(CNN) - Addressing the firestorm Thursday over the George Washington Bridge controversy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared, "I am not a bully." The statement, which was made in response to a reporter's question, is the latest of a long line of existential declarations made over the years by politicians in a wide variety of circumstances.
Below is a light-hearted look back at some memorable statements politicians have made over the years addressing what it means "to be" (or not to be).
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"I am not a bully"
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a news conference Thursday in Trenton
"I am not a crook."
President Richard Nixon on November 17, 1973, addressing reporters in Orlando, Florida on the on-going Watergate scandal
"I am not a witch."
Christine O'Donnell, a U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware in an October 2010 campaign ad addressing comments she had made years earlier about dabbling in witchcraft
"I am not gay"
Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho at a Boise news conference on August 28, 2007, on his recent arrest in a Minneapolis airport bathroom
"I am a gay American"
New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey on August 12, 2004, announcing his resignation at a Trenton news conference following an affair with a male aide
"I am in charge here"
Secretary of State Alexander Haig on March 30, 1981, giving his incorrect interpretation of the presidential line of succession in the chaotic hours following the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.
"I am not here as John Kerry."
"I'm John Kerry..."
John Kerry, first as a member of Vietnam Veterans against the War in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22, 1971, and 33 years later accepting the Democratic nomination for president on July 29, 2004. In his convention speech, he went on to say, "...and I'm reporting for duty."
"I am profoundly sorry for all I have done wrong in words and deeds."
President Bill Clinton offering a Rose Garden apology on December 11, 1998, moments before the House Judiciary Committee passed its first article of impeachment against him.
"Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner)
President John F. Kennedy declaring his solidarity with the people of West Berlin in a speech at the Brandenburg Gate on June 26, 1963.
"Who am I? Why am I here?"
Admiral James Stockdale, running-mate of independent presidential candidate Ross Perot, in his opening statement at the vice presidential debate on October 13, 1992.