- "Clearly, [President Bush] lied. Now if he is an unconscious liar, and doesn't realize when he's lying, then we're really in trouble."
- Source: Democratic presidental debate at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin held on 15 Feb. 2004 
- "There is a systemic and methodical strategy to eliminate our people from doing business off 125th Street. I want to make it clear ... that we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business."
- "What’s wrong with denouncing white interlopers?"
From the 2004 DNC
- "Mr. President, as I close, Mr. President, I heard you say Friday that you had questions for voters, particularly African- American voters. And you asked the question: Did the Democratic Party take us for granted? Well, I have raised questions. But let me answer your question. You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres. We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us."
- "Mr. President, you said would we have more leverage if both parties got our votes, but we didn't come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our vote that got our vote. We got the Civil Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the Voting Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the right to organize under Democrats. Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of good men, soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us. This vote can't be bargained away. This vote can't be given away. Mr. President, in all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale."
- "But we believed if we kept on working, if we kept on marching, if we kept on voting, if we kept on believing, we would make America beautiful for everybody."
- "I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the [Supreme] court in '54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school."
- "They tried to say that being gay is a sin, and I said that adultery is a sin. Adultery is responsible for breaking up more marriages, but do we put that in the Constitution? It’s absurd."
- "Now that they have achieved the capture of Hussein, they should appeal to the UN to come in with a multilateral redevelopment plan. This is all the more reason this war should come to an immediate end."
- "I believe something happened to Tawana Brawley. . . I think it is absurd that someone would say that a 15-year-old girl could have made all that up, including fooling a hospital."
- regarding the 1987 Tawana Brawley scandal, later shown to be a hoax
- "Who defines terrorists? Today's terrorist is tomorrow's friend. We were the ones that worked with Saddam Hussein. The United States worked with bin Laden."
- "If the Jews want to get it on," he said, "tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house."
- On the Crown Heights riots.
- "We stated openly that Steven Pagones did it. If we're lying, sue us, so we can go into court with you and prove you did it. Sue us — sue us right now."
- On the Tawana Brawley hoax.
- "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."
- To Vicente Fox, President of Mexico, after remarks Fox made that seemed to disparage African Americans
- Regarding Michael Riccardi's attempt on his life:
Though there were over 200 policemen standing around, none of them made a move to grab him.
- Regarding the Democratic party:
I do believe the Democratic party has moved far to the right. I do believe that the party has a bunch of elephants running around in donkey clothes.
- Regarding the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina:
I wrestled with this, even over the last few days, as I sat and stood and walked in Louisiana, where I saw people ravaged, lives torn. I thought about the fact that we need a man that's strong enough to bring us through 9/11 but compassionate enough that if Katrina hits, will make sure that poor people are not the scapegoats of a natural disaster.
- Regarding police brutality:
Crime is going down everywhere but in the New York City Police Department.
- Regarding racism in America:
We have defeated Jim Crow, but now we have to deal with his son, James Crow Jr., esquire. (Quote from funeral of the late Rosa Parks)
- Regarding terrorists:
Who defines terrorists? Today's terrorist is tomorrow's friend.
- Regarding achievement in black history: