There you go again
"There you go again" was a phrase spoken during the 1980 United States presidential election debate by Republican presidential candidate Governor Ronald Reagan to his Democratic opponent, incumbent President Jimmy Carter. Reagan would use the line in a few debates over the years, always in a way intended to disarm his opponent.
"There you go again" emerged as a single defining phrase of the 1980 presidential election. The phrase has endured in the political lexicon in news headlines, as a way to quickly imply that an opponent is engaged in hyperbole or even hysterical comments.
The one debate between Reagan and Carter of the 1980 presidential year was held a week before the election by the League of Women Voters. At one point, Carter went on the offensive against Reagan's record regarding Medicare
- President CARTER: These constant suggestions that the basic Social Security System should be changed does call for concern and consternation among the aged of our country. It is obvious that we should have a commitment to them, that Social Security benefits should not be taxed and that there would be no peremptory change in the standards by which Social Security payments are made to retired people. . . . Governor Reagan, as a matter of fact, began his political career campaigning around this nation against Medicare. Now, we have an opportunity to move toward national health insurance, with an emphasis on the prevention of disease, an emphasis on out-patient care, not in-patient care; an emphasis on hospital cost containment to hold down the cost of hospital care far those who are ill, an emphasis on catastrophic health insurance, so that if a family is threatened with being wiped out economically because of a very high medical bill, then the insurance would help pay for it. These are the kinds of elements of a national health insurance, important to the American people. Governor Reagan, again, typically is against such a proposal.
- (Moderator) Howard K. SMITH: Governor?
- Governor REAGAN: There you go again. When I opposed Medicare, there was another piece of legislation meeting the same problem before the Congress. I happened to favor the other piece of legislation and thought that it would be better for the senior citizens and provide better care than the one that was finally passed. I was not opposing the principle of providing care for them. I was opposing one piece of legislation versus another.
An Associated Press article from 2008 stated:
- "Reagan was a master at capturing a debate moment that everyone will remember. His 'there you go again' line defused his opponent's attack."
Reagan would sometimes use the phrase during his presidential press conferences.
During the 2006 Connecticut Democratic Senate Primary Debate, Incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman used the line a number of times against his primary challenger Ned Lamont. During the 2008 vice-presidential debate, Republican vice-presidential nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, used the line on Democratic opponent Joe Biden. Both Lieberman and Palin lost those races; however, Lieberman went on to defeat Lamont in the general election running as an Independent.
During the 2016 Vice Presidential debates, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence used the line "There they go again" in responding to Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine's statement that Pence was a “chief cheerleader for the privatization of social security.”
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- Bauder, David (October 8, 2008). "So far, debates lack the memorable lines of past". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- Rouse, Robert (March 15, 2006). "Happy Anniversary to the first scheduled presidential press conference - 93 years young!". American Chronicle.
- Espo, David. "Journalist". MPR News. Retrieved September 8, 2012.