GOP Quotes of the Week, Free Scooter Edition
Over the past week or so, the ever more productive Republican gaffe machine shifted into overdrive. The violence and chaos in Iraq produced prodigious new helpings of conservative revisionist history. In Washington, Cheney chief-of-staff Scooter Libby learned his much deserved fate, while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales awaited a looming no-confidence vote. Even as GOP presidential hopefuls jumped ship on George W. Bush, the Republican '08 race was made spicier by the mainstream media's schoolgirl crush on Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan's words from the beyond. And on Capitol Hill, House Minority Leader John Boehner delivered a bumper crop of compassionate conservative life.
Here, then, are the latest GOP Quotes of the Week:
Department of Revisionist History
"We haven't started the surge - the full surge - yet. So let me have a few months."
General David Petraeus, June 5, 2007.
"We're only about two months into the surge."
General David Petraeus, April 25, 2007.
"What is taking place in Anbar is almost breathtaking."
General David Petraeus, on progress in Iraq, June 8, 2007.
"I don't see an end game, as it were, in sight."
Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, June 6, 2007.
"If he [Saddam] had complied with the United Nations resolutions to allow IAEA inspectors into his country, we wouldn't be having this conversation."
Mitt Romney, asked by Sean Hannity if he would have supported war in Iraq knowing what he knows now, May 8, 2007
"Let's turn back the clock and Saddam Hussein had opened up his country to IAEA inspectors and they'd come in and they'd found that there were no weapons of mass destruction...we wouldn't be in the conflict we're in."
Mitt Romney, asked by Wolf Blitzer if he would have supported war in Iraq knowing what he knows now, June 5, 2007.
"The worst terrorist we had in Iraq was a guy named Abu Musab al Zarqawi."
Vice President Cheney, claiming Saddam harbored the terrorist the Senate Intelligence Committee report conclusively showed Hussein was trying to capture, June 4, 2007.
"We're fighting a war over there [in Iraq] because the enemy attacked us first."
Vice President Cheney, May 26, 2007.
"Nobody can promise us we won't be hit again."
Vice President Cheney, May 26, 2007.
"If we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again."
Vice President Cheney, on why Americans should vote for George W. Bush and not John Kerry, September 7, 2004.
"I recognize there are a handful there, or some, who just say, 'Get out, you know, it's just not worth it. Let's just leave.' I strongly disagree with that attitude. Most Americans do as well."
President Bush, contradicting polls showing that 63% of Americans want to withdraw from Iraq by 2008, May 28, 2007.
"I'm not an architect of anything."
Paul Wolfowitz, former Iraq war architect at the Pentagon, May 30, 2007.
"I don't know if they're going to do a reprinting of the book to try to get the facts straight."
Tony Snow, on Al Gore's book correctly identifying President Bush's deceptions in the run-up to the war in Iraq, May 23, 2007.
"I think we've had a very great week this week."
Dana Perino, White House spokesperson, June 1, 2007.
"I am the president!"
President Bush, while thumping his chest, reported May 31, 2007.
"It's their government's choice. If they were to say, leave, we would leave."
President Bush, on Iraq, May 24, 2007.
"We're not leaving [Iraq] so long as I’m the president. That would be a huge mistake."
President Bush, on Iraq, August 21, 2006.
"Sir, that's the design."
General Douglas Lute, proposed U.S. Iraq War Czar, on National security Adviser Stephen Hadley having no role with regards to Iraq and Afghanistan, June 7, 2007.
"I don't believe it undercuts their morale. and, in fact, that’s what we’ve sworn to protect and defend."
General Douglas Lute, proposed U.S. Iraq War Czar ¸on domestic debate over Iraq war strategy and funding, June 7, 2007.
"During the review, I registered concerns that a military 'surge' would likely have only temporary and localized effects unless it were accompanied by counterpart 'surges' by the Iraqi government and the other, nonmilitary agencies of the U.S. government."
General Douglas Lute, proposed U.S. Iraq War Czar, June 7, 2007.
"I'm sorry it's come to be, but that's what happens in life. We'll move on."
President Bush, on the resignation of Tony Blair, June 7, 2007.
President Bush, on whether he is responsible for Tony Blair's downfall, May 17, 2007.
"By September, when General Petraeus is to make a report, I think most of the people in Congress believe, unless something extraordinary occurs, that we should be on a move to draw those surge numbers down."
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), May 27, 2007.
"The handwriting is on the wall. We are headed in a different direction, in the fall, in Iraq. And the president is going to be the one to lead the way."
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), May 26, 2007.
