Select Quayle Topics: Family Values and the Cultural Elite

Don't forget about the importance of the family. It begins with the family. We're not going to redefine the family. Everybody knows the definition of the family. [Meaningful pause] A child. [Meaningful pause] A mother. [Meaningful pause] A father. There are other arrangements of the family, but that is a family and family values.

I've been very blessed with wonderful parents and a wonderful family, and I am proud of my family. Anybody turns to their family. I have a very good family. I'm very fortunate to have a very good family. I believe very strongly in the family. It's one of the things we have in our platform, is to talk about it.

-- Senator Dan Quayle, 8/27/88 (reported in Esquire, 8/92)

I suppose three important things certainly come to my mind that we want to say thank you. The first would be our family. Your family, my family -- which is composed of an immediate family of a wife and three children, a larger family with grandparents and aunts and uncles. We all have our family, whichever that may be ... The very beginnings of civilization, the very beginnings of this country, goes back to the family. And time and time again, I'm often reminded, especially in this Presidential campaign, of the importance of a family, and what a family means to this country. And so when you pay thanks I suppose the first thing that would come to mind would be to thank the Lord for the family.
-- Senator Dan Quayle on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, 11/6/88 (reported in Esquire, 8/92)

It doesn't help matters when prime time TV has Murphy Brown -- a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid, professional woman -- mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another 'lifestyle choice'. I know it is not fashionable to talk about moral values, but we need to do it. Even though our cultural leaders in Hollywood, network TV, the national newspapers routinely jeer at them, I think that most of us in this room know that some things are good, and other things are wrong. Now it's time to make the discussion public.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle addressing the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and criticizing Murphy Brown's decision to not have an abortion and to be a single (highly successful) mother, 5/19/92. When told about Quayle's comments, a senior Bush campaign official replied only "Oh, dear." Bush's top aide said, "The world is a lot more complex than Dan would like to believe".

And for those concerned about children growing up in poverty, we should know this: marriage is probably the best anti-poverty program of all.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle addressing the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, 5/19/92

I think especially in her position, a highly successful professional woman, it would be a real exception to have an unwed child.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle to The Chron's Jerry Roberts.

I don't watch it, but I know enough to comment on it.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle defending his opinions about the TV show 'Murphy Brown' (Las Vegas RJ 21 May 92)

The intergenerational poverty that troubles us so much today is predominantly a poverty of values.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle

Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, 5/20/92 (reported in Esquire, 8/92)

Murphy Brown is doing better than I am. At least she knows she still has a job next year.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, 8/18/92, (reported on KRXX News)

People who bowl vote. Bowlers are not the cultural elite.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle while at a Las Vegas bowling alley. The Vice President bowled 5 times, and knocked down 19 pins (6/25/92, San Jose Mercury News). The American Bowling Congress projected his score for a full game to be 76. The Detroit average for amateur players is 163 (USA Today, 7/6/92)

I wear their scorn as a badge of honor.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle discussing how he copes with criticism from the media elite, 6/9/92 (reported in Esquire, 8/92)

I'm not sure I'm up for a 'Murphy Brown' appearance yet. I'm not sure that they want a guest appearance by me either... Well, I'd consider it.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle on Larry King Live. He also said that he'd make a guest appearance as long as his point of view wasn't censored. (CNN, July 22, 1992)

It's sort of like define pornography. You know it when you see one. You know a cultural elitist when you see one.
[Jim Lehrer: Who are they?]
They know who they are.
[Jim Lehrer: Yes, but who are they?]
You know and I know.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle describing who he is talking about when he refers to the cultural elite, 6/19/92 The McNeil/Lehrer Report. (taken from the Quayle Quarterly, Summer/Fall 1992)

It shows 'us vs. them,' and I'm on the 'us' side.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle explaining the strategy behind his twitting of 'cultural elites'. (The Indianapolis Star, 6/14/92 -- taken from the Quayle Quarterly, Summer/Fall 1992)

I just have one thing to say: Murphy, you owe me!
-- Vice President Dan Quayle after Candice Bergan won an Emmy for her role as Murphy Brown

[KTLA a.m. co-anchor Barbara Beck, "So, what's your favorite TV program?"]
Murphy Brown on KTLA/Channel 5 -- not!
-- Vice-President Dan Quayle in a television commercial for KTLA's Murphy Brown reruns. (reported in the San Jose Mercury News, 9/10/92)

Hollywood is the stronghold of the adversary culture. It is on the other side of the cultural divide from Huntington, and they don't like it when someone from Huntington, with Midwestern values, challenges their so-called moral authority.
-- Vice-President Dan Quayle, while campaigning in Kansas City, MO, 9/2 (reported by the NY times, 9/3/92)

It was a good campaign contribution to Bill Clinton, but he gets a lot of contributions from Hollywood. We're making great progress with Hollywood. I am convinced because of my speech of several months ago on the poverty of values in this country that Hollywood will begin to reflect our values better.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle, when asked about the season opener of the television sitcom, 'Murphy Brown', while at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. (Reported by UPI, 9/92)