Your family, my family -- which is composed of an immediate family of a wife and three children, a larger family with grandparents and aunts and uncles. We all have our family, whichever that may be ... The very beginnings of civilization, the very beginnings of this country, goes back to the family. And time and time again, I'm often reminded, especially in this Presidential campaign, of the importance of a family, and what a family means to this country. And so when you pay thanks I suppose the first thing that would come to mind would be to thank the Lord for the family.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

No, I had no problem communicating with Latin American heads of state - though now I do wish I had paid more attention to Latin when I was in high school.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

...Buzz Lukens took that fateful step...
-- Vice President Dan Quayle confusing the sexual assaulter/congressman with Astronaut Buzz Aldren.

Okay, I won't open it until then
-- Vice President Dan Quayle after having been presented with an empty box that was to contain a gift from a sailing team in South America. He was told that the gift was not ready yet, but that it would be presented to him when they arrived in the United States.

During the White House Easter Egg Roll of 1991, Quayle signed autographs using only his finger. He had prepared pre-signed cards which his aides handed out while he made signing gestures. This allowed him to move briskly and efficiently through the crowd, said his spokesman.

Dan Quayle, in April 1991, was concerned that his advisors may be getting out of touch with "Real Americans." In order to combat this, he suggested that they read People magazine.

People that are really very wierd can get into sensative positions and have a tremendous impact on history.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

I stand by all the misstatements that I've made.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

I'm going to be a vice president very much like George Bush was. He proved to be a very effective vice president, perhaps the most effective we've had in a couple of hundred years.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

The loss of life will be irreplaceable.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle after the San Francisco earthquake

I have made good judgements in the Past. I have made good judgements in the Future.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Let me tell you something. As we were walking around in the store, Marilyn and I were just really impressed by all the novelties and the different types of little things that you could get for Christmas. And all the people that would help you, they were dressed up in things that said 'I believe in Santa Claus.' And the only thing that I could think is that I believe in George Bush.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle at a garden center and produce store in Baltimore (from the Los Angeles Times, Douglas Jehl, November 6, 1988)

It's a very valuable function and requirement that you're performing, so have a great day and keep a stiff upper lip.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle remarks to oil spill clean-up workers at Prince William Sound, May, 1989

The President is going to benefit from me reporting directly to him when I arrive.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle remarks to oil spill clean-up workers at Prince William Sound, May, 1989

It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a *part* of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a *part* of Europe.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

I would not have married Dan Quayle had I not thought he was an equal to me.
-- Marilyn Quayle

I could take this home, Marilyn. This is something teenage boys might find of interest.
--Vice President Dan Quayle, when purchasing a South African Indian Doll that, when lifted, displays an erection.

When you make as many speeches and you talk as much as I do and you get away from the text, it's always a possibility to get a few words tangled here and there
-- Vice President Dan Quayle defending himself (LA Herald Examiner 10/3/88)

Public Speaking is very easy.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle to reporters in 10/88

I happen to be a Republican president- ah, the vice president.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle (Newsweek 4/9/90)

I've never professed to be anything but an average student.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle during the VP debate in Omaha, Nebraska (10/88)

The other day [the President] said, I know you've had some rough times, and I want to do something that will show the nation what faith that I have in you, in your maturity and sense of responsibility. (He paused, then said) Would you like a puppy?
-- Vice President Dan Quayle (LA Times 5/21/89)

In George Bush you get experience, and with me you get- The Future!
-- Vice President Dan Quayle in eastern Illinois (LA Times 10/19/88)

I've been told to keep my remarks relatively brief. I understand Quayle-hunting season begins at noon.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle to a crowd in Eau Claire, Wisc. (LA Times 10/16/88)

The destruction, it is just very heart-rendering.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle attempting to say the SF earthquake wreckage was heart-rending (Newsweek 10/30/89)

I spend a great deal of time with the President. We have a very close, personal,loyal relationship. I'm not, as they say, a potted plant in these meetings.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle defending himself (Tampa Tribune-Times 1/7/90)

When I talked to him on the phone yetserday. I called him George rather than Mr. Vice President. But, in public, it's Mr. Vice President, because that is who he is.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle shortly after being named Geo. Bush's running mate (8/28/88 the NY Times).

I'm glad you asked me that. This gives me the perfect opportunity to talk about the problems with this Congress...
-- Vice President Dan Quayle responding to reporter's questions about his use of Air force 2 to go on golf trips at the cost of $26,000/hour

I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix -- Vice President Dan Quayle

My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will, never, never surrender to what is right
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, in a speech to the Christian Coalition

Maybe you guys will get lucky this year and face the Orioles in the World Series
-- Vice President Dan Quayle encouraging the Milwaukee Brewers after throwing out the opening pitch of the season. (5/3/92 Sunday Detroit News)

Are they taking DDT?
-- Vice President Dan Quayle asking doctors at a Manhattan AIDS clinic about their treatments of choice. (NY Post, early May 92)

