Presidents Say the Darnedest Things

In honor of Presidents Day, we have 20 of the funniest things that United States Presidents have ever uttered. And no, there aren’t any President Trump quotes, but we’re looking forward to adding a few of them next year. And yes, there are two from President Reagan, because, come on, there is just so much great material there. Enjoy!

“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
“Being president is like running a cemetery: you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening.” — President Bill Clinton
“If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?” — President Abraham Lincoln
“Do you realize the responsibility I carry? I’m the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House.” — President John Kennedy
“I’m glad I’m not Brezhnev; being the Russian leader in the Kremlin, you never know if someone’s tape recording what you are saying.” — President Richard M. Nixon
“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
“Washington, D.C. is twelve square miles bordered by reality.” — President Andrew Johnson
“If I had to name my greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness, it’s possible that I’m a little too awesome.” — President Barack Obama
“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
“People say I’m indecisive, but I don’t know about that.” — President George H.W. Bush
“Cheney’s a good man. He’s got a good heart. [Pause] Well, he’s a good man.” — President George W. Bush
“If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” — President Harry Truman
“When they call the roll in the Senate, the senators do not know whether to answer ‘present’ or ‘not guilty.’” — President Theodore Roosevelt
“In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.’’ — President John Adams
“There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone is too far from home.” — President Dwight Eisenhower
“No man has ever yet been hanged for breaking the spirit of a law.” — President Grover Cleveland
“Blessed are the young, for they will inherit the national debt.” — President Herbert Hoover
“I’m not surprised. But what for?” — President Franklin D. Roosevelt (upon being told his wife was in jail)
“If it were not for the reporters, I would tell you the truth.” — President Chester A. Arthur
“I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” — President Ronald Reagan

Mike Johnston is a production executive and advertising creative in Seattle. He is available for freelance consulting, writing and directing. Find samples of his work and more articles on advertising on the website Family.

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