"I never knew anything above Cs."
--President Reagan, in a moment of truthfulness, describes his academic record to Barbara Walters, November 27, 1981
"They told stories about how inattentive and inept the President was.... They said he wouldn't come to work--all he wanted to do was to watch movies and television at the residence."
--Jim Cannon (an aide to Howard Baker) reporting what Reagan's underlings told him, Landslide: The Unmaking of the President: 1984-88
"Reagan's only contribution throughout the entire hour and a half was to interrupt somewhere at midpoint to tell us he'd watched a movie the night before, and he gave us the plot from WarGames, the movie. That was his only contribution."
--Lee Hamilton (Representative from Indiana) interviewed by Haynes Johnson, Sleepwalking Through History: America in the Reagan Years
"This President is treated by both the press and foreign leaders as if he were a child.... It is major news when he honors a political or economic discussion with a germane remark and not an anecdote about his Hollywood days."
--Columnist Richard Cohen
"What planet is he living on?"
--President Mitterand of France poses this question about Reagan to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.
"During Mr. Reagan's trip to Europe...members of the traveling press corps watched him doze off so many times--during speeches by French President Francois Mitterrand and Italian President Alessandro Pertini, as well as during a one-on-one audience with the Pope--that they privately christened the trip 'The Big Sleep.'"
--Mark Hertsgaard, On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency
"He demonstrated for all to see how far you can go in this life with a smile, a shoeshine and the nerve to put your own spin on the facts."
--David Nyhan, Boston Globe columnist
"an amiable dunce"
--Clark Clifford (former Defense Secretary)
"Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears."
--British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
"...like reinventing the wheel."
--Larry Speakes (Reagan's former press secretary) describing what it was like preparing the President for a press conference, Speaking Out: The Reagan Presidency from Inside the White House
"The task of watering the arid desert between Reagan's ears is a challenging one for his aides."
--Columnist David Broder
"He has the ability to make statements that are so far outside the parameters of logic that they leave you speechless"
--Patti Davis (formerly Patricia Ann Reagan) talking about her father, The Way I See It
"This loathing for government, this eagerness to prove that any program to aid the disadvantaged is nothing but a boondoggle and a money gobbler, leads him to contrive statistics and stories with unmatched vigor."
--Mark Green, Reagan's Reign of Error
"President Reagan doesn't always check the facts before he makes statements, and the press accepts this as kind of amusing."
--former president Jimmy Carter, March 6, 1984
"Ronald Reagan is the first modern President whose contempt for the facts is treated as a charming idiosyncrasy."
--James David Barber, presidential scholar, On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency, Mark Hertsgaard
"His errors glide past unchallenged. At one point...he alleged that almost half the population gets a free meal from the government each day. No one told him he was crazy. The general message of the American press is that, yes, while it is perfectly true that the emperor has no clothes, nudity is actually very acceptable this year."
--Simon Hoggart, in The Observer (London), 1986
And you think Obama gets a pass from the media.