President Bush Announces He Does Not Like Broccoli

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(Chris Stein / Getty Images)

There are a lot of people in the world who don’t like broccoli, but when word got out in March 1990 that U.S. President George H.W. Bush had gone so far as to ban it from Air Force One, broccoli-hating made the news.

The Quote That Started It All

After the News and World Report broke the story about President Bush banning broccoli on Air Force One, Bush responded at a state dinner for Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki by stating, “I do not like broccoli...

And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”

Bush then clarified, “I have not ordered it off Air Force One. I have just said, ‘Don’t you dare bring me another sprig of that vegetable.’”

Those were pretty strong words about broccoli, but President Bush didn’t stop there. Bush continued, “Just as Poland had a rebellion against totalitarianism, I am rebelling against broccoli, and I refuse to give ground.”

The Reaction

Bush’s remarks stung some folks, especially broccoli growers across the country. In order to make Bush “eat his words,” broccoli growers sent ten tons of broccoli (estimated to be worth $7,000) to the White House.

Unlike her husband, First Lady Barbara Bush loves to eat broccoli, and so it was she who met the caravan outside the White House. After Barbara Bush accepted a few crates of broccoli and some recipes, the rest of the broccoli was donated to the Capital Area Community Food Bank.

Democrats Like Broccoli

The Great Broccoli Debate didn’t end there though; it resurfaced during the 1992 presidential campaign when Hillary Clinton and Tipper Gore held up a sign that stated, “Let’s put broccoli in the White House again!”

In July 2013, the whole discussion was rekindled when President Barack Obama announced that his favorite food is broccoli.

Will the broccoli-hating discussion pop up again in politics? Somehow, I’m sure of it.