WASHINGTON — George H.W. Bush died Friday at 94 but his legacy lives on in the things he said. Here are some of the 41st president's most memorable quotes throughout the years:
- During his 1988 presidential campaign, then-Vice President Bush tried to juxtapose himself from extremist conservatives when he told viewers on CBS, “I am a conservative, but I’m not a nut about it” (Aug. 21, 1984).
- While Bush preceded the Trump presidency by many years, the contrast in their personalities was stark, especially when he asked: “What’s wrong with being a boring kind of guy?” (April 27, 1988).
- In what has been deemed his “most devastating” quote of all time, the former president promised voters “no new taxes” during the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans: “Read my lips: no new taxes” (Aug. 18, 1988). It certainly wasn’t the first time a presidential candidate broke a campaign promise when he became president, but it proved catastrophic for Bush, who raised taxes on the wealthy and lost his re-election campaign in 1992.
- In the swearing-in ceremony for the U.S. Trade Representative, Carla A. Hills, Bush highlighted his conservative values on trade, where he stressed the need to open markets, not close them: “We don’t want an America that is closed to the world. What we want is a world that is open to America” (Feb. 6, 1989).
- At 65, it seems being president gave H.W. the courage to tell his mother that he would no longer obey her orders to eat broccoli. He spoke at a news conference about his Air Force One broccoli ban, saying: “I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!” (March 23, 1990).
- Reflecting on his experience with one vice and five presidential debates, the admittedly less-than-stellar debater compared his performance with his athletic performance on the tennis court: “I know my serve stinks, but I was a pretty good tennis player” (April 10, 1999).
- Four days after his 85th birthday, H.W. met with then-HLN anchor Robin Meade, to discuss his birthday and everlasting presidential legacy. Don’t forget: “Old guys can still have fun and still do stuff” (June 16, 2009).
- Did millennial men start the trend of wearing colorful socks or was it really H.W.? In an interview with his granddaughter, TODAY show host Jenna Bush Hager, H.W. reminded us of his status as the original OG colorful sock wearer, as he was often seen sporting patterned, colorful socks: “I like a colorful sock. I’m a sock man.” (June 12, 2012).