Which President Said That? Answers to Political Trivia Contest


Political Trivia Contest from the Sound Shore League of Women Voters Annual Luncheon on April 4, 2014

Compiled and Presented by Elisabeth N. Radow, LWV-LM President 

1.  “The only thing to fear is, fear itself.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt

2.  ”Avoid popularity if you would have peace.” President Abraham Lincoln

3.  “Read my lips. No new taxes.” President George H. W. Bush

4.  “No nation is fit to sit in judgment upon any other nation.” President Woodrow Wilson

5.  “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.” President Andrew Jackson

6.  “A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.”     President Richard Nixon

7.  “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them” President Thomas Jefferson

8.  “Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.”                             President Calvin Coolidge

9.  “I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.” President Benjamin Harrison

10. “A chicken in every pot.” President Herbert Hoover

11. “Aggression unopposed becomes a contagious disease.” President Jimmy Carter

12. “We must teach our children to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons.”          President Bill Clinton

13. “Don’t write so that you can be understood; write so that you can’t be misunderstood.” President William H. Taft

14. “Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.” President Abraham Lincoln

15. “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”  President George Washington

16. “A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.”  President Calvin Coolidge

17. “But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”  President John Adams

18. “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”         President George Washington

19. “Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.” President Abraham Lincoln

20. “Sure, there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too.” President Richard Nixon

21. “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”  President Thomas Jefferson

22. “If you like your healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep your healthcare plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” President Barack Obama

23. “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt

24. “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”  President Dwight Eisenhower

25. “Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.”  President Ronald Reagan

26. ”I had hoped to be back here this week under different circumstances, running for re-election. But you know the old saying: you win some, you lose some. And then there’s that little-known third category. I didn’t come here tonight to talk about the past. After all, I don’t want you to think I lie awake at night counting and recounting sheep. I prefer to focus on the future because I know from my own experience that America is a land of opportunity, where every little boy and girl has a chance to grow up and win the popular vote.” Former Vice President Al Gore, at the 2004 Democratic Convention

27. “I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue.”  President Richard Nixon, reflecting on the Watergate scandal in 1978.

28. “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”  President Abraham Lincoln

29. “Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.”  President William Howard Taft

30. ”Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” President Ronald Reagan

31. “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”  President Bill Clinton

32.  “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”  President James Madison

33. ”Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.’ And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.” President Ronald Reagan

34. ”Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” President Abraham Lincoln

35. “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword…The other is by debt.” President John Adams

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

37. “I was under medication when I made the decision to burn the tapes.” President Richard Nixon

38. ”I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” President Ronald Reagan, during a 1984 presidential debate with Walter Mondale

39. ”When I take action, I’m not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.” President George W. Bush, after the 9/11 attacks.

40. “Well, I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.” President Abraham Lincoln

41. ”I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency — even if I’m in a Cabinet meeting.” President Ronald Reagan

42. ”I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” President John Kennedy, at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners of the Western Hemisphere, the White House, April 29, 1962.

43. ”I don’t want to be invited to the family hunting party.” President Barack Obamaon revelations that he and Dick Cheney are eighth cousins

’44. ‘If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: ‘President Can’t Swim.”’ President Lyndon Johnson

45. ”Being president is like running a cemetery: you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening.” President Bill Clinton

46. ”What makes him think a middle-aged actor, who’s played with a chimp, could have a future in politics?” President Ronald Reagan, on Clint Eastwood’s bid to become mayor of Carmel.

47. ”I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy: ”Dear Jack, Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.”’ President John Kennedy

48. “I would not like to be a Russian leader. They never know when they’re being taped.” President Richard Nixon

49. ”If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?” President Abraham Lincoln

50. ”Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” President John Kennedy

51. ”My esteem in this country has gone up substantially. It is very nice now when people wave at me, they use all their fingers.” President Jimmy Carter

52. ”Many of you know that I got my name, Barack, from my father. What you may not know is Barack is actually Swahili for ‘That One.’ And I got my middle name from somebody who obviously didn’t think I’d ever run for president.” President Barack Obama, at the 2008 Al Smith Dinner

53. ”I hope you’re all Republicans.” President Ronald Reagan, speaking to surgeons as he entered the operating room following a 1981 assassination attempt.

54. “The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”            President Abraham Lincoln

55. “Do you realize the responsibility I carry? I’m the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House.” President John Kennedy

56. “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” President Abraham Lincoln

57. ”I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” President Ronald Reagan

58. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”                 President John Kennedy

59. “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.”  President Richard Nixon at a November 17, 1973 news conference.

60. “I’m not for women in any job. I don’t want any of them around. Thank God we don’t have any in the cabinet.” President Richard Nixon in a taped 1971 conversation with his chief of staff, in which he discussed the political advantages of nominating a woman to the Supreme Court, despite the fact that he personally regarded women as too “erratic” and “emotional.”

61. “People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”                     President Abraham Lincoln




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