The unrelenting, unchallenged mendacity that completely permeates Mitt Romney's campaign efforts prompts today's collection of quotations on lying.
A big lie is more plausible than truth.
A gaffe occurs not when a politician lies, but when he tells the truth.
A liar in public life is a lot more dangerous than a full, paid up
Communist, and I don't care who he is.
-Harry S Truman
A little lie is like a little pregnancy- it doesn't take long before
All men can be led to believe the lie they want to believe.
All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.
Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.
Among all the world's races, some obscure Bedouin tribes possibly apart,
Americans are the most prone to misinformation. This is not the
consequence of any special preference for mendacity, although at the
higher levels of their public administration that tendency is
impressive. It is rather that so much of what they themselves believe is
-John Kenneth Galbraith
By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make
people believe that heaven is hell- and hell heaven. The greater the
lie, the more readily it will be believed.
Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar
who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with
Half a truth is often a great lie.
How is the world ruled, and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to
journalists, and they believe what they read.
How many times do you get to lie before you are a liar?--Michael Josephson
How readily do we believe a lie when it fosters in us a high opinion of
-Charles H. Spurgeon
I always divide people into two groups. Those who live by what they know
to be a lie, and those who live by what they believe, falsely, to be the
I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point- race.
Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to
I don't believe the Democrats or Republicans are lying to us. I think
that every dirty, rotten, lowdown thing they say about each other is
-A. Ray Lambson
I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican
friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we
will stop telling the truth about them.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II
I have never used an illegal drug in my life. Also, I have never told a
I like to do my principal research in bars, where people are more likely
to tell the truth or, at least, lie less convincingly than they do in
briefings and books.
If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise
one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie.
-W. Somerset Maugham
If you begin by saying, “Thou shalt not lie,” there is no longer any
possibility of political action.
In politics, a lie unanswered becomes truth within 24 hours.
-San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.
It is always the best policy to tell the truth, unless, of course, you
are an exceptionally good liar.
-Jerome K. Jerome
It is better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.
It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that
you would lie if you were in his place.
It is sometimes necessary to lie damnably in the interests of the nation.
It's not a lie, it's a terminological inexactitude.
Liars can mask their lies, but no man can put on the look of simple
Loyalty to your country should never require you to lie about it.
- Joseph Sobran
Lying is an elementary means of self-defense.
Lying is the same as alcoholism. Liars prevaricate even on their
Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.
- Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
Men are liars. We'll lie about lying if we have to. I'm an algebra liar.
I figure two good lies make a positive.
Men hate those to whom they have to lie.
My father had a deep and lifelong contempt for politicians in general. “They tell lies,” he used to say with wonder, “even when they don't have to.”--Gore Vidal
Never ask a question when you know the answer is going to be a lie.
- Chuck Lorre
No one ever lies. People often do what they have to do to make to make
their story sound right.
-William Ginsberg (Monica Lewinsky's lawyer)
People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want
Political language- and with variations this is true of all political
parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists- is designed to make lies
sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of
solidity to pure wind.
Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies
of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
The average between a lie and the truth is still a lie.
The best time to listen to a politician is when he's on a stump on a
street corner in the rain late at night when he's exhausted. Then he
-Theodore H. White
The cruelest lies are often told in silence.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.
-Joseph A. Schumpeter
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie- deliberate,
contrived and dishonest- but the myth, persistent, persuasive and
-John F. Kennedy
The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but
that he cannot believe anyone else.
-George Bernard Shaw
The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies.
The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most
daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to
tell the truth.
The more lies are told, the more important it becomes for the liars to
justify themselves by deep moral commitments to high-sounding objectives
that mask the pursuit of money and power.
The polygraph looks for abrupt increases in heart rate, blood pressure
and perspiration. The polygraph is, therefore, a highly reliable
detector of orgasms. But does it detect lies? Only if you're lying about
having an orgasm.
The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the
one who lies with sincerity.
The truth about a man lies first and foremost in what he hides.
The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.
There are people who lie simply for the sake of lying.
There is no point in asking a man a question until you have established
whether he has any reason to lie to you.
There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.
They say that in the end truth will triumph, but it's a lie.
They should have picked a different city to name after a man who
reputedly never told a lie.
Under current law, it is a crime for a private citizen to lie to a
government official, but not for the government official to lie to the
- Donald M. Fraser
Well, sure, the government lies, and the newspapers lie. But in a
democracy, they aren't the same lies.
-Alexis A. Gilliland
When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the
truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is
possible for one side to be simply wrong.