At a vice-presidential debate towards Walter Mondale in 1976, Senator Bob Dole flung one of many acerbic one-liners he was recognized for.
“If we added up the killed and wounded in Democrat wars on this century,” he mentioned, “it could be about 1.6 million Individuals, sufficient to fill town of Detroit.”
It didn’t go over effectively. Beneath fireplace even from some fellow Republicans, Mr. Dole denied utilizing the phrase “Democrat wars,” then did injury management. His level, a spokesman mentioned, had been that it was as unfair responsible Democrats for these wars because it was responsible President Gerald Ford — who was on the prime of the ticket Mr. Dole was working on — for Watergate.
The one factor that stood out in regards to the episode was that Mr. Dole appeared to acknowledge he had taken his attribute sarcasm too far.
However he by no means stopped utilizing it — towards Democrats, Republicans and sometimes himself. After his loss of life on Sunday at age 98, here’s a sampling of his sharp tongue, together with his jabs at supply-side economics and his venomous letter to a former White Home official.
‘Slept like a child’
In his first marketing campaign for the presidency, in 1980, Mr. Dole joined the pile-on towards President Jimmy Carter.
“I as soon as referred to as Carter a chicken-fried McGovern,” Mr. Dole mentioned, referring to the previous Democratic nominee George McGovern. “And I take that again as a result of I’ve come to respect McGovern.”
Very similar to Mr. McGovern’s 1972 common election marketing campaign, Mr. Dole’s 1980 major marketing campaign crashed and burned. He gained simply 607 votes in New Hampshire.
If 1980 was a nasty 12 months for him, it was an incredible 12 months for his get together: Ronald Reagan gained the presidency and Republicans retook the Senate. However Mr. Dole was lower than proud of the actual Republicans who had accomplished so, a few of whom he felt had risen on an anti-Democratic wave relatively than on their very own deserves.
“If we had recognized we had been going to win management of the Senate,” he mentioned, “we’d have run higher candidates.”
‘They’ll be barefoot by morning’
In 1982, as members of the Senate Finance Committee labored late on a invoice to get rid of billions in tax breaks, Mr. Dole declared that lobbyists and attorneys “could also be carrying Guccis tonight, however they’ll be barefoot by morning.”
Because the Democratic major elections acquired underway in 1984, Mr. Dole commented on the failing presidential marketing campaign of Senator Ernest F. Hollings with a jab whose relevance to his personal marketing campaign was certainly not misplaced on him.
“The early marketing campaign has proven that Fritz Hollings has the most effective humorousness,” he mentioned. “And with 1 p.c of the vote, he’ll want it.”
4 years later, Mr. Dole once more ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination. Accused of missing “imaginative and prescient,” he mentioned: “We considered having a vision-of-the-month membership only for the media. They’d say, ‘That’s the incorrect imaginative and prescient,’ and I’d say, ‘That’s all proper, I acquired one other one.’”
‘It has a contented ending’
Mr. Dole reached the apex of his profession after Republicans seized management of Congress in 1994, making him the Senate majority chief. The victory was led by Consultant Newt Gingrich, who would turn into speaker of the Home. However Mr. Dole was not a fan.
“You hear Gingrich’s employees has these 5 file cupboards, 4 massive ones and one little tiny one,” he informed The New York Instances Journal in 1995. “No. 1 is ‘Newt’s Concepts.’ No. 2, ‘Newt’s Concepts.’ No. 3, No. 4, ‘Newt’s Concepts.’ The toddler is ‘Newt’s Good Concepts.’”
Later that 12 months, throughout a authorities shutdown, Mr. Dole and Mr. Gingrich introduced that they supported paying federal staff who had been furloughed due to the shutdown.
Wasn’t it absurd, a reporter requested, to pay staff to remain dwelling relatively than simply have them work?
Mr. Dole — whose dwelling state, Kansas, benefited from federal funds to farmers to depart some land fallow for environmental causes — replied, “It’s like a farm program.”
Based on The Tampa Bay Instances, Senator John McCain of Arizona appreciated to inform a narrative a couple of dinner Senate Republicans had with President Invoice Clinton. Somebody requested Mr. Clinton if he had learn a homicide thriller written by a Republican senator, and the president mentioned sure, noting, “It’s a Democratic senator who will get murdered.”
“Yeah,” Mr. Dole mentioned. “It has a contented ending.”
‘Let me tax your recollections’
In 1996, Mr. Dole ran for president as soon as extra.
