"Some of my left-wing critics call me a fanatic. Well, they're certainly right that I'm a fan. And I set my priorities that way. I sent out the following comment on social media today: 'Will listen to President's speech carefully . . . from my priority area for job creation, Who Dat nation. Family and friends coming over for big game. On to recovery — and super bowl!'" — Sen. David Vitter in an email and on Facebook, explaining why he was choosing to watch the opening game of the 2011 NFL season at his home in Metairie rather than attend President Barack Obama's jobs address in Washington D.C. His plans were spoiled when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled a last-minute floor vote requiring Vitter to remain in the Capitol.
"It's a sad commentary on the state of the Republican Party when a Republican senator whines about having to show a modicum of respect to the President of the United States, and do the job his constituents hired him — and are paying him— to do." — Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Reid, responding to Vitter.
"This is not a collegial body anymore. It is more like gang behavior. Members walk into the chamber full of hatred. They believe the worst lies about the other side. Two Senators stopped by my office just a few hours ago. Why? They had a plot to nail somebody on the other side. That's what Congress has come to." — Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., to New York Times columnist Joe Nocera. Cooper was first elected to Congress in 1982.
"I came in third place behind Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. I think that's enough for any one person to endure." — Former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty on The Colbert Report, explaining to Stephen Colbert why he dropped out of the 2012 presidential race after the Iowa straw poll.