Memorable Quotes From Past Debates

October 11, 1992|By Knight-Ridder News Service


"Why cannot the institution of slavery, or rather, why cannot the nation -- part slave and part free -- continue as our fathers made it forever?"

Stephen A. Douglas, in fourth debate with Abraham Lincoln.

". . . No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle."

4 Abraham Lincoln, in a later rebuttal to Douglas.


"In the election of 1960, the question is whether the world will exist half-slave or half-free . . . If we fail, freedom fails . . . I think it's time America started moving again."

John F. Kennedy, discussing his opposition to communism, during his first debate with Richard Nixon.

"Senator Kennedy and I are not in disagreement as to the aims. The question is the means."

Nixon, in his response.


"There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration."

Gerald R. Ford, in his foreign policy debate with Jimmy Carter.


"There you go again. . ."

9- Ronald Reagan in his debate with Carter.

". . .Ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago?"

Reagan, in the same debate.


"Where's the beef?"

Walter F. Mondale in a Democratic primary debate with Gary Hart.


"Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy."

L Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle during vice presidential debate.

Knight-Ridder News Service

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