My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.
—Ronald Reagan, during a soundcheck prior to his weekly Saturday address, August 11, 1984
Honey, I forgot to duck.
—Ronald Reagan, to a likely very unamused Nancy, after being shot in 1981
Mr. President, today we're all Republicans
—Charles Giordano, the chief surgeon and liberal Democrat, in response to the above quote
''You can tell a lot about a fella's character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful."
— on why he liked to have a jar of jellybeans on hand for meetings.''
Aw, shut up!
—Ronald Reagan, to a very persistent heckler.
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
—Ronald Reagan, speech at the Brandenburg Gate, 1987
Where's the rest of me?
—Drake McHugh (Reagan), Kings Row
''If you are on the right, Reagan is God.
If you are on the left, Reagan is Satan.''
"The common wisdom holds that he single-footedly kicked down the Berlin Wall and went on to personally destroy the Soviet Union, leaving it a rubble of squabbling statelets with ludicrous names, and without Reagan we'd be either a dismal Russian satellite eating turnips or a smoking nuclear wasteland at this very minute. He did this without firing a shot, simply by spending so much money on the military that the Evil Empire went broke trying to keep up with us. It was a master stroke. He tripled the budget deficit and quadrupled the trade deficit, but it was worth every cent.
— Barbara Holland
While Mrs. Reagan darted angry looks about the hall (displeased at the press?) the star of Death Valley Days was staring intently at the speaker on the platform. Thus an actor prepares, I thought, and I suspected even then that Reagan would some day find himself up there on the platform. In any case, as the age of television progresses, the Reagans will be the rule, not the exception.
"I only saw him once up close, which happened to be when he got a question he didn't like. Was it true that his staff in the 1980 debates had stolen President Carter's briefing book? (They had.) The famously genial grin turned into a rictus of senile fury: I was looking at a cruel and stupid lizard. His reply was that maybe his staff had, and maybe they hadn't, but what about the leak of the Pentagon Papers? Thus, a secret theft of presidential documents was equated with the public disclosure of needful information. This was a man never short of a cheap jibe or the sort of falsehood that would, however laughable, buy him some time."