"It is a very careful process, and not one that's used indiscriminately or just for political purposes."
Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), on President Bush's declassification of two-year old classified report days before war funding vote hoping to show Al Qaeda role in Iraq, May 23, 2007.
The War on Terror
"I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001 ], and the naysayers will come around very quickly."
Dennis Milligan, chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party, June 3, 2007.
"Capture one of these killers, and he'll be quick to demand the protections of the Geneva Convention and the Constitution of the United States."
Vice President Cheney, May 26, 2007.
"If it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo - not tomorrow, this afternoon."
Colin Powell, June 10, 2007.
"I think some people see Guantanamo as a source of America's arrogance, and I see it as a source of America's resolve."
Mitt Romney, June 5, 2007.
"They are a threat to your children, David."
President Bush, on the enemy in Iraq, to NBC's David Gregory, May 24 2007.
"This notion about how this isn't a war on terror in my view is naive."
President Bush, May 23, 2007.
"We actually misnamed the war on terror."
President Bush, August 16, 2004.
"CIA clearly didn't really give a shit about keeping her identity secret if she's going to work at f**king Langley...I call bullshit on that, I don't care what they say."
Tucker Carlson, MSNBC host and son of Scooter Libby Defense Fund adviser Tucker Carlson, on outed CIA agent Valerie Plame's confirmed covert status, June 6, 2007.
"For [Libby prosecutor Patrick] Fitzgerald, to get on his high horse, it's disgusting and he should be ashamed of himself."
Richard Carlson, Scooter Libby Defense Fund adviser and father of MSNBC host Tucker Carlson, May 29, 2007.
"Speaking as friends, we hope that our system will return a final result consistent with what we know of this fine man."
Vice President Cheney, on the sentencing of Scooter Libby, June 5, 2007.
" He says he feels terrible for them, he's sorry for all that they're going through."
Dana Perino, White House spokesperson, on President Bush's reaction to the Libby sentence and its impact on Libby's family, June 5. 2007.
Here Today, Gonzo Tomorrow
"Mr. Comey's testimony related to a highly classified program which the president confirmed to the American people sometime ago."
Alberto Gonzales, on revelations by Comey on March 2004 confrontation at John Ashcroft's bedside with Gonzales over illegal NSA domestic surveillance, June 5, 2007.
"There has not been any serious disagreement about the program that the president has confirmed."
Alberto Gonzales, regarding views of illegal NSA domestic surveillance within the administation, February 6, 2006.
"I intend to spend the next year and a half in a sprint to the finish line."
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, facing imminent no-confidence vote, June 1, 2007.
"I told my press secretary when she was asked that...just better play it close to our vest. So, I guess I won't answer your question."
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), asked whether he still supports Alberto Gonzales, May 27, 2007.
"The statements made by the attorney general during this meeting were intended only to comfort her in a very difficult period."
Brian Roehrkrasse, DOJ spokesperson, on whether Alberto Gonzales tried to influence the testimony of Monica Goodling during a meet with her, May 23, 2007.
"There not only is no evidence of wrongdoing, but there is no allegation of any wrongdoing on your part."
Rep. Steve King (R-IA), to Monica Goodling, during House hearing in which she admitted violating the Hatch Act, May 23, 2007.
"I believe I crossed the line, but I didn't mean to."
Monica Goodling, May 23, 2007.
"I don't think that I could have done it more than 50 times, but I don't know."
Monica Goodling, asked how often she considered political affiliations in hiring of career DOJ personnel, May 23, 2007.
"This investigation is taking a long time, kind of being drug out, I suspect...for political reasons."
President Bush, on U.S. attorneys purge inquiries, May 25, 2007.
"If there's wrongdoing, it will be taken care of."
President Bush, on U.S. attorneys purge, May 24, 2007.
"I stand by Al Gonzales."
President Bush, May 21, 2007.
Your Next Republican President?
"Lots of things."
Fred Thompson, likely GOP White House contender asked by NBC's Tim Russert what he'd do as President, June 3, 2007.
Fred Thompson, likely GOP White House contender asked by NBC's Tim Russert if he would elaborate on what those "lots of things" would be, June 3, 2007.
"You think she thinks she works the pole?"
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, on Fred Thompson's supposed "trophy wife," June 2, 2007.
"Strong, clear, gives good soundbite and has shoulders you could land a 737 on."
Roger Simon of Politico.com on Mitt Romney, June 5, 2007.
"He's got the jaw going on, the little gray thing in there. And I think that means a lot in America."
Bill O'Reilly, on Mitt Romney, May 31, 2007.
"Maybe his solution will be to get out his small varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn."
