Make us your home page

Take a quiz on quotes

Sen. Barack Obama called on the nation to "end the tyranny of oil" in a July 11 speech. He said it's an issue we've been talking about for decades.

"We have heard promises about energy independence from every single U.S. president since Richard Nixon," Obama said in Dayton, Ohio. "We've heard talk about curbing our use of fossil fuels in nearly every State of the Union address since the oil embargo of 1973."

The first part sounded true enough, but the latter line about fossil fuels struck us as the sort of thing speechwriters might throw in without fact-checking, on the assumption that no one else would be crazy enough to do so.

They didn't count on PolitiFact. We scoured the past 35 State of the Union speeches and found that 23, or about two-thirds, did "talk about curbing our use of fossil fuels." We ruled Obama's claim Mostly True. (Read more at

And it got us thinking about State of the Union chestnuts — issues that seem to pop up in the annual addresses. So we put together this quiz. Can you guess which president said each quote?

1 "The crises in Iran and Afghanistan have dramatized a very important lesson: Our excessive dependence on foreign oil is a clear and present danger to our nation's security."

A. George W. Bush in 2008

B. Jimmy Carter in 1980

C. Bill Clinton in 1994

D. Chester Arthur in 1883

2 "At the end of this decade . . . the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need."

A. Richard Nixon in 1974

B. Ronald Reagan in 1982

C. Bill Clinton in 1993

D. George W. Bush in 2006

3 "Congress should consider . . . a comprehensive national health program."

A. George Bush in 1992

B. Bill Clinton in 1994

C. George W. Bush in 2002

D. Harry Truman in 1947

4 "The time is at hand this year to bring comprehensive, high-quality health care within the reach of every American."

A. Richard Nixon in 1974

B. Bill Clinton in 1993

C. George Bush in 1989

D. George W. Bush in 2008

5 "We are dealing with a stubborn adversary who is committed to the use of force and terror to settle political questions."

A. Ronald Reagan in 1986

B. Bill Clinton in 1996

C. George W. Bush in 2008

D. Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967

6 "As the cowards who bombed the World Trade Center found out, this country will hunt down terrorists and bring them to justice."

A. John Tyler in 1842

B. Harry Truman in 1946

C. George W. Bush in 2004

D. Bill Clinton in 1995

7 "We could make no more tragic mistake than merely to concentrate on military strength. For if we did only this, the future would hold nothing for the world but an Age of Terror."

A. Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958

B. Ronald Reagan in 1988

C. Bill Clinton in 1998

D. George W. Bush in 2008

8 "The path I've outlined . . . will ensure a steady decline in deficits, aiming toward a balanced budget by the end of the decade."

A. Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934

B. Ronald Reagan in 1983

C. Bill Clinton in 1994

D. George W. Bush in 2006

9 "I entertain a strong hope that the state of the national finances is now sufficiently matured to enable you to enter upon a . . . discharge of the public debt."

A. Ronald Reagan in 1983

B. Herbert Hoover in 1930

C. Woodrow Wilson in 1913

D. George Washington in 1792

10 "The quest for stable peace in the Middle East goes on in many capitals tonight. America fully supports the unanimous resolution of the U.N. Security Council which points the way. There must be a settlement of the armed hostility that exists in that region of the world today."

A. Lyndon B. Johnson in 1969

B. Jimmy Carter in 1979

C. Ronald Reagan in 1988

D. Barack Obama in 2010

. Answers

1. B; 2. A; 3. D; 4. A; 5. D; 6. D; 7. A; 8. B; 9. D; 10. A

10 correct: Presidential historian!

7-9: You really should get out more

4-6: Do you vacation in early January?

0-3: Pick up a newspaper now and then

Take a quiz on quotes 07/26/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 4:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours