Lyndon B. Johnson Quotes

Come now, let us reason together.


I am a free man, an American, a United States Senator, and a Democrat, in that order.I am also a liberal, a conservative, a Texan, a taxpayer, a rancher, a businessman, a consumer, a parent, a voter, and not as young as I used to be nor as old as I expect to be—and I am all of these things in no fixed order.

Winter 1958 Texas Quarterly.

All I have I would have given gladly not to be stand here today.

27th November, 1963. First address to Congress as President.

We have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. We have talked for a hundred years or more. It is time now to write the next chapter – and to write in the books of law.

27th November, 1963. First address to Congress as President.

We hope that the world will not narrow into a neighbourhood before it has broadened into a brotherhood.

22nd December, 1963. Speech at the lighting of the nation’s Christmas Tree.

This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America. I urge this Congress and all Americans to join with me in that effort.

8th January, 1964. State of the Union Address.

We are trying to build a great society that will make your children and your grandchildren and the people three or four generations from today proud of what we are doing.

17th April, 1964. The first usage of the phrase ‘great society’. Speach in connection with Montana Territorial Centennial in Washington D.C.

In your time we have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society.

22nd May, 1964. Speech at University of Michigan.

We Americans know, although others appear to forget, the risks of spreading conflict. We still seek no wider war.

4th August, 1964. Televised speech on Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

This nation, this generation, in this hour has man’s first chance to build a Great Society, a place where the meaning of man’s life matches the marvels of man’s labor.

August 1964. Address on accepting the Presidential nomination.

We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.

21st October, 1964. Remarks at Akron University, Ohio.

That’s what happens when you play football too long without a helmet

30th April, 1967. On Gerald Ford.

I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.

31st March, 1968. Broadcast address to the nation.

I don’t want loyalty. I want loyalty. I want him to kiss my ass in Macy’s window at high noon and tell me it smells like roses. I want his pecker in my pocket.

Quoted in David Halberstam ‘The Best and the Brightest’ (1972). Discussing a potential assistant.

Bettter to have him inside the tent pissout out, than outside pissing in.

31st October, 1971. On J. Edgar Hoover.

So dumb he can’t fart and chew gum at the same time.

On Gerald Ford. Quoted in In Richard Reeves ‘A Ford, not a Lincoln’ (1975)