US Presidential Quotes

Lincoln speaking (back of an old Esso book)

Presidential Quotes

Sometimes you just need a good quote to start off the day.

  • A Kentucky farm road

    US Presidential Quotes – More Wisdom from the US Presidents

    Have you ever had a time when you just needed some advice? The US Presidents offer us their wisdom through some quotes.


    It is better to be alone than in bad company. – George Washington
    When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When government fears the people, there is liberty. – Thomas Jefferson
    The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money. – James Madison
    Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties and obstacles vanish. – John Quincy Adams
    Never take counsel of your fears. – Andrew Jackson
    Popularity, I have always thought, may aptly be compared to a coquette - the more you woo her, the more apt is she to elude your embrace. – John Tyler
    What kills the skunk is the publicity it gives itself. – Abraham Lincoln
    If the power to do hard work is not a skill, it's the best possible substitute for it. – James Garfield
    It is a condition which confronts us - not a theory. – Grover Cleveland
    Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. – Teddy Roosevelt
    Enthusiasm for a cause sometimes warps judgment. – William Howard Taft
    A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. – Harry Truman
    If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking...freedom. – Dwight Eisenhower
    There are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply and fast. Most of them come down to this: Deny your responsibility. – Lyndon Johnson
    Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain. – Richard Nixon
    A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. – Gerald Ford
  • The Thinker - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    US Presidential Quotes – Wisdom from the US Presidents

    Have you ever had a time when you just needed some advice? The US Presidents offer us their wisdom through some quotes.


    It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one. – George Washington
    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, a cause for withdrawing from a friend. – Thomas Jefferson
    A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue. – James Monroe
    An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory. – Millard Fillmore
    Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves. – Abraham Lincoln
    Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. – Ulysses S. Grant
    I am only an average man, but By George, I work harder at it than the average man. – Teddy Roosevelt
    The world is not going to be saved by legislation. – William Howard Taft
    If you want to make enemies, try to change something. – Woodrow Wilson
    Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshiped. – Calvin Coolidge
    Be sincere; be brief; be seated. – Franklin Roosevelt
    The reward for suffering is experience. – Harry Truman
    Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. – Dwight Eisenhower
    The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. – John F. Kennedy
    The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire. – Richard Nixon
    Never ask anyone over 70 how they feel. They'll tell you. – George HW Bush
  • Tilting White House (taken by my grandson Noah) - Washington DC

    US President Quotes – Quotes on the Presidency

    Here are some quotes about the Presidency or politics in general by people other than Presidents:


    In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take. – Adlai Stevenson
    When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it. – Clarence Darrow
    Presidency: The greased pig in the field game of American politics. – Ambrose Bierce
    On my arrival in the United States I was struck by the degree of ability among the governed and the lack of it among the governing. – Alexis de Toqueville
    A President is best judged by the enemies he makes when he has really hit his stride. – Max Lerner
    I know, but I had a better year than (President Herbert) Hoover. – Babe Ruth (response to getting paid more than President Hoover)
    Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other. – Oscar Ameringer
    Frankly, I don't mind not being president. I just mind that someone else is. – Edward Kennedy
    I'd rather be right than President. – Henry Clay
    The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected. – Will Rogers
    All Presidents start out to run a crusade but after a couple of years they find they are running something less heroic and much more intractable: namely the presidency. The people are well cured by then of election fever, during which they think they are choosing Moses. In the third year, they look on the man as a sinner and a bumble and begin to poke around for rumors of another Messiah. – Alistair Cooke
  • George Washington Praying Picture - Mount Vernon, Virginia

    US President Quotes – President Quotes on Religion – The Early Presidents

    The Presidents have had many different views on religion and its place in the political landscape. Here are a few of the early Presidents thoughts on religion:


    It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. – George Washington
    The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy. – George Washington
    As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed. – John Adams
    The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. – John Adams
    Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of common law. – Thomas Jefferson
    Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker, in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle. – Thomas Jefferson
    The Giver of life gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness. – Thomas Jefferson
    Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe. – James Madison
    The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries. – James Madison
    The Bible is the rock on which the Republic rests. – Andrew Jackson
  • Kids at Flag statue - Brookgreen, South Carolina

    US President Quotes – US President Quotes about Children

    George Washington has been called the Father of our Country, but US Presidential quotes on children are very hard to find. Maybe this is because, up until the very recent Presidents, most of the responsibility of child raising fell on the mother. But here we go, here are some of the US President quotes on children I could find:


    Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. – Herbert Hoover
    For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal. – John F. Kennedy
    We must teach our children to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons. – Bill Clinton
    We have three cats. It's like having children, but there is no tuition involved. – Ronald Reagan
    I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it. – Harry Truman
    The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name. – Teddy Roosevelt
    I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a 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. – George H.W. Bush
    It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor natures gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever. – Jimmy Carter
    As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children. – John Adams
    This is the moment when we must come together to save the planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands. – Barack Obama

    From the SAY WHAT file

    The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this and learn to imitate it. – Thomas Jefferson

    Giving the relatives a chance to speak

    It's wrong for parents to bury their children. It should be the other way around. – Rose Kennedy (John F. Kennedy's Mom)
    I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up. – Barbara Bush (George HW Bush's wife and George W. Bush's Mom)
  • Zachary Taylor Birthplace Marker (sign) - Barboursville Virginia

    Presidential Quotes – Lesser Known Presidents’ Quotes

    We have those Presidents whose words we hear and know. The famous ones like Washington, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy are often quoted. But what about the lesser known Presidents like Pierce, Andrew Johnson, Tyler, and Cleveland? Did they leave us any wisdom in their words? Let’s let the lesser known Presidents have their say:


    Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion. – Franklin Pierce
    Whatever the result may be, I shall carry to my grave the consciousness that I at least meant well for my country. – James Buchanan
    The goal to strive for is a poorer government but a rich people. – Andrew Johnson
    Everything dependent on human action is liable to abuse. – John Tyler
    About the time we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends. – Herbert Hoover
    If Lincoln were alive today, he'd be turning over in his grave. – Gerald Ford
    The ship of Democracy, which has weathered all storms, may sink through the mutiny of those aboard. – Grover Cleveland
    May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not. – Millard Fillmore
    I have no private purpose to accomplish, no party objectives to build up, no enemies to punish - nothing to serve but my country. – Zachary Taylor
    The government should not be guided by temporary excitement, but by sober second thought. – Martin Van Buren
  • Combat Soldiers Statue - Washington DC

    Presidential Quotes – Fear and Worry

    Each of us has times of fear and worry. What are some of the Presidential views on fear and worry?


    Worry is interest paid by those who borrow trouble. – George Washington
    There is nothing stable but Heaven and the Consititution. – James Buchanan
    I have had many troubles in my life, but the worst of them never came. – James Garfield
    In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest. – William McKinley
    A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus. – Herbert Hoover
    Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. – John F. Kennedy
    People react to fear, not love; they don't teach you that in Sunday School, but it's true. – Richard Nixon
    I do not mistrust the future; I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our hearts are larger. – George HW Bush
    Duty is ours: results are God's. – John Adams
    First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Statue of Lincoln as a boy reading - Hodgenville, KY

    Presidential Quotes – Education

    The education level of our Presidents has varied very much, but what did the Presidents have to say about education itself.


    Education is not a problem. Education is an opportunity. – Lyndon Johnson
    The longer our graduation lines are today, the shorter our unemployment lines will be tomorrow. – George HW Bush
    I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today that he was yesterday. – Abraham Lincoln
    There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live. – John Adams
    The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize. – Franklin Roosevelt
    I have long enjoyed the friendship and companionship of Republicans because I am by instinct a teacher and I would like to teach them something. (Wilson was a Democrat) – Woodrow Wilson
    I think perhaps education doesn't do us much good unless it is mixed with sweat. – Barack Obama
    You aren't learning anything when you're talking. – Lyndon Johnson
    I do not believe there is a problem in this country or the world which could not be settled if approached through the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount. – Harry Truman
    I have not the advantage of a classical education, and no man should, in my judgment, accept a degree he cannot read. – Chester Arthur
    A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. – Teddy Roosevelt
  • Fala statue, FDR's dog, at the Little White House in Warm Springs Georgia

    Presidential Quotes – President Quotes about Animals

    Almost all the Presidents had some pets. Millie, President George HW Bush’s dog, actually had a best selling book. It earned $889,176 in book royalties. Some Presidents even mention some animals in quotes:


    If you want a friend in Washington? Get a dog. – Harry Truman
    I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not better for it.  – Abraham Lincoln
    What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog. – Dwight Eisenhower
    Sometimes I feel like a fire hydrant looking at a pack of dogs. – Bill Clinton
    A lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me. – Barack Obama
    Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order. – John Quincy Adams
    If a dog will not come to you after he has looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience. – Woodrow Wilson
    My dog Millie knows more about foreign affairs than these two bozos. (Talking about Bill Clinton and Al Gore) – George HW Bush
    And our little girl - Trica, the 6-year old - named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it. (from his famous "Checker's Speech" September 23, 1952) – Richard Nixon
    I was fishing one afternoon...and a rabbit was being chased by hounds...he jumped in the water and swam toward my boat. When he got almost there, I splashed some water with a paddle. (his response to the famous "Killer Rabbit" "attack" while he was fishing in a boat) – Jimmy Carter
  • Teddy Roosevelt - Madame Tussauds, Washington DC

    Presidential Quotes – Everyday Principles

    Some things are so simple, yet so true. Here are some of those basics with which the Presidents shared with us.


