Quotes by Ronald Reagan
"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
"I hope you're all Republicans."
—Ronald Reagan, to his surgeons after being shot
"Mr. President, today we're all Republicans."
—Charles Giordano, the chief surgeon and liberal Democrat, in response to the above quote
"Trust, but verify."
—Ronald Reagan, on foreign policy
"If you will forgive me, you know someone has likened government to a baby. It is an alimentary canal with an appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
—Ronald Reagan, addressing the Canadian parliament
"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
"The ten most dangerous words in the English language are 'Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.'"
—Ronald Reagan, Remarks to Future Farmers of America
"We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone."
"When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat."
"A tree's a tree. How many more do you need to look at?"
—Ronald Reagan, opposing expansion of Redwood National Park, when he was California Governor
"There you go again. When I opposed Medicare, there was another piece of legislation meeting the same problem before the Congress. I happened to favor the other piece of legislation and thought that it would be better for the senior citizens to provide better care than the one that was finally passed."
—Ronald Reagan, in response to criticism by Carter about Reagan's position on Medicare during a debate
"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."
—Ronald Reagan, at the National Conference of the Building and Construction Trades Department
"The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much."
"I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete."
"To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will."
"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."
"My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out."
Lt. Gov. John Harmer: What do you got these on the wall for?
Ronald Reagan: Oh, I love them. Whenever I see one I write the editorial cartoonist and ask for it. Every time I walk down this hall, I remember I'm human and I make mistakes and people can be very angry with me.
—Conversation between Harmer and Reagan as they were walking down the hall from Reagan's office after Harmer saw a series of very, very bitter political cartoons against Reagan on the wall.
"In my eighty years, I prefer to call that the forty-first anniversary of my thirty ninth birthday, I've seen what men can do for each other and do to each other, I've seen war and peace, feast and famine, depression and prosperity, sickness and health. I've seen the depth of suffering and the peaks of triumph and I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and that there is purpose and worth to each and every life."
—Ronald Reagan, speech at the dedication of his Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Part of it is also inscribed on his tomb.
"Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music."
"I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."
—Ronald Reagan, from his letter announcing his Alzheimer's disease to the American public
Quotes about Reagan
I am the most popular President the world has ever known! Even Reagan in his heydey couldn't have gotten away with this. (pushes bodyguard out a window)
—Tempus, Lois and Clark
If you are on the right, Reagan is God.
If you are on the left, Reagan is Satan.
If you are on the left, Reagan is Satan.
You expect to see Jim Henson behind a curtain going, 'You moved him too far! Move his arms!'
—Robin Williams, An Evening at the Met
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
What do I "think" of President Reagan? The best answer to give would be: I don't think of him. And the more I see, the less I think.
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 predict that one day a redheaded actor will become President of the United States! And his name is Ronald... McDonald!
— David Sidoni as Nostradumbus, Roundhouse
Reagan was a right-wing radical who did an excellent job pretending he was anything but...He first rose to national GOP prominence warning that Medicare would lead to a socialist takeover of health care (sound familiar?) and as governor of Calfornia, taking the most hostile and aggressive policy possible toward protestors (sound familiar??) He took Goldwater’s fringe ideas and made them the status quo; “government is the problem” became one of the most insidious ideas in our polity. From taxes to the environment, from unions to housing, Reagan set us back decades. The platform of modern liberals is, to a large degree, about fixing what Reagan broke...He linked, even more consistently and emphatically than Nixon did, taxes and regulations and social spending to racial and cultural resentment, using tribalist appeals to systematically roll back benefits and representation for working people. Young Republicans watched and learned, and that’s why someone as truly, breathtakingly radical as Paul Ryan is not only in charge, but frequently considered moderate...Above all, though, Reagan was a crook, in ways that again would make even Nixon blush. Iran-Contra was the worst of it, the epitome of all that was cynical, myopic, and blood-soaked in the Cold War, but that’s far from the whole story...Finally, there’s the way he ignored AIDS even as it ballooned into an unimaginable horror...His Administration, his movement, and his worldview made my country a dramatically worse place to live. “Morning in America” was a lie; Reagan’s election represented night falling on the postwar promise, the gears of government turning fully against the not-rich and the not-white, as the smiling sleaze in charge told the crowds this was how America was always meant to be.
— Emmett Booth, aka poorquentyn on the general liberal-leftist view of Reagan's legacy.