Politics

10 of the funniest presidential lines in history

Some of these guys had a sense of humor. Others were just dumb.

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American presidents have run the gamut from party animals to wet blankets. Some have been witty, others wickedly funny, some so inept they are worthy of ridicule. We’ve found the best examples of all for you. At least the ones we can run in a family publication.

10. Commenting upon the tragic death of Antonin Scalia, candidate Trump said, “I wonder if President Obama would have attended the funeral of Justice Scalia if it were held in a mosque?”

9. Lyndon Johnson, on a tour of Vietnam during the war, was walking towards a helicopter when a young Army second lieutenant stopped him and said, “Sir, that’s not your helicopter.” Johnson responded, “Son, these are all my helicopters.”

8. Dwight Eisenhower, frustrated after hours of Soviet intransigence at a summit meeting, told his staff in front of the Russians, “You gentlemen may continue. I have an appointment with a scotch and soda.”

7. Ronald Reagan, joking on a hot mic before a radio interview, “We’ve just declared war on Russia. The bombing starts in five minutes.”

6. At a campaign rally George H.W. Bush said, “For seven and a half years I’ve worked alongside President Reagan. We’ve had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We’ve had some sex…uh…setbacks.”

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5. Barack Obama told a crowd, “It’s always a bad practice to say ‘always’ or ‘never.'”

4. When Franklin Pierce was asked about his plans after the presidency, he said, “There is nothing left to do but get drunk.”

3. When somebody asked Ronald Reagan about his age and possibly diminished energy level, he mused, “I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency—even if I’m in a Cabinet meeting.”

2. When told by writer Dorothy Parker, at a dinner given by a mutual friend, that she had a bet with a pal she could get the famously quiet President Calvin Coolidge to say more than two words, he replied, “You lose.”

1. When Hillary Clinton said to Donald Trump during their second debate, “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” he quickly retorted, “Because you’d be in jail.”

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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