Presidents Have a History of Insulting One Another

By Goode, Stephen | Insight on the News, March 19, 2001 | Go to article overview

Presidents Have a History of Insulting One Another


Goode, Stephen, Insight on the News


There have been presidents who had pretty low opinions of other presidents and didn't keep quiet about it. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, once close friends, fell out bitterly over their rivalry in the election of 1800 but reconciled years later Harry S Truman and Dwight David Eisenhower came to dislike one another personally, and there was no love lost between Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

What presidents have said about one another is sometimes, well, not so nice, and often downright ornery. Woodrow Wilson, for example, called Chester A. Arthur "a nonentity with side whiskers." An acerbic Truman observed about Eisenhower: "The general doesn't know any more about politics than a pig knows about Sunday."

And Calvin Coolidge, who didn't care much for Hoover even though (or perhaps because) Hoover served so successfully as his secretary of commerce, said: "That man has offered me unsolicited advice for six years, all of it bad."

But these are pretty mild fare compared to what other presidents have said about their fellow chief executives, according to the "Outrageous Things Presidents Have Said About Each Other" section in The U. …

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