Last week, Donald Trump allegedly used some colorful language during a diatribe about wanting more immigrants from places like Norway and fewer immigrants from "shitholes" like El Salvador, Haiti and Nigeria. While much of the media attention on Trump's remarks has focused, appropriately, on their xenophobia, others, like Robert Jeffress, pastor at First Baptist Dallas, have focused instead on Trump's language, endorsing the white nationalist sentiment of his comments while condemning his swearing.
The thing is, Trump's swearing is probably the least interesting part of his statements. Calling El Salvador a shithole is, as far as insults go, pretty boring when you consider that Trump is also alleged to have insinuated that everyone in Haiti has AIDS and that each of the immigrants coming to the United States from Nigeria used to live in a hut.
Many Texas politicians, local or statewide, have been caught spreading far more vivid blue streaks during their times in office. Here are 10 notable profane quotes from Texas politicians. (Note: The Observer would've loved to have a quote from former Gov. Ann Richards — or two — in this piece, but blue quotes from Richards are quite hard to find online despite her well-known penchant for colorful language.)
From the maestro, Lyndon Baines Johnson
This entire list could've been quotes from the 36th president, but that would've required a different headline. Johnson was a poet with profanity, however, so he gets three spots on this list, more than anyone else.
1. "[Gerald] Ford's economics are the worst thing that's happened to this country since pantyhose ruined finger-fucking." — Johnson was not a fan of his future fellow president's economic policies.
2. "Fuck your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea." — Johnson, in 1964, to the Greek ambassador to the United States in the midst of a conflict between Greece and Turkey over the island nation.
3. From a — maybe — apocryphal story that's too good not to include, about one of Johnson's first races in Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72:
The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumor campaign about his opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his own barnyard sows.
“Christ, we can’t get a way calling him a pig-fucker,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”
“I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofabitch deny it.”
From George W. Bush
4. "There’s Adam Clymer, major-league asshole from The New York Times.” — Bush, not realizing his mic was on, leaned over to former Vice President Dick Cheney and called out Clymer during the 2000 presidential campaign.
5. "Nobody ever fucked me without kissing me first," Bush, then governor, telling Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock why he'd kissed him after Bullock informed the governor that "he was going to have to fuck [Bush]" over on an important issue.
From Rick Perry
6. "Adios, mofo" — While he didn't fully pronounce the insult, Perry took a lot of heat for his colorful sign-off to an interview with Houston TV journalist Ted Oberg. The phrase became a meme that's followed Perry around since.
From Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings
7. “I don’t give a fuck about that. Who’s in charge?” — In the aftermath of a Liberian man landing in Dallas after contracting the Ebola virus in Africa in September 2014, Dallas County set up an "incident command structure" to streamline the decision-making process in the first days after Thomas Eric Duncan's infection was discovered. Rawlings, as quoted in Vanity Fair, wanted to make sure he knew who was at the top of the structure. It was Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. During Rawlings' re-election campaign in 2015, the quote became fodder for too many jokes about who was "fucking in charge" at City Hall.
From Bob Bullock
8. “You’re a cocky little motherfucker, aren’t you?” — Bullock, Texas' notoriously profane longtime lieutenant governor, made it very clear to new Gov. George W. Bush, who was making a visit to Bullock's turf on the Texas Senate floor, that he didn't like the wife of his last Republican electoral opponent getting an appointment to the Texas Department of Human Services board.
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From John Wiley Price —
9. "We will go to the (expletive) streets with arms. … I’m serious. I told them [city officials] we’ll shoot at (expletive) police cars. … M16s and all." — Price, a Dallas County commissioner, explaining to former Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow what would happen if the city hired another "old-boy" police chief in 1990. Unfortunately, we have no idea what Price actually said, given the Morning News' heavy hand on the censor button a quarter-century ago.
From Davy Crockett —
10. "You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas." — Crockett, coming off an election loss in Tennessee, famously issued this quote to the people of his soon-to-be-former state. Hell isn't much of an expletive now, but it certainly was in 1835.