We are leaders of the world of the space program. We have been the leaders of the world of our... of the space program and we're not going to continue where we're going to go, not withstanding the Soviet Union's demise and collapse - the former Soviet Union - we now have independent republics which used to be called the Soviet Union. Space is the next frontier to be explored. And we're going to explore. Think of all the things we rely upon in space today: communications from... Japan, detection of potential ballistic missle attacks. Ballistic missles are still here. Other nations do have ballistic missles. How do you think we were able to detect some of the Scud missles and things like that? Space, reconnaissance, weather, communications - you name it. We use space a lot today.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

America is great, because America is free.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Sometimes cameras and television are good to people and sometimes they aren't. I don't know if its the way you say it, or how you look.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

I just don't believe in the basic concept that someone should make their whole career in public service.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

If you listen to the news, read the news, you'd think we were still in a recession. Well, we're not in a recession. We've had growth; people need to know that. They need to be more upbeat, more positive...
-- Vice President Dan Quayle in October 91

Need any help?
-- Vice President Dan Quayle in October 91 addressing GM autoworkers in Southgate two weeks before GM announced 74,000 layoffs

The message of David Duke, is this, basically: Big government, anti-big government, get out of my pocketbook, cut my taxes, put welfare people back to work. That's a very popular message. The problem is the messenger.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

I do have a political agenda. It's to have as few regulations as possible.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Sam, had a great time this weekend but the golf was lousey.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle in a handwritten note written to Sam Snead in the summer of 1991, after they had played a round of golf. (Herald-Times, Bloomington, IN, July 15, 1992)

The cause of the riots were the rioters
-- Vice President Dan Quayle giving an intelligent analysis of the LA riots.

It's immoral to parent irresponsibly... And it doesn't help matters any when prime time tv, like "Murphy Brown", a character who is supposed to represent a successful career woman of today, mocks the importance of the father by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another "lifestyle choice." Marriage is probably the best anti-poverty program there is... Even though our cultural leaders in Hollywood, network TV, the national newspapers routinely jeer at [such values] I think most of us in this room know that some things are good, and other things are wrong.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle addressing the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and criticizing Murphy Brown's decision to NOT have an abortion and to be a single (highly successful) mother. When told about Quayle's comments, a senior Bush campaign official replied only "Oh, dear." Bush's top aid said, "The world is a lot more complex than Dan would like to believe"

I think especially in her position, a highly successful professional woman, it would be a real exception to have an unwed child.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle to The Chron's Jerry Roberts.

I don't watch it, but I know enough to comment on it.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle defending his opinions about the TV show "Murphy Brown" [Las Vegas RJ 21 May 92]

The intergenerational poverty that troubles us so much today is predominantly a poverty of values.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Speaking as a man, it's not a woman's issue. Us men are tired of losing our women
-- Vice President Dan Quayle talking about breast cancer

I want to show you an optimistic sign that things are beginning to turn around.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle trying to convince reporters that the economy was doing better because a Burger King had a "now hiring" sign in the window. He was campaigning for reelection in Ontario, CA in January 1992.

You have a part-time job and that's better to no job at all
-- Vice President Dan Quayle after the manager of the Burger King had said that the jobs offered were part-time minimum wage jobs, which didn't pay enough to live on, and that "It's hard to find people who want to actually show up for the job."

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a cure for AIDS in the marketplace before Magic Johnson gets AIDS?
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, 11/13/91 (CNN)

We're in Florida.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle explaining why he had just purchased four peaches (and no citrus fruits -- for which Florida is famous) at a Publix supermarket in Oakland Park, Florida. Georgia (which IS famous for peaches) did not gain from the transaction, however; the peaches were from Chile. (The Sunstenial)

I deserve respect for the things I did not do.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

I feel that this [1981] is my first year, that next year is an election year, that the third year is the mid point and that the fourth year is the last chance I'll have to make a record since the last two years, I'll be a candidate again. Everything I do in those last two years will be posturing for the election. But right now I don't have to do that.
-- Senator Dan Quayle

I don't have to experience tragedy to understand it.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle during a photo-op in LA, responding to criticisms that he didn't understand what it meant to live in the "inner city." (WRAL 6/23/92)

My position is that I understand from a medical situation, immediately after a rape is reported, that a woman normally, in fact, can go to the hospital and have a D and C. At that time... that is before the forming of a life. That is not anything to do with abortion
-- Vice President Dan Quayle explaining that this form of abortion which occurs after fertilization, is not really abortion. (the Washington post, 11/03/88)

Add one little bit on the end... Think of 'potato,' how's it spelled? You're right phonetically, but what else...? There ya go...alright!
-- Vice President Dan Quayle correcting a student's correct spelling of the word "potatoe" during a spelling bee at an elementary school in Trenton.

I should have caught the mistake on that spelling bee card. But as Mark Twain once said, "You should never trust a man who has only one way to spell a word."
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, actually quoting from President Andrew Jackson.

People who Bowl Vote. Bowlers are not the cultural elite.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle while at a Las Vegas bowling alley. the Vice-President bowled 5 times, and knocked down 19 pins. (6/25/92, San Jose Mercury News) The American Bowling Congress projected his score for a full game to be 76. The Detroit average for amateur players is 163 (USA Today, 7/6/92) BACK TO HOME PAGE