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Dan Quayle
Former American Vice President
(1947- )



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Let me just tell you how thrilling it really is, and how, what a challenge it is, because in 1988 the question is whether we're going forward to tomorrow or whether we're going to go past to the back! …
That's a Hoosierism. You've got to get used to that!
-- Speech to California delegates to the Republican National Convention (17 August 1988)

QUAYLE: Three times that I've had this question — and I will try to answer it again for you, as clearly as I can, because the question you're asking is, "What kind of qualifications does Dan Quayle have to
be president," "What kind of qualifications do I have," and "What would I do in this kind of a situation?" And what would I do in this situation? [...] I have far more experience than many others that sought
the office of vice president of this country. I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency. I will be prepared to deal with the people in the Bush administration, if that unfortunate event would ever occur.

JUDY WOODRUFF (Moderator): Senator [Bentsen]?

BENTSON: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.

NOTE: The above exchange between Seantor Quayle and Senator Bentson took place during the 1988 United States vice-presidential debate on October 5, 1988. "Since then, the words 'You're no Jack Kennedy,' or some variation on Bentsen's remark, have become a part of the political lexicon as a way to deflate politicians or other individuals perceived as thinking too highly of themselves."
(Source and further explanation: Wikipedia)

We're going to have the best educated American people in the world.
-- Remark made on 21 September 1988 (quoted in Esquire, August 1992)

People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.
-- Interview with Hendrik Hertzburg (October 1988), referring to Grigori Rasputin

We understand the importance of having the bondage between the parent and the child.
-- Quoted in: U.S. News and World Report, 10 October 1988, and in a video, "Who is Dan Quayle?" (currently on YouTube).

We are ready for any unforseen event that may or may not occur.
-- Quoted in Cleveland Plain Dealer (27 September 1990)

You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and, as far as I am concerned, happy campers you will always be.
-- Speech to American Samoans (April 1989)

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.
-- Press comment in Hawaii (25 April 1989)

When you take the UNCF model that, what a waste it is to lose one's mind, or not to have a mind is being very wasteful, how true that is.
-- Speech to the United Negro College Fund (9 May 1989), mangling the Fund's slogan "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy, but that could change.
-- Quoted in Wall Street Journal (26 May 1989)

Mars is essentially in the same orbit.… Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.
-- Press comment on Mars exploration (11 August 1989), televised on CNN and referenced in 9/1/89 Washington Post article: "A Quayle Vision of Mars")

I stand by all the misstatements that I've made.
-- Remark made on 17 August 1989 (quoted in Esquire, August 1992). [A variation of this quote appears in the YouTube video, "Who is Dan Quayle?" as: "I made a misstatement and I stand by all my misstatements."]

Bearing babies irresponsibly is simply wrong. We must be unequivocal about this. It doesn't help matters when primetime TV has Murphy Brown — a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid, professional woman — mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another "lifestyle choice."
-- Speech to the Commonwealth Club of California (19 May 1992) in which Quayle was criticizing Murphy Brown, as played by Candice Bergen. The comment was quoted in the Washington Post on 21 May 1992 and triggered a great controversy about single mothers and freedom of choice in American society.

You’re close, but you left a little something off. The "e" on the end.
-- Luis Muñoz Rivera Elementary School in Trenton, New Jersey (15 June 1992), mistakenly correcting student William Figueroa on his spelling of "potato."

If you give a person a fish, they'll fish for a day. But if you train a person to fish, they'll fish for a lifetime.
-- Speech to job training centre, Atlanta, Georgia, 13 October 1992 (quoted in New York Tiimes, 13 October 1992). Here Quayle is mangling the saying "If you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime".

I believe that I've made good judgments in the past, and I think I've made good judgments in the future.
-- Attributed


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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