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The year in politics – in quotes

Editor’s note: Over the next few days, First Read will be recapping the year in politics. Yesterday, we looked at the Top 10 political events of 2012. Today: the year in politics – in quotes.  "

JANUARY
Mitt Romney
: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” (Jan. 9)

Rick Perry: “There is a real difference between a venture capitalist and a vulture capitalist.” (Jan. 10)

Gingrich: “No… [applause], but I will. I think the destructive, negative, vicious nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office, and I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.” -- Asked during a CNN debate if he’d like to respond to allegations by an ex-wife that he wanted an open marriage. (Jan. 19)

Gingrich: “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon, and it will be American.” (Jan. 25)

FEBRUARY
Romney:
“I’m not concerned about the very poor.” (Feb. 1)

Romney: “There are some things that you just can’t imagine happening in your life.  Uh, this is one of them.” [Laughter] – on Donald Trump’s endorsement. (Feb. 2)

Romney: “I was a severely conservative Republican governor.” (Feb. 10)

Foster Friess (Santorum supporter): “You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.” (Feb. 16)

Romney: “It seems right here, the trees are the right height. I like seeing the lakes. I love the lakes.” (Feb. 17)

Romney: “Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs actually.” (Feb. 24)

Rick Santorum: “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!” (Feb. 25)

Romney: “I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners.” (Feb. 26)

Romney: “I like those fancy raincoats you bought, really sprung for the big bucks.” (Feb. 26)

MARCH
Romney:
“The best thing I can do for you is to tell you to shop around.” (March 5)

Romney: “I’ve got a lot of good friends — the owner of the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets — both owners are friends of mine.” (March 12)

Eric Fehrnstrom (Romney adviser): “Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.” (March 21)

Romney: "Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe.” (March 26)

President Barack Obama:  “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” – to Russian President Medvedev. (March 26)

APRIL
Ann Romney:
“Well, you know, I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out because he is not!” – Asked by a radio host about the criticism that her husband “comes off stiff.” (April 2)

Hilary Rosen (Democratic strategist): “Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life.” (April 11)

Romney: “I’m not sure about these cookies. They don’t look like you made them. Did you make them? You didn’t, did you? They came from the local 7-11, bakery, or wherever.” (April 17)

Biden: “I promise you, the president has a big stick. I promise you.” (April 2012)

MAY
Ann Romney:
“Stiff, he’s not, he’s funny… There’s a wild and crazy man inside there.” (May 1)

Vice President Joe Biden: “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties." (May 9 on Meet the Press)

Obama: “He probably got out a little bit over his skis, but out of generosity of spirit. … Would I have preferred to have done this in my own way, in my own terms, without, I think, there being a lot of notice of everybody? Of course. But all's well that ends well." (May 10)

JUNE
Romney:
"I met a guy yesterday, seven feet tall. Yeah, handsome, great big guy, seven feet tall! Name is Rick Miller—Portland, Oregon. And he started a business. Of course you know it was in basketball. But it wasn't in basketball! I mean, I, figured he had to be in sport, but he wasn't in sport." (June 6)

Obama: “The private sector is doing fine.” (June 8)

Obama: “The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we'll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do -- what the country can’t afford to do -- is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.” – on the health-care law being upheld, 5-4, by the Supreme Court with Chief Justice Roberts being the deciding vote. (June 28)

JULY
Romney:
“Lemon. Wet. Good.” -- asked how his lemonade was. (July 4)

House Speaker Boehner: “The American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney.” (July 7)

Obama: “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” (July 14)

Romney: “There are a few things that were disconcerting.” – Romney on the London Olympics security preparations. (July 26)

David Cameron: “Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic games in the middle of nowhere.” (July 26)

Romney: “Culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference.” – on why the Palestinian economy is worse than Israel’s. (July 30)

AUGUST
Romney:
“I’m not a business.” – on why he’s not releasing his taxes. (Aug. 9)

Romney: “Join me in welcoming the next president of the United States, Paul Ryan." – introducing Ryan as his vice presidential pick. Romney came back on stage: "Every now and then I'm known to make a mistake. I did not make a mistake with this guy. But I can tell you this. He's going to be the next vice president of the United States." (Aug. 11)

Paul Ryan: "I got a new bow last year. … Oh, I got a new chainsaw. It was nice. It's a Stihl." -- asked by People magazine what his last splurge was. (Aug. 12)

