(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).
Walking the halls of the Congress, you never know who you might run into – and today it was a blast from the past.
I sat down in the subway that runs beneath the Capitol, and across from me was none other than former Senator Larry Craig.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/10/art.craig.gi.jpg caption="Larry Craig is the latest politician to experience firsthand the pitfalls of granting an interview to Comedy Central's The Daily Show."](CNN) – Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is the latest politician to experience firsthand the pitfalls of granting an interview to Comedy Central's The Daily Show.
The Idaho Republican did not run for reelection in 2008 following his 2007 guiltily plea for disorderly conduct in an airport restroom. Craig, who is married, was accused by an undercover police officer of soliciting sex in the men's restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. A later effort by Craig to withdraw his guilty plea was rejected by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Daily Show correspondent John Oliver said that Craig agreed to sit down for the interview as long as he was not asked about the incident. But in a story that aired Wednesday, Craig could not escape talk of airports.
"What was your favorite perk in your time in the Senate?" Oliver asked the former senator.
"When I was rushing to National Airport to catch a plane to Idaho, because I became a very aggressive commuter, I came back to my state a lot, that parking slot at National Airport to me was a big perk," a smiling Craig said.
"There aren't a lot of perks left," he cluelessly continued. "I don't have to rack up three-quarters of a million miles of air travel to stay involved helping citizens do certain things they need done."
The former senator also said he no longer missed his days in the Senate, but had difficulty adjusting to life as a private citizen at first.
"In the first couple of months, every time I'd have that feeling, I'd run, lay down on the couch, cover myself up with a blanket, take deep breaths and it would pass."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/08/art.craig.gi.jpg caption="Craig may be out of options."]MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – Former Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho may have run out of options in a quest to reverse his guilty plea to a 2007 charge of disorderly conduct in a bathroom stall.
Craig was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, where an undercover police officer accused him of soliciting sex.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected Craig's latest effort to withdraw the guilty plea December 9. Thursday marks the one-month deadline for filing an appeal.
His Minneapolis-based attorney, Thomas Kelly, told CNN on Thursday that Craig will not appeal to the state's Supreme Court, saying that effort would be "fruitless."
(CNN) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected Sen. Larry Craig's effort to withdraw his guilty plea in a sex-sting operation.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/10/art.craig.gi.jpg caption="Craig's attorney said foot tapping may be protected by the First Amendment."]ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - In an effort to persuade a three-judge panel to throw out Sen. Larry Craig's guilty plea, his attorney suggested Wednesday that his foot tapping in an airport men's room may have been protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
The Idaho Republican was arrested in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport in June 2007, after an undercover police officer accused him of soliciting sex by using hand signals and tapping his foot in a bathroom stall.
Two months after his arrest, and without consulting a lawyer, Craig later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
In addition to suggesting that First Amendment may be involved, Craig's lawyer, Billy Martin, also argued before the Minnesota Court of Appeals panel that no one besides the arresting officer saw the hand signals and foot tapping, which would mean no one else was offended by the behavior and, thus, make the disorderly conduct charge invalid.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/28/art.button1.cnn.jpg caption="An image of the mistaken button, courtesy of CNN affiliate KPVI. "](CNN) - Barack Obama likes to stress his willingness to work across party lines, but Republican Sen. Larry Craig probably isn't the Illinois senator's top choice when it comes to showcasing his bipartisan credentials.
But campaign buttons mistakenly featuring those two politicians surfaced over the weekend under the Obama campaign's motto "Change You Can Believe In," according to CNN Idaho affiliate KPVI.
The buttons, created by an Ohio-based company called Tigereye Design, was supposed to feature Obama alongside the Democratic Senate candidate in Idaho, Larry LaRocco. A retired editor for the Lewiston Tribune noticed the mistaken buttons and printed them in Sunday's edition.
LaRocco's campaign says the buttons weren't ordered by them, but rather a commercial firm that sells campaign memorabilia.
Craig, who was arrested last year for allegedly soliciting sex in an airport men's room, is not running for reelection.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Metropolitan Airport Commission has spent over 28,000 dollars on the prosecution and appeal of Idaho Senator Larry Craig, MAC spokesman Patrick Hogan told CNN in a phone interview.
Hogan said that the legal fees spent on Sen. Craig's case account for 20 percent of the 2007 budget used to prosecute cases at the airport. "This is one of the highest amounts of money ever spent on prosecuting a misdemeanor," Hogan added.
The MAC gets ist funds from airlines, parking and other airport concessions. It oversees the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota airport where Craig was arrested in June.
Craig, 62, was arrested by an undercover officer in a public restroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
He pleaded guilty in August to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. A soliciting charge was dropped.
Craig has since denied the charges - saying he was not soliciting sex in the bathroom and is not gay. He has since appealed a state courts decision not to let him change his guilty plea. A Minnesota appellate court has not made a ruling to date.
- CNN Senior Producer Eric Fiegel
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Lawyers for Sen. Larry Craig asked a Minnesota appeals court Tuesday to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea stemming from his June arrest in a public bathroom sex sting, citing a "grave procedural flaw."
The Idaho Republican argues that a state law related to his misdemeanor conviction is unconstitutional and that it "manifestly unjust" not to allow the lawmaker to be given another chance to prove his innocence.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John Ensign, who chairs the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, made clear to CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wednesday he wants embattled Idaho Sen. Larry Craig to leave the Senate - immediately.
"The senator said that by the end of September, if the guilty plea was not overturned, if he was not reestablished on his seniority on committees, that he would resign," said Ensign, a Republican representing Nevada. "Neither one of those things are going to happen. I call on Sen. Craig, if he loved the Senate and his party, he would keep his word. "
Ensign also brushed aside the notion that the Idaho Republican should be given leniency, because he only pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
"This wouldn't be making the national news if it was an ordinary misdemeanor," Ensign said. "He pled guilty to something that, you know lewd behavior, that's not the behavior a United States senator should be engaged in."
Ensign also dismissed the suggestion that Craig's case is similar to that of Republican Sen. David Vitter, who has admitted to committing a "serious sin" with a Washington prostitute when he served in the House.
"First of all, he never said exactly what he did," Ensign said of Vitter. "Secondly, it happened before he got into the United States Senate, and there were no laws that were broken as far as anybody knows."
Ensign also said that Craig's continued presence in the Senate will hurt Democrats and Republicans alike.
"There's too many people that paint with a broad brush that we're all corrupt, we're all amoral," he said. "And having these kinds of things happen, whether it's a Republican or Democratic senator - we certainly have had plenty of Democratic scandals in the past - we need people who are in office who will hold themselves to a little higher standard."
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney