Wisdom of Dan Quayle

Some people might agree any title such "The Wisdom of Dan Quayle" is an oxymoron of the highest degree. 

An Oxymoron of course is a statement or phrase containing two words or phrases that have no business appearing together. Classics are "Military Intelligence", "Aggie Scholar", "Honest Politician", etc.

Some of the things this man has said have to be read to be believed. These are the utterances of our former Vice-President who if I remember was well known for his difficulty spelling the word "Potato" in front of a elementary school class. If memory serves, he actually wrote it out as "Potatoe".  Enjoey !

Dan Quayle - remember when...

Recently, Dan Quayle announced his intentions to run for President of the U.S. in 2000. Since many younger voters  may not have been watching the news when these were said the first time, we provide you with this list of famous Quayle quotes.

"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."   -- J. Danforth Quayle

"If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure." -- J. Danforth Quayle

"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." -- Vice President Dan Quayle

"Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts." -- Vice President Dan Quayle

"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 there is oxygen, that means we can breathe." -- Vice President Dan Quayle, 8/11/89

"What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is." -- Vice President Dan Quayle (Editor : if anyone should know the cruelty of this problem first hand...)

"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." -- Vice President Dan Quayle, 9/15/88

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change." -- Vice President Dan Quayle, 5/22/89

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is ‘to be prepared’." -- Vice President Dan Quayle, 12/6/89

"May our nation continue to be the beakon of hope to the world."-- The Quayles’ 1989 Christmas card.

"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things." -- Vice President Dan Quayle, 11/30/88

"I have made good judgments in the Past. I have made good judgments in the future." -- Vice President Dan Quayle

"The future will be better tomorrow." -- Vice President Dan Quayle

"We’re going to have the best-educated American people in the world." -- Vice President Dan Quayle, 9/21/88

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history." -- Vice President Dan Quayle 

"I stand by all the misstatements that I’ve made." -- Vice President Dan Quayle to Sam Donaldson, 8/17/89

"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." -- Vice President Dan Quayle

"Public speaking is very easy." -- Vice President Dan Quayle to reporters in 10/88

"I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican." -- Vice President Dan Quayle

"I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix." -- Vice President Dan Quayle

"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls." -- Vice President Dan Quayle

"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." -- Vice President Dan Quayle

"Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it." -- Vice President Dan Quayle, 5/20/92 (reported in Esquire, 8/92)

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur." -- Vice President Dan Quayle, 9/22/90

"For NASA, space is still a high priority." -- Vice President Dan Quayle, 9/5/90  (Editor's favorite)

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children." -- Vice President Dan Quayle, 9/18/90

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

"We’re all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made." --Vice President Dan Quayle

"It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." -- Vice President Dan Quayle

"[It’s] time for the human race to enter the solar system." -- Vice President Dan Quayle


When we think of people to elect to lead us, is it better to have a brilliant, dishonest, immoral man like Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton or a complete idiot ?  These are difficult choices indeed!

As a sideline to our story, you might find it very interesting to visit another SSQQ Web Site titled "Quayle-Gore" as part of our "Truth on the Internet" Series. To visit, click here.

Dan Quayle isn't Quite as Stupid as We Thought!!

Quote: "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." 

Status: False. 

Origins: When George Bush, the 1988 Republican nominee for President, announced his vice-presidential running mate, he took nearly everyone by surprise. The man Bush tapped, a young senator named Dan Quayle, was little known outside his home state of Indiana. Senator Quayle soon became a household name, but -- much to the chagrin of Bush and the Republicans -- not for the reasons they expected. Dan Quayle soon proved himself to be a terrible public speaker: he appeared nervous (even frightened) in front of television cameras, he often fumbled his way through prepared speeches, and his extemporaneous comments frequently defied comprehension. Senator (and, after the election, Vice-President) Quayle and his gaffes soon became the butt of numerous jokes. Just as President Gerald Ford had been forevermore tagged a clumsy bumbler after a few physical mishaps a decade earlier, so Dan Quayle was characterized as "stupid" by the public and the media, a label that would prove impossible to remove once it had been affixed.  

With much of the media gleefully reporting every Quayle misstatement and malaprop, it was only a matter of time before demand exceeded supply and someone made up a ridiculous statement and attributed it to the Vice-President. Someone did, and this someone was a rather unlikely source: a Republican congressperson. 

In April 1989, Representative Claudine Schneider of Rhode Island told a gathering of Republicans that she had recently attended an event at the Belgian embassy, where Vice-President Quayle complimented her on her command of French. Then, Schneider said, the Vice-President added: "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." Ms. Schneider concluded by admitting that the story was merely a joke, but not all the newspapers reported it that way. Several publications, either through carelessness or a desire not to let the truth get in the way of a good story, reported the story as true. The culprits included such venerable publications as Newsday, the Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, and Time. The fabricated misquote took hold because it sounded exactly like something Dan Quayle (or, more accurately, the Dan Quayle of public perception) would say, and no amount of correction could dislodge it from the public vocabulary. 

Dan Quayle has certainly made more than his share of misstatements, and the ones on the following list below are actual Quayle quotes (although versions of this list with all the quotes mischievously attributed to Vice-President Al Gore and Texas governor George W. Bush also circulate around the Internet). Nearly all of these quotes are reasonable statements that came out garbled when uttered by a poor public speaker, though -- it's not hard to tell in most cases what Quayle really meant to say. Compare them to some of the bizarre statements that President Reagan produced when speaking off the cuff, or the twisted, mangled syntax characteristic of President Bush's speech. Let's be fair to Mr. Quayle and not saddle him with something he didn't say.  

Last updated: 11 November 2000 
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