Biden: "They gonna put y’all back in chains." (Aug. 14)

Romney: “The fascination with taxes I paid I find to be very small minded.” – at a news conference he arranged on Medicare using a white board. (Aug. 16)

Todd Akin: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” (Aug. 19)

Ryan: “I’m a Catholic deer hunter. I am happy to be clinging to my guns and to my religion.” (Aug. 21)

Biden: “I’ve got a little bumper sticker for you: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.” (Aug. 21)

Ann Romney: “I love you womeeen!!!!” (Aug. 28)

Ann Romney: “Tonight, I want to talk to you about love.” (Aug. 28)

Chris Christie: “Tonight, we’re going to choose respect over love.” (Aug. 28)

Neil Newhouse (Romney pollster): “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” (Aug. 28)

Romney: “Four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future. It is not what we were promised.” – Romney acceptance speech. (Aug. 30)

Clint Eastwood: “What? What do you want me to tell Romney? I can't tell him to do that. That. He can't do that to himself.” (Aug. 30)

SEPTEMBER
Bill
Clinton:  “Listen to me, now. No president — no president, not me, not any of my predecessors, no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years.” And: “It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.” – DNC convention speech. (Sept. 5)

Jennifer Granholm: “Well, in Romney's world, the cars get the elevator; the workers get the shaft.” (Sept. 5)

Obama: “America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won't promise that now. Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place.” – convention speech (Sept. 6)

Romney: “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” (Sept. 12)

Romney: “I think the best answer is as little as possible.” -- when asked what he wears to bed at night. (Sept. 14)

Romney: “Middle income is $200… 250,000 or less.” (Sept. 14)

Romney: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.” (Sept. 17 – when the video was first unveiled)

Benjamin Netanyahu: “Where should a red line be drawn? A red line should be drawn right here.” – speaking before the U.N. talking about Iran’s capability for a nuclear weapon and using a red marker to draw a red line on a diagram of a bomb. (Sept. 27)

OCTOBER
Romney:
“And congratulations to you, Mr. President, on your anniversary. I’m sure this was the most romantic place you could imagine — here with me!” -- first presidential debate. (Oct. 3)

Romney: “Look, I’ve got five boys. I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I will believe it.” – first presidential debate. (Oct. 3)

Romney: “I like PBS, I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too.” -- to moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS in the first presidential debate. (Oct. 3)

Obama: “Well, Jim, I want to thank you, and I want to thank Governor Romney, because I think was a terrific debate.” (Oct. 3)

Biden: “With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey.” (Oct. 11)

Brad Sherman: “Do you want to get into this?” -- to fellow Democrat Howard Berman with whom he was competing for a redistricted congressional seat. (Oct. 11)

Romney: “I went to a number of women’s groups and said: ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.” (Oct. 16)

Obama: “Please proceed, governor.” (Oct. 16)

Tagg Romney: “You want to jump out of your seat and rush down to the debate stage and take a swing at him.” – said of President Obama after a debate in which the two candidates exchanged verbal barbs and got in each other’s space. (Oct. 18)

Obama: “Obviously, I had an off-night.” – to Jon Stewart in reference to his first debate performance. (Oct. 19)

Obama: “Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.” (Oct. 22)

Richard Mourdock: “Life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” (Oct. 23)

Obama: “If you say you love American cars in the debate, but you wrote an article called ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,’ you might have Romnesia.” (Oct. 23)

Obama: “The second thing I'm confident we'll get done next year is immigration reform. And since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community.” (Oct. 24)

Romney: “The President's campaign has a slogan: it is ‘forward.’ But to the 23 million Americans struggling to find a good job, these last four years feel a lot more like ‘backward.’ We cannot afford four more years like the last four years." – Romney economic speech (Oct. 26)

Christie: “The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit” – on the response to Hurricane Sandy (Oct. 31)

NOVEMBER
Obama:
“Don't boo. Vote! Voting is the best revenge.” (Nov. 4)

Romney: “I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.” – Romney concession speech (Nov. 6-7)

Obama: “Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.” – Obama victory speech (Nov.6-7)

Romney: “The president’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift — so he made a big effort on small things. … You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge.” (Nov. 14)

Stu Stevens: “[H]e was a charismatic African American president with a billion dollars, no primary and media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical.” (Nov. 28)

DECEMBER
Tagg Romney
: “He [Mitt Romney] wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to . . . run.” (Dec. 22)