Verbatim: May 9, 2005

  • "I believe the door has been opened."

    LIEN CHAN, leader of Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party, during an eight-day visit to China in which he met with President Hu Jintao, the highest-level meeting between the Communists and Nationalists in almost six decades

    "I was not thinking when I signed my tax return."

    DENNIS KOZLOWSKI, former Tyco CEO, taking the stand in his defense at his retrial on larceny and other charges, when asked why his 1999 tax return omitted a $25 million payment

    "Those were the two dumbest words I ever said."

    GEORGE TENET, former CIA director, on his assurance to President George W. Bush in 2002 that the CIA had "slam dunk" evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction

    "Evidently this time He didn't listen to me."

    POPE BENEDICT XVI, saying he prayed to God that the conclave of Cardinals would not pick him as Pope

    "Jennifer had some issues the family was not aware of."

    MIKE SATTERFIELD, following a nationwide hunt for his niece Jennifer Wilbanks, whose disappearance four days before her Georgia wedding turned out to be a major case of cold feet

    "Usually it's the other way around. When I'm five minutes into the speech, the audience gets sick."

    ZELL MILLER, former Democratic Senator from Georgia, on becoming ill just as he began addressing a book-tour audience

    "They've done a terrific job. And they have cut down the crossing of illegal immigrants by a huge percentage."

    ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, California's G.O.P.Governor, speaking in support of the Minutemen, a controversial group of armed citizens patrolling Arizona's southern border in search of illegal immigrants from Mexico

    "Everybody knows you always start with scissors."

    ALICE MACLEAN, 11, advising her father, a fine-art specialist at Christie's, on a strategy that won the "rock, paper, scissors" game a Japanese businessman used to decide whether Christie's or Sotheby's would get to auction his firm's $20 million art collection

    Sources: New York Times (2); AP (4); KFI; New York Times