A Brief History of Presidential Profanity

From Lincoln to LBJ, dirty words are nothing new in the White House

romney obama presidents swearing
(Bill Pugliano/Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

When President Obama called Mitt Romney a "bullshitter" in the pages of Rolling Stone earlier this year, it set off a brief firestorm. Defenders of the Republican candidate were shocked – shocked! – that the man holding the highest office in the land would resort to such language. In truth, the halls of the White House (like nearly every other house in the country, with the apparent exception of Romney's) have heard no shortage of profanity over the decades. It's a dirty job, leading the free world. Sometimes it takes a few dirty words. Read on for a brief history of presidential (and vice-presidential, and presidential candidate) profanity.

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