A list of some of the greatest political one-liners and debate performances over the years.

Would YOU buy a used car from this man?



This campaign poster was used by JFK in the 1960 election to defeat the Republican Presidential nominee Richard Nixon, at this time President Eisenhower's Vice-President. Seems like this would work pretty well on Trump!

You're no Jack Kennedy

This Vice-Presidential debate occurred in 1988 between Republican Senator Dan Quayle (IN) and Democratic Senator Lloyd Benson (TX). Benson delivered this blistering take-down after Quayle's comparison of himself to JFK. "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy". Apply ice to that burn 🔥.

1992: Clinton v Bush on the National Debt

During the 1992 Presidential debate between President Bush, Democrat nominee Bill Clinton (AR) and independent Ross Perot, a member of the audience asks how each candidate has been affected personally by the US National Debt on the back of a struggling economy. George H.W. Bush misinterepts the question and gives a long-winded and technical answer before being spotted on camera checking his watch which looked bad optically. Clinton seizes the moment, moving off his stool and speaking directly to the woman. As a Governor from a smaller state, he empathised with the woman's concerns listing numerous people in his own town that he knew of that had been affected by the struggling economy. Then Clinton tied the National Debt concerns directly to incumbent President H.W. Bush's economic policies resulting in a killer blow for Bush.

Mitt Romney Underestimates Ted Kennedy

Republican candidate and venture-capitalist Mitt Romney ran against incumbent Massachusetts Senator Teddy Kennedy in 1994 for his Massachusetts Senate seat. Romney entered the race with a great chance to unseat the incumbent senator until Kennedy presented a master-class in political debating. The topic turned to healthcare and Kennedy pounced on Romney's weak knowledge of his own healthcare position paper, winning the debate in what ultimately a major turning point in ensuring he kept his seat.

The 1980s are calling for their foreign policy back

2012: Obama v Romney: Ok, this has aged pretty badly but there is no denying that it was a deadly blow to Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for President. At the time, Russia was no longer viewed as a major threat to the US by their own intelligence agencies and in turn, the general public. Romney consistently raised the issue, calling it America's biggest political threat a couple of months before the debate (an opinion that became alarmingly prescient). Obama nailed this position as out-of-touch and wrong which was extremely effective. In addition, the President effectively labelled Romney as a flip-flopper on a variety of issues.

Topics: Politics

Derek Owens

Written by Derek Owens