"Abraham Lincoln comes from nothing, has no education, no money, lives in the middle of nowhere on the frontier. And despite the fact that he suffers one tragedy and one setback after another, through sheer force of will, he becomes something extraordinary: not only the president but the person who almost single-handedly united the country."
"In high school, I discovered myself. I was interested in race relations and the legal profession. I read about Lincoln and that he believed the law to be the most difficult of professions."
"But I have tried to go over it very carefully, not merely what the evidence is, but with psychoanalysts and psychologists, and I think we're just about all agreed that Lincoln and Speed did not have a homosexual relationship."
"If you think Abraham Lincoln became famous for inventing the town car, it is time to spend a few hours on history."
"The arc of American history almost inevitably moves toward freedom. Whether it's Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, the expansion of women's rights or, now, gay rights, I think there is an almost-inevitable march toward greater civil liberties."
"My childhood was influenced by the roles my father played in his movies. Whether Abraham Lincoln or Tom Joad in the 'Grapes of Wrath,' his characters communicated certain values which I try to carry with me to this day."
"Secretary of War Stanton used to get out of patience with Lincoln because he was all the time pardoning men who ought to be shot."
"From Jefferson to Jackson to Lincoln to FDR to Reagan, every great president inspires enormous affection and enormous hostility. We'll all be much saner, I think, if we remember that history is full of surprises and things that seemed absolutely certain one day are often unimaginable the next."
"I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president - with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR, and Lincoln - just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we've got a lot more work to do. And we're gonna keep on at it."
"There's as much crookedness as you want to find. There was something Abraham Lincoln said - he'd rather trust and be disappointed than distrust and be miserable all the time. Maybe I trusted too much."