When one among his rivals for the Republican nomination, Pat Buchanan, accused him of distorting Mr. Buchanan’s file, The Orlando Sentinel reported, “Dole mumbled that he was solely reporting what he had learn in Buchanan’s syndicated columns, and he simply at all times assumed they had been correct.”
Mr. Dole gained the nomination. (He then misplaced to Mr. Clinton, 159 electoral votes to 379.) His working mate was Jack Kemp, a former soccer participant who had spent 18 years within the Home of Representatives, and whom Mr. Dole had beforehand mocked.
“There was a sure soccer participant who forgot his helmet after which began speaking supply-side concept,” Mr. Dole mentioned in an undated comment recounted by The Tampa Bay Instances.
It was not the primary time Mr. Dole had expressed disdain for supply-side economics, the Reaganite gospel that slicing taxes and reducing rules would strengthen the financial system sufficient to recoup misplaced tax income.
“A bus full of supply-siders goes over the cliff, killing all aboard,” he as soon as mentioned. “That’s the excellent news. The dangerous information is that there have been three unoccupied seats.”
Not that he supported elevating taxes.
“I keep in mind someday on the ground, I mentioned, ‘Now, gents, let me tax your recollections,’” he mentioned in one among his presidential debates with Mr. Clinton, name-checking Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. “And Kennedy jumped up and mentioned, ‘Why haven’t we considered that earlier than?’”
‘I do know slightly about Viagra’
As a result of he had given up his Senate seat to run for president, Mr. Dole had no job to return to after he misplaced.
In a startling transfer, he agreed to star in a business for Viagra when it was launched in 1998. He knew that speaking about erectile dysfunction was “slightly embarrassing,” he mentioned within the advert, “nevertheless it’s so vital to thousands and thousands of males and their companions.”
Mr. Dole embraced the affiliation, together with on “The Tonight Present With Jay Leno” in 2002. After Mr. Leno talked about analysis displaying that Viagra may trigger blindness in uncommon instances, Mr. Dole emerged to roars of laughter from the viewers.
“That’s a whole lot of garbage, Jay,” he mentioned. “I hate to see this misinformation being unfold. I do know slightly about Viagra, Bob Dole is aware of slightly about Viagra, and my imaginative and prescient is ideal. It’s 20/20.
“And,” he mentioned, pointing to Mr. Leno’s band chief, “you must know higher, Jay Leno.”
Mr. Dole was a repeat visitor on late-night exhibits. He fired off a number of one-liners in an look on the “Late Present” with David Letterman in 1998, together with musing on the size of his Senate profession: 35 and a half years.
After all, he added, “Senator Thurmond’s been there — effectively, let’s see, he got here in with Chester Arthur.”
When Mr. Letterman requested if he nonetheless visited the Senate, Mr. Dole replied, “I don’t go up fairly often, as a result of I can’t vote anymore and the remainder of them vote incorrect.”
‘Depressing creatures such as you’
Mr. Dole was not above criticizing the establishment he spent 35 years in. “In the event you’re hanging round with nothing to do and the zoo is closed, come over to the Senate,” he as soon as mentioned, in accordance with former Senator Ben Nelson’s memoir. “You’ll get the identical form of feeling and also you gained’t must pay.”
Like many members of the outdated guard of Republicans, Mr. Dole turned more and more vital of the get together’s course — however nonetheless endorsed Donald J. Trump for president in 2016.
The Republican Nationwide Committee ought to put up an indication “that claims ‘closed for repairs’ till New 12 months’s Day subsequent 12 months and spend that point going over concepts and optimistic agendas,” he informed Fox Information in 2013. Discussing who may very well be elected in immediately’s get together, he added: “Reagan wouldn’t have made it. Definitely Nixon couldn’t have made it, as a result of he had concepts.”
There was some irony to the criticism, as a result of Mr. Dole had excoriated a former White Home press secretary who wrote a vital ebook in regards to the George W. Bush administration.
“There are depressing creatures such as you in each administration who don’t have the center to talk up or give up if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues,” he wrote in a blistering 2008 letter to the previous official, Scott McClellan, including: “When the cash begins rolling in it’s best to donate it to a worthy trigger, one thing like, ‘Biting the Hand That Fed Me.’”
However Mr. Dole was nothing if not self-aware.
“I used to be alleged to go for the jugular,” he as soon as mentioned, reflecting on his “Democrat wars” remark in 1976. “And I did — my very own.”