The Genius of Ronald Reagan: Direct Quotes from the Gipper
"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do." -- Ronald Reagan, 1981
"A tree is a tree. How many more do you have to look at?" -- Ronald Reagan, 1966, opposing expansion of Redwood National Park as governor of California
"Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born. "
"I have flown twice over Mt St. Helens out on our west coast. I'm not a scientist and I don't know the figures, but I have a suspicion that that one little mountain has probably released more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere of the world than has been released in the last ten years of automobile driving or things of that kind that people are so concerned about." -- Ronald Reagan, 1980. (Actually, Mount St. Helens, at its peak activity, emitted about 2,000 tons of sulfur dioxide per day, compared with 81,000 tons per day by cars.)
"Facts are stupid things." -- Ronald Reagan, 1988, a misquote of John Adams, "Facts are stubborn things."
"We think there is a parallel between federal involvement in education and the decline in profit over recent years." -- Ronald Reagan, 1983. (It's always good to run the Department of Education to make money.)
"Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal." Ronald Reagan, 1976, on his failed campaign for the Republican nomination. (Moron.)
"The best minds are not in government." -- Ronald Reagan. (Not in his government anyway.)
"You can't help those who simply will not be helped. One problem that we've had, even in the best of times, is people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice." -- President Reagan, 1/31/84, on Good Morning America, defending his administration against charges of callousness.
On 8/24/85 President Reagan tells an interviewer that the "reformist administration" of South African president P.W. Botha has made significant progress on the racial front. "They have eliminated the segregation that we once had in our own country," says the President, "the type of thing where hotels and restaurants and places of entertainment and so forth were segregated - that has all been eliminated." (In response to questions a few days later as to whether President Reagan actually thought racial segregation has been eliminated in South Africa, Larry Speakes said "Not totally, no.")
"The American Petroleum Institute filed suit against the EPA [and] charged that the agency was suppressing a scientific study for fear it might be misinterpreted... The suppressed study reveals that 80 percent of air pollution comes not from chimneys and auto exhaust pipes, but from plants and trees." Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, in 1979. (There is no scientific data to support this assertion.)
"You know, if I listened to him long enough, I would be convinced that we're in an economic downturn, and that people are homeless, and people are going without food and medical attention, and that we've got to do something about the unemployed." -- President Reagan, 6/8/88, accusing Michael Dukakis of misleading campaign rhetoric.
"This fellow they've nominated claims he's the new Thomas Jefferson. Well let me tell you something; I knew Thomas Jefferson. He was a friend of mine and Governor... You're no Thomas Jefferson!" -- Ronald Reagan, 1992
The remaining quotes are an interesting example of President Reagan and his relationship with the media
"You glance out the window and the people are walking around Pennsylvania Avenue and you say, 'I could never say I am going to run down to the drugstore and get some magazines.' I can't do that anymore." -- President Reagan, 8/11/82, to The President Reagan, 8/11/82, to The Time's Hugh Sidey that he sometimes feels trapped in the White House.
"Sometimes I look out there at Pennsylvania Avenue and see people bustling along, and it suddenly dawns on me that probably never again can I just say 'Hey, I'm going down to the drugstore to look at the magazines,'" -- President Reagan, 12/09/82, discussing his feelings of confinement with a President Reagan, 12/09/82, discussing his feelings of confinement with a People reporter.
"Sometimes I look out the window at Pennsylvania Avenue and wonder what it would be like to be able to just walk down the street to the corner drugstore and look at the magazines. I can't do that anymore." - President Reagan, 12/16/82, conveying one of his regrets to The Washington Post."Sometimes I look out the window at Pennsylvania Avenue and wonder what it would be like to be able to just walk down the street to the corner drugstore and look at the magazines. I can't do that anymore." -- President Reagan, 12/16/82, sharing a sudden thought with a radio interviewer
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