Quotes by the Vice-Presidents of the United States

I want to show you an optimistic sign that things are beginning to turn around.

— Vice President Dan Quayle trying to convince reporters that the economy was doing better because a Burger King had a “now hiring” sign in the window. He was campaigning for re-election in Ontario, CA, 1/17/92 (reported in Esquire, 8/92).
You have a part-time job, and that’s better than no job at all.
— Vice President Dan Quayle after the manager of the Burger King had said that the jobs offered were part-time minimum wage jobs, which didn’t pay enough to live on, and that “It’s hard to find people who want to actually show up for the job.”

Ever heard of this theory of “trickle down?” That’s ridiculous. We’re talking about trickling up. We’re talking about climbing up the ladder.
— Vice President Dan Quayle trying to encourage teenage students in Salinas, California to push themselves in school (The Fresno Bee, 5/19/92, taken from The Quayle Quarterly, Summer/Fall 1992).

Target prices? How that works? I know quite a bit about farm policy. I come from Indiana, which is a farm state. Deficiency payments — which are the key — that is what gets money into the farmer’s hands. We got loan, uh, rates, we got target, uh, prices, uh, I have worked very closely with my senior colleague, (Indiana Sen.) Richard Lugar, making sure that the farmers of Indiana are taken care of.
— Vice President Dan Quayle on being asked to define the term `target prices’. Quayle’s press secretary then cut short the press conference, after two minutes and 30 seconds.

Tobacco exports should be expanded aggressively because Americans are smoking less.
— Vice President Dan Quayle, 1990 (reported by IPS, 8/14/92).

[David Broder: Doesn't that sound like a case where the public is getting shafted and there may be a need for local regulation or F.C.C. regulation?]
Yeah. There is F.C.C. regulation. There is regulation.
[There's not control of rates or service.]
That’s true, but there is –
[Well, tell me in simple terms that people can understand: Why shouldn't they be regulated?]
O.K., simple terms, here’s the choice. Here’s the choice in simple terms. Are you going to try to constrain the price increase through regulation or through genuine competition? Our preference is to do it through genuine competition.
[But there isn't genuine competition.]
That’s right. Because you have — but the cities that grant these things can certainly be more competitive and have more openness if they’re –
[So your suggestion is that they go out and have two or three different companies wire these communities to get competition?]
I’m not going to get into the micromanagement of the cable industry.
— Vice President Dan Quayle on NBC’s Meet the Press 9/20/92, defending the administration’s opposition to the cable-tv re-regulation bill (reported in the NY Times 10/7/92).

If you listen to the news, read the news, you’d think we were still in a recession. Well, we’re not in a recession. We’ve had growth; people need to know that. They need to be more upbeat, more positive…
— Vice President Dan Quayle in October 91.

Need any help?
— Vice President Dan Quayle in October 91 addressing GM autoworkers in Southgate two weeks before GM announced 74,000 layoffs.

I do have a political agenda. It’s to have as few regulations as possible.
— Vice President Dan Quayle