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J. Danford Quayle
1946 -

Former Congressman (R) and Senator from Indiana who became U.S. Vice President in George Bush's administration. Quayle will probably be remembered most for his many speaking gaffes in public appearances, some of which we have gathered here on conservativeforum.org.


 I got through a number of things in the area of defense, like showing the importance of cruise missiles and getting them more accurate so that we can have precise precision.

Aug. 26, 1988 - quoted in the New York Times
 It shows 'us vs. them,' and I'm on the 'us' side.

Jun. 14, 1992 - quoted in the Indianapolis Star
 Votes are like trees, if you are trying to build a forest. If you have more trees than you have forests, then at that point the pollsters will probably say you will win.

1988 - quoted in Newsweek Magazine
 Let me say it one more time. It is ill-rel-e-vant.

Oct. 10, 1988 - quoted in the Washington Post testily responding to questions about his parents' involvement in the John Birch Society
The intergeneration poverty that troubles us so much today is predominately a poverty of values. Our inner cities are filled with children having children, with people who have not been able to take advantage of educational opportunities, with people who are dependent on drugs or the narcotic of welfare. ... When families fail, society fails. The anarchy and lack of structure in our inner cities are testament to how quickly civilization falls apart when the family foundation cracks.

May 19, 1992 - from a speech to the Commonwealth Club, quoted in The Quotable Conservative by Rod Evans and Irwin Berent
 Our party has been accused of fooling the public by calling tax increases 'revenue enhancement.' Not so. No one was fooled.

 We don't want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward.

 My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will, never, never surrender to what is right.

from a speech to the Christian Coalition
 Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.

 This president is going to lead us out of this recovery. It will happen.

Jan. 17, 1992 - from a speech at California State University, Fresno
 It's time for the human race to enter the solar system.

 The loss of life will be irreplaceable.

commenting on the San Franciso earthquake
 For NASA, space is still a high priority.

Sep. 5, 1990
 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.

Sep. 15, 1988
 It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.

Aug. 1998
 Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things. I have made good judgements in the past. I have made good judgements in the future.

 I deserve respect for the things I did not do.

 We expect them [Salvadoran officials] to work toward the elimination of human rights.

 I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.

May 8, 1989 - quoted in TIME Magazine
 I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.

May. 22, 1989
 There is nothing that a good defense cannot beat a better offense. In other words, a good offense wins.

Sep. 19, 1988 - wisdom on the so-called "Star Wars" defense strategy, quoted in TIME Magazine
 When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame! Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame!

 Republicans have been accused of abandoning the poor. It's the other way around. They never vote for us.

 I stand by all the misstatements that I've made.

Aug. 17, 1989 - from an interview with Sam Donaldson of ABC News
 Bank failures are caused by depositors who don't deposit enough money to cover losses due to mismanagement.

 Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children. It's a unique profession and, by golly, I hope when they go into the teaching field that they do have that zeal and they do have that mission and they do believe in teaching our kids and they're not getting into this just as a job or a way to put food on the table.

Sep. 18, 1990 - quoted in Esquire Magazine, Aug. 1992
 The global importance of the Middle East is that it keeps the Near East and the Far East from encroaching on each other.

 Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.

May 20, 1992 - quoted in Esquire Magazine, August, 1992
 People are not homeless if they're sleeping in the streets of their own hometowns.

 We're all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made.

 What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.

Aug. 1992 - quoted in Esquire Magazine, from a speech to the United Negro College Fund referring to their slogan, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste"
 I support efforts to limit the terms of members of Congress, especially members of the House and members of the Senate.

 Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.

from a speech to the United Negro College Fund
 I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican.

 Air travel efficiency would improve if more travelers started going to less popular places.

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

Dec. 06, 1989
 The best thing about rain forests is they never suffer from drought.

 We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world.

Sep. 21, 1988
 Mars is essentially in the same orbit [as the Earth]... We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.

Aug. 11, 1989 - in an interview on the CNN television network
 I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix.

 A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.

 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.

 The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make.

 May our nation continue to be the beakon [sic] of hope to the world.

1989 - from the Quayle's Christmas card
 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.

 The future will be better tomorrow.

 We are not ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.

Sep. 22, 1990
 If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.

Mar. 01, 1990 - from a speech to the Pheonix Republican Forum