Blessed with the gift of gab, Texans say the darndest things… especially our politicians who’ve been known to offer up an embarrassment of riches (and sometimes just plain embarrassment). Below, we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite quotes from 2012—the weird, funny and memorable things from the strangest state in the nation.
Rick Perry’s disastrous presidential run limped into 2012, extending his unparalleled series of gaffes into this year. And it wasn’t just Perry. Some of the oddest quotes this year came from ascendant tea party conservatives, many of whom were consumed with conspiracy theories surrounding Barack Obama. And, as always, Willie Nelson, the Alamo and the State Fair made news and inspired quotable quotes.
As you read our list, just remember: Sometimes it’s better to laugh than cry.
“Governor, I have this unusual discharge, but I don’t have any health insurance right now. You’re an expert in women’s health—could you take a look?”
—Comment posted on Rick Perry’s Facebook page, following his decision to cut off federal funds for women’s health programs. March 2012.
“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will be dead or in jail.”
“We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity. But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity.”
—Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party, posted Nov. 7 on Facebook.
“[Obama] is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N. O.K., what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst-case scenario: civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. And we’re not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”
“I don’t want ’em in Lubbock County. O.K. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carriers and say, ‘You’re not coming in here.’ And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him. I said, ‘You gonna back me?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll back you.’
“Try going through Colorado. Skip that part of the country. I would if I were a picker traveling right now.”
—Willie Nelson on Sierra Blanca, the West Texas town that has busted Snoop Dogg, Fiona Apple and the Red-Haired Stranger for drug possession.
“There was only one baby ever created for the purpose of dying, and that was Jesus. All other babies are created to live.”
—State Sen.-elect Donna Campbell (R-San Antonio), December
“I’m sorry you believe I am a troll.”
—U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, to Democratic debate opponent Paul Sadler, Oct. 2
“I would send troops back into Iraq. … We’re going to see Iran, in my opinion, move back [into Iraq] at literally the speed of light.”
—Rick Perry, at New Hampshire GOP presidential debate, Jan. 7
“We feel like the State of Texas is pimping out the Alamo. We would like to see the Alamo treated like the sacred ground that it is. Over 600 people died on that site. … This is not a party house and it should not be the latest San Antonio party venue.”
—Lee White, president of the Alamo Defenders’ Descendants Association on GLO commissioner Jerry Patterson’s proposal to serve alcohol at the Alamo
“I didn’t know Big Tex smoked.”
—Fairgoer reacting to the Dallas’ Big Tex burning down, Oct. 19
“I don’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican or independent. Whatever you are, be a goodun.”
—Bob Tallman, an announcer for the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, on the fading Texas twang, Sept. 24
“I’ve heard of people being killed playing ping-pong — ping-pongs are more dangerous than guns. Flat-screen TVs are injuring more kids today than anything.
—State Rep.-elect Kyle Kacal (R-College Station) Dec. 19