John McCain, on Mitt Romney's immigration stand, May 21, 2007.
"I do not believe in teaching about sex or contraception in public schools."
Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), May 21, 2007.
"I think he's crazy."
Ronald Reagan, on Rudy Giuliani, reported May 28, 2007.
"Oh my God, is that right?...It's a nice day, the weather's nice."
John McCain, on missing the equivalent of six weeks worth of Senate votes while campaigning, May 26, 2007.
With Friends Like These...
"I would certainly not send him to the United Nations."
Tommy Thompson, asked what role George W. Bush would play in a Thompson administration, June 5, 2007.
"I'd tell George W. Bush never to darken the door of the White House."
Rep. Tom Tancredo, asked what role George W. Bush would play in a Tancredo administration, June 5, 2007.
"The government is not functioning. It's not getting the job done. Republicans need to confront this reality."
Newt Gingrich, on the Bush administration, June 3, 2007.
"Russia is not our enemy."
President Bush, to Russian President Vladimir Putin at G8 Summit, June 4, 2007.
"It would be funny if it was not so sad."
Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Bush's proposed missile defense system in Czech Republic and Poland, June 4, 2007.
"I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul. I knew that President Putin was a man with whom I could work."
President Bush, on Vladimir Putin, November 15, 2001.
"Well, there's too many to count now."
Dan Bartlett, outgoing White House communications director, asked what mistakes the White House would like to "do over," June 1, 2007.
The Wisdom of John Boehner
"If the charges against Congressman Jefferson are true, he should be expelled from the House of Representatives, or he should resign to spare his constituents and colleagues any further indignity."
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), on whether indicted Democratic Congressman William Jefferson should resign, June 4, 2007.
"That's a decision that he and his family are going to have to make."
House Minority Leader John Boehner, asked by Fox's Chris Wallace if indicted Republican Congressman Bob Ney should resign, September 17, 2006.
"The country owes Tom a great debt of gratitude for helping lead America in a new direction...He has served our nation with integrity and honor, and I'm honored to call him my colleague and friend."
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), on indicted Republican Congressman Tom Delay, April 3, 2006.
"After 3,000 of our fellow citizens died at the hands of these terrorists, when are we going to stand up and take them on?"
House Minority Leader John Boehner, on Iraq war funding, May 24, 2007.
"I promised the President today that I wouldn't say anything bad about...this piece of s**t bill."
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), on the immigration bill, May 23, 2007.
More Compassionate Conservatism and Republican Family Values
"Does it solve the problem for the woman that's been raped?"
Sam Brownback (R-KS), on his opposition to abortion for rape victims, June 9, 2007.
"Homosexuality isn't natural or healthy."
Dr. James Holsinger Jr., Bush nominee for Surgeon General, in 1991 paper, reported June 7, 2007.
"I was no longer committing adultery by that time, the impeachment trial. There's a big difference. Also, I had returned to Christ and repented my sins by that time."
Tom Delay, on the difference between his adultery and that of Newt Gingrich, June 4, 2007.
"God has spoken to me. I listen to God, and what I've heard is that I'm supposed to devote myself to rebuilding the conservative base of the Republican Party."
Tom Delay, June 4, 2007.
"The Vice President and his wife Lynne are joining their daughter Mary in playing this homosexual game of 'house.'"
Stephen Bennett, spokesman for Concerned Women for America, on the birth of Mary Cheney's son, May 30, 2007.
"I'm deeply concerned about America losing its soul...if we don't solve the problem it's going to affect America. It will affect our economy and it will affect our soul."
President Bush, on importance of his immigration bill, May 29, 2007.
"Disagreeing with your government is not unpatriotic and most certainly should not be a crime in any country, especially a democracy."
Condi Rice, May 28, 2007.
"I want more babies. More babies. We love babies."
Leslee Unruh, president of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, speaking out against a new contraceptive, May 24, 2007.
"I am never going to hire another woman because they just get pregnant and leave."
Howard Zinsmeister, Bush domestic policy adviser, May 21, 2007.
Fox and Friends
"Well, the whitest man in America, who is the black man's best friend, is now being alleged to be a racist for having invented something called ooga booga fever."
Fox's John Gibson, describing himself, June 4, 2007.
"It sounds like Abu Ghraib."
Fox Morning show host Greg Kelly, on Paris Hilton not being allowed to use her cell phone while it jail, June 4, 2007.
"John Glenn - who was a wonderful man, but not somebody normally you would think capable of being a real partisan spearchucker."
Brit Hume, June 3, 2007.
The complete list of calamitous conservative quotes is available here.