Verbatim 2004

2 minute read

“I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

JOHN KERRY, responding to Republican campaign ads that criticized his Senate vote against a bill to authorize $87 billion in funds for postwar Iraq

“I earned capital in the campaign, political capital. And now I intend to spend it. That’s my style.”

GEORGE W. BUSH, in a press conference after his victory in the Nov. 2 election

“My truth is that I am a gay American.”

JAMES MCGREEVEY, Governor of New Jersey, announcing his resignation and confessing to an affair with a man he had appointed to political office

“Your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you.”

RICHARD CLARKE, former counterterrorism chief for Presidents Clinton and Bush, opening his testimony to the 9/11 commission by apologizing to families of the victims of the attacks

“The detainee begged Graner, ‘Mister, mister, please stop.'”

JEREMY SIVITS, former Army reservist, testifying about abuse of inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq

“You’ve got to stop beating up your women because you can’t find a job because you didn’t want to get an education.”

BILL COSBY, in controversial remarks about African-American men, at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund’s annual conference

“What is FedEx?”

KEN JENNINGS, attempting to pose the correct question to the Final Jeopardy answer “Most of this firm’s 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year.” His wrong response (correct one: What is H&R Block?) ended his record-breaking 74-game winning streak

“In 2005 we have the opportunity for a historic breakthrough in relations between us and the Palestinians … This is the hour, this is the time. This is the national test.”

ARIEL SHARON, Israeli Prime Minister, speaking at the annual Herzliya conference, on his renewed optimism for peace following the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat


HOWARD DEAN, Democratic presidential candidate, vowing to supporters to continue his campaign after losing the Iowa caucuses

“If they don’t have the guts, I call them girlie men.”

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Republican Governor of California, complaining about Democrats who he claimed were delaying his budget proposal, in a joking reference to the bodybuilders on Saturday Night Live

Sources: AP (2); International Herald Tribune; New York Times; TIME; New York Times (2); AP (2); N.Y. Times

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