Remarks of the Ages

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"My opponent won't rule out raising taxes. But I will. And the Congress will push me to raise taxes, and I'll say no. And they'll push, and I'll say no, and they'll push again, and I'll say to them, 'Read my lips: No new taxes.'"
George H. W. Bush, accepting the Republican nomination to run against Michael Dukakis in 1988

"I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience."
President Ronald Reagan, when asked during the second debate with Walter Mondale in 1984 if he would be too old for a second term

"When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: 'Where's the beef?'"
Walter Mondale to another Democratic presidential contender, Gary Hart, during a 1984 primary debate

"I think probably politicians are about half ego and half humility. I think I have my share of both of them."
Jimmy Carter, on the campaign trail in 1975

"These polls that the Republican candidate is putting out are like pills designed to lull the voters into sleeping on Election Day. You ought to call them sleeping polls."
President Harry S. Truman, in a 1948 speech during his campaign against Thomas Dewey

"America's present need is not heroics but healing, not nostrums but normalcy, not revolution but restoration."
Warren G. Harding, coining the word normalcy in a 1920 stump speech that caught the attention of war-weary Americans

"I leave it to you, my audience: If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"
Abraham Lincoln, in 1858 to his debate opponent, Stephen Douglas

"No man will ever bring out of the presidency the reputation, which carries him into it."
Thomas Jefferson, in a 1796 letter to Edward Rutledge, a member of the Electoral College