A selection of political insults


From Scorn with extra bile by English journalist, Matthew Parris

"Richard Nixon is a no-good lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in" - Harry S Truman

If the president's penis is straight, it is the only thing about his administration that is" - Sunday Telegraph columnist Mark Steyn on reports of a physical abnormality in Bill Clinton

"Jerry Ford is so dumb that he can't fart and chew gum at the same time" Lyndon B Johnson on Gerald Ford

"Jerry Ford is a nice guy, but he played too much football with his helmet off" Lyndon B Johnson on Gerald Ford

"He looks like the guy in a science fiction movie who is the first to see the Creature" - David Frye on Gerald Ford

"A triumph of the embalmer's art" - Gore Vidal on Ronald Reagan.

"Trust him as much as you would trust a rattlesnake with a silencer on its rattle" - Dean Acheson on J Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI

"When his library burned down, it destroyed both books. Dole hadn't finished colouring in the second" - Jack Kemp on Bob Dole before he became Dole's running mate in the 1996 presidential election race

"I am not like the leader of the opposition. I did not crawl out of the cabinet room like a mangy maggot" - Australian prime minister Paul Keating about his opposition leader John Howard

"As an intellectual, he bestowed upon the games of golf and bridge all the enthusiasm and perseverance that he withheld from books and ideas" - Emmett John Hughes on Dwight David Eisenhower

"How can they tell?" - Dorothy Parker, on being told that Calvin Coolidge was dead.

"McKinley has a chocolate eclair backbone" - Theodore Roosevelt on William McKinley

"Thomas E Dewey is just about the nastiest little man I've ever known. He struts sitting down" - Mrs Clarence Dykstra .

"He has a bungalow mind" - Woodrow Wilson on Warren G Harding, his successor as President of the USA

"His argument is as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had been starved to death" - Abraham Lincoln on Stephen A Douglas

"The trouble with Senator Long is that he is suffering from halitosis of the intellect" - Harold L Ickes on Huey Long

"A real Centaur: part man, part horse's ass" - Dean Acheson on president Lyndon Johnson.

"He was a man of splendid abilities but utterly corrupt. Like rotten mackerel by moonlight, he shines and stinks"
John Randolph on Edward Livingstone

"A political leader worthy of assassination" - Irving Layton on Pierre Trudeau

"A man who looks as if he has two flies f**cking in his mouth" - Boris Yeltsin on his adviser Sergei Filatov

"An improbable creature, like a human giraffe, sniffing down his nostril at mortals beneath his gaze" - Richard Wilson on Charles de Gaulle

"The weak are a long time in politics" - Neil Shand on John Gummer .

"A semi-house-trained polecat" - Michael Foot on Norman Tebbit

"Far better to keep your mouth shut and let everyone think you're stupid than to open it and leave no doubt" - Norman Tebbit on Dennis Skinner

"I suppose the honourable gentleman's hair, like his intellect, will recede into the darkness" - Paul Keating again, this time on shadow treasurer Andrew Peacock

"If you were hanging from a ledge by your fingers, he'd stamp on them" - Edward Pearce on James Callaghan

"I wouldn't say she is open-minded on the Middle East, so much as empty-headed. She probably things Sinai is the plural of sinus" - Jonathan Aitken on Margaret Thatcher

"He is going around the country stirring up apathy" - William Whitelaw on Harold Wilson

"Winston has devoted the best years of his life to preparing his impromptu
- FE Smith on Winston Churchill

"The Right Honourable and Learned Gentleman has twice crossed the floor of this house, each time leaving behind a trail of slime" - David Lloyd George on Sir John Simon

"When they circumcised Herbert Samuel they threw away the wrong bit" - David Lloyd George

"The Right Honourable gentleman is indebted to his memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his facts" - Richard Brindley Sheridan, replying to a speech by Henry Dundas

"Is there no beginning to your talents?" - Clive Anderson to Jeffrey Archer

"Whenever I want a good read I get one of Jeffrey's novels, and stand on it, so I can reach the good books" - Steven Norris.

"Mr Blair is a man of hidden shallows" - Hugo Gurdon

"A mind not so much open as permanently vulnerable to a succession of opposing certainties" - Hugo Young on David Howell

"He was swaggering in a predatory way towards the susceptible of this conference like a gigolo eying the passenger deck" - Edward Pearce on Michael Portillo

"A systematic liar and a beggarly cheat; a swindler and a poltroon... He has committed every crime that does not require courage" - Benjamin Disraeli on Daniel O'Connell