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The 13 most unexpected presidential insults

The 13 Best Presidential Insults

If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all ... unless you're a president with an amazing ability to hide an insult in eloquent language.

When Lincoln got mad, he didn't stoop so low as to actually call someone a 'butthead.'

Instead, he said, 'The trouble with [General Joseph] Hooker is that he's got his headquarters where his hindquarters ought to be.' Ouch!

Referring to a lawyer, Lincoln said, 'He can compress the most into the smallest ideas better than any man I have ever met.' Total burn!

Ulysses S. Grant got a little fresh when he said that James A. Garfield 'is not possessed of the backbone of an angleworm.' (No offense to angleworms.)

When talking about Alexander Hamilton, John Adams got pretty heated ... and a little dirty. 'His ambition, his restlessness, and all his grandiose schemes come, I'm convinced, from a superabundance of secretions, which he couldn't find enough whores to absorb.'

On the other hand we have Thomas Jefferson, who didn't try to disguise his insults at all. He called John Adams a 'blind, bald, crippled toothless man who is a hideous hermaphroditic character with neither the force and fitness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.'

Can't we all just get along?

Join the discussion

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Raven February 17 2014 at 11:41 AM

My grandfather used to say of anyone who was angry (except his own perfectly-justified self, OF COURSE), that they "have their ass on their shoulders". It's not clever, it's not funny, it's not elequent, it's just wordier than the alternative.

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1 reply
jakki051 Raven February 17 2014 at 12:09 PM

HEE HEE! I guess the alternative would be to KICK ASS!

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Purple Shell February 17 2014 at 2:26 PM

Abe was not well liked by a lot of people. They called him "the great ape."

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1 reply
kevinhh108 Purple Shell February 17 2014 at 2:55 PM

Not to his face I'm sure, he was big and tough. He was also a wrestler !

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2 replies
ga7smi kevinhh108 February 17 2014 at 3:40 PM

correct - if you addressed him other than Mr Lincon you would find your butt on the ground

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hsenpfeffer kevinhh108 February 17 2014 at 5:59 PM

Actually he was quick witted enough to put people in their place most of the time without having to knock them down except out on the frontier.

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inthewood88 February 17 2014 at 9:18 AM

And people say politics have changed!

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skydrill1 February 17 2014 at 12:02 PM

One thing for certain. Those old guys could speak very well. I must remember some of those comments.

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vafaeead February 17 2014 at 9:02 AM

The good old days when you could use sophisticated vernacular to obfuscate a backhanded compliment.

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rpill February 17 2014 at 3:33 PM

Of course Adams and Jefferson began a correspondence restoring their friendship in their later years. A correspondence historians believe to be one of the most important exchange of ideas in American history. The two men died on the same day, July 4, 1826.

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ga7smi rpill February 17 2014 at 3:37 PM

and they still hated each other

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javkiv February 17 2014 at 3:57 PM

So what you are saying is that in over 200 years Washington is pretty much the same where it comes to politicians getting along.

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1 reply
ironsandrods javkiv February 17 2014 at 9:57 PM

not really....back in the time, you could respect the man insulting you because he did it with style.
no one in washington, these days has style. there are only the dead and those to lazy to die...

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Earle February 17 2014 at 4:07 PM

But they never used foul language...to be fouling

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Joseph B. Rifkin February 17 2014 at 4:11 PM


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masteroftearz February 17 2014 at 4:49 PM

My favorite Lincoln insult is, he once said the only thing the governor of Pennsylvania wouldn't steal, was a hot stove.

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2 replies
hsenpfeffer masteroftearz February 17 2014 at 5:52 PM

That was a Thaddeus Stevens insult, not Lincoln and when an apology was demanded he immediately gave it saying that he apologized for saying that Cameron would not steal a red hot stove.

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1 reply
lackbeery hsenpfeffer February 17 2014 at 6:28 PM

I would imagine people of politcs borrowed from each other. It could be seen as original in those days since news didn't travel fast.

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lackbeery masteroftearz February 17 2014 at 6:26 PM

That's so funny!

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