    It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn't. – Martin Van Buren
    You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.  – Abraham Lincoln
    Things don't turn up in this world until somebody turns them up. – James Garfield
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Teddy Roosevelt
    It takes a great man to be a good listener. – Calvin Coolidge
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. – Harry Truman
    A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits. – Richard Nixon
    Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. – John F. Kennedy
    Idleness is sweet, and its consequences are cruel. – John Quincy Adams
    Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in. – Andrew Jackson
  • Navy Memorial - DC

    Presidential Quotes – War

    Very few, if any, presidents like the thought of war. Here are some of their quotes:


    Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. – Teddy Roosevelt
    To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace. – George Washington
    No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. – James Madison
    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroy ourselves. – Abraham Lincoln
    No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace, or ensure it of victory in time of war. – Calvin Coolidge
    The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure. – Lyndon Johnson
    Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. – John F. Kennedy
    Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace. – Ulysses S. Grant
    The firmest security of peace is the preparation during peace of the defenses of war. – John Quincy Adams
    I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. – John Adams
  • Lincoln on a bench - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

    Presidential Quotes – Truth and Honesty

    Abraham Lincoln was known as Honest Abe. There are fables about George Washington not being able to tell a lie. What do the Presidents say about truth and honesty?


    Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light. – George Washington
    Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. – Thomas Jefferson
    If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. – Barack Obama
    Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth. – Franklin Roosevelt
    The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. – James A. Garfield
    The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name. – Teddy Roosevelt
    All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse. – John Quincy Adams
    I would rather the man who presents something for my consideration subject me to a zephyr of truth and a gentle breeze of responsibility rather than blow me down with a curtain of hot air. – Grover Cleveland
    Tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time. – Gerald Ford
    Honest conviction is my courage; the Constitution is my guide. – Andrew Johnson
  • Hugh Mercer Statue - Fredericksburg, Virginia

    Quotes – Presidential quotes on character

    Character is a trait we should all work toward. What advice did the Presidents give us on character?


    I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character! – Theodore Roosevelt
    You've got to learn to survive a defeat. That's when you develop character. – Richard Nixon
    Character is a journey, not a destination. – Bill Clinton
    Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder. – George Washington
    Always stand on principle, even if you stand alone. – John Adams
    Tell me what is right and I will fight for it. – Woodrow Wilson
    I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. – Franklin Roosevelt
    We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon. – Jimmy Carter
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit. – Harry S Truman
    I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be. – Abraham Lincoln
  • White House behind Winter trees

    Presidential Quotes – Being President

    So what did the Presidents think of the Presidency? Let’s see what some of them said.


    As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it. – Martin Van Buren
    If you are as happy entering the White House as I feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man indeed. – James Buchanan
    Since I came here I have learned Chester A. Arthur is one man and the President of the United States is another. – Chester Arthur
    Sometimes I wake at night in the White House and rub my eyes and wonder if it is not all a dream. – Grover Cleveland
    Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever. – William Howard Taft (who became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court)
    I am not fit for this office and should never have been here. – Warren G. Harding
    All the president is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway. – Harry S Truman
    The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands. – Lyndon Johnson
    I may not have been the greatest president, but I've had the most fun eight years. – Bill Clinton
    The fact that my 15 minutes of fame has extended a little longer than 15 minutes is somewhat surprising to me and completely baffling to my wife. – Barack Obama
  • Donkey and Prospector statue

    Presidential Quotes – Say What


    Have you ever had those days when you can’t believe the words that come out of your mouth? The tongue tied babble makes no sense at all. You’re not alone. Witness some of our presidents’ wisdom.


    Elevate those guns a little lower. – Andrew Jackson
    If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg don't make it a leg. – Abraham Lincoln
    I love sports. Whenever I can, I always watch the Detroit Tigers on the radio. – Gerald Ford
    Solutions are not the answer. – Richard Nixon
    They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program. – George W. Bush
    When a great many people are unable to find work, unemployment results. – Calvin Coolidge
    It's no exaggeration to say that the undecided could go one way or another. – George H.W. Bush
    I don't think people ought to take the elevator if they (can) walk, because they don't get to see the stairway. – Benjamin Harrison
    Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter. – James A. Garfield
    All men are equal before fish. – Herbert Hoover
  • Calendar (January 2015) - Clipart

    Presidential Quotes for the New Year

    With a new year comes new resolutions. To help you pick some out, we will look at the advice of some of the Presidents.


    You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. – Andrew Jackson
    The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. – Abraham Lincoln
    Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him. – Dwight Eisenhower
    If you take no risks, you will suffer no defeats. But if you take no risks, you win no victories. – Richard Nixon
    Justice and good will outlast passion. – James A. Garfield
    Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones. – Teddy Roosevelt
    We are not the sum of our possessions. – George H.W. Bush
    Things do not happen. Things are made to happen. – John F. Kennedy
    Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. – Lyndon B. Johnson
    Let every man, every corporation, and especially let every village, town, and city, every county and state, get out of debt and keep out of debt. It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times. – Rutherford B. Hayes