G.W. Bush on Voting Republican vs. Voting Democratic
Netlore Archive: Circulating via email, a quote attributed to President G.W. Bush on how 'too much education' can affect voting preferences
Description: Emailed quotation
Circulating since: October 2006
Status: Falsely attributed to Bush
Email example contributed by Kim W., 1 November 2006:
Fwd: George W. Bush Quote
Comments: Aw, come on. Do you really believe a consummate politician like George W. Bush would utter a sentence like "After all, it is easier to govern sheep because they don't have to think," in public? Not on your life.
We know for certain he didn't say it at the National Oil and Power Company Convention in Dallas, Texas in 1999, because no such convention was held. There is, in fact, no record of G.W. Bush saying these words anywhere.
An Internet search reveals that a certain prominent figure did say them -- most of them, at any rate -- and his name is Karl Rove. Here is the exact quote: "As people do better, they start voting like Republicans -- unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing."
The line about governing sheep is apocryphal (and, some might say, redundant).
Rove, President Bush's longtime political advisor, made the statement in a phone interview with author Nicholas Lemann, who quoted it in an article entitled "Bush's Trillions: How to Buy the Republican Majority of Tomorrow," published in the February 19, 2001 issue of The New Yorker.
Here it is in context:
A little while after I met with Kent Conrad, I spoke on the phone with Karl Rove, who has been the chief political strategist for Bush's entire career in elected office. Obviously, Rove was thinking past the tax cut, to a whole first-year program for Bush that could strengthen the Republican Party considerably. "Take a look at our agenda," Rove said. "Education. This year, we picked up seven points in the suburbs over '96. Our education plan allows us to make further gains in the suburbs. It will also allow us to make gains with Hispanics and African-Americans. The tax cuts will make the economy grow. As people do better, they start voting like Republicans -- unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing. Look at the course of the campaign. There's a lot of data. If you give people the choice between a tax cut and more government services, they'll choose the tax cut. The more Bush talked about an across-the-board cut, the more support for it grew. People do have a desire for basic services--schools, helping the less fortunate -- but not for unrestricted government."
Sources and further reading:
Bush's Trillions: How to Buy the Republican Majority of Tomorrow.
The New Yorker, 19 February 2001
Memorable Quotes by Karl Rove
About.com: Political Humor
Last updated: 11/03/06