A Brief History of Presidential Profanity

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

George W. Bush

george w bush swearing presidents
Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images

While campaigning for president in 2000, George W. Bush leaned over to his running mate, Dick Cheney, as they waited at the podium for a rally to begin and commented on the presence of New York Times reporter Adam Clymer. Believing he had an audience of one, Bush called Clymer a "major-league asshole." Trouble was, the microphone in front of them was already live, and many in the audience heard the offhand comment loud and clear. After he'd taken office, Bush used his sense of humor to offer an apology of sorts when he taped a message for the press corps attending an annual dinner, calling Clymer a "major league ass . . . et."

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