Quite a big deal has been made over Joe Biden dropping the F-bomb. “But America has a long and honorable tradition of top elected officials using salty language,” writes John Dickerson on Slate. Allow him to educate you:
- Barack Obama: Famously called Kanye West a “jackass.”
- Joe Biden: Oh no, this wasn’t his first time. After being greeted by a former colleague as “Mr. Vice President,” he responded, “Give me a fucking break.”
- George W. Bush: When discussing Syria in 2006, he said, “See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over.”
- Dick Cheney: On the Senate floor, told Sen. Patrick Leahy to go fuck himself.
- George HW Bush: When discussing his 1984 vice presidential debate performance, he said, “We tried to kick a little ass.”
- Ronald Reagan: Though he refused to even spell out swear words in his diary, once resorting to the term “H—l,” he was accused in 1985 of cussing at a Congressman.
- Jimmy Carter: The former prez did use “rough language,” but his funniest faux pas was unintentional: “I want to know the Polish people” was translated into Polish as, “I want to have carnal knowledge of the Polish people.”
- Richard Nixon: Complained about Harry Truman’s use of “hell” and “son of a bitch,” but was later—thanks to the Watergate tapes—found to have used quite a bit of bad language himself.
- Lyndon Johnson: Among the choice quotes attributed to him: “I never trust a man unless I've got his pecker in my pocket” and “I want someone who will kiss my ass in Macy's window, and say it smells like roses.”
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