House of Cards (season 3)

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The following is a list of quotes from the third season House of Cards.

Chapter 27 [3.01][edit]

Frank Underwood: [at his father's grave] Hey, pop. Been awhile. Did you see that motorcade pull up? It's the first time that the President of the United States has visited Gaffney. Can you believe it? [to audience] Oh, I wouldn't be here if I had a choice, but I have to do these sorts of things now. Makes me seem more human, and you have to be a little human when you're the president. He couldn't even afford his own gravestone. I paid for it, out of my own scholarship money from the Sentinel. Nobody showed up at his funeral, except me. Not even my mother. I'll tell you this, though, pop: When they bury me, it won't be in my backyard, and when they come to pay their respects, they'll have to wait in line.
[He unzips and urinates on the grave]

Frank Underwood: There's nothing like a death in the family to separate the wheat from the bullshit.

Claire Underwood: What if you lose?
Frank Underwood: I will not be a placeholder president, Claire. I will win. And I will leave a legacy.
Claire Underwood: You mean we will.

Chapter 28 [3.02][edit]

Frank Underwood: [about Dunbar] She sees me as the bank robber who made it to the county line, but she's smart enough to leave her badge at the door.

Frank Underwood: I've always said that power is more important than money. But when it comes to elections, money gives power... well, a run for its money.

Frank Underwood: Good evening. For too long, we in Washington have been lying to you. We say we're here to serve you when in fact, we're serving ourselves. And why? We are driven by our own desire to get re-elected. Our need to stay in power eclipses our duty to govern. That ends tonight. Tonight, I give you the truth. And the truth is this: the American Dream has failed you. Work hard, play by the rules? You aren't guaranteed success. Your children will not have a better life than you did. Ten million of you can't even get a job, even though you desperately want one. We've been crippled by Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, by welfare, by entitlements... and that is the root of the problem: entitlements. Let me be clear: You are entitled to nothing. You are entitled to nothing. America was built on the spirit of industry. You build your future, it isn't handed to you. And the problem with Washington is that we haven't given you the tools to build it. The only way for us to serve you is to give you the means to serve yourselves. That's exactly what I intend to do. Not handouts - jobs. Real paying jobs. In the next few weeks, the Democratic leadership will introduce a bill called America Works. Its goal is simple: to put the ten million Americans who are unemployed to work. All of them. If you want a job, you get one. The cost is $500 billion. Now, that's a lot of money. To pay for it, we'll have to rethink Social Security, health care, and benefits from the ground up. We can't maintain the welfare state as we know it. Now, that's not a popular thing to say. Anyone running for office wouldn't dare utter those words. Every adviser and consultant and staff member would beg a presidential candidate not to say them. But I can say them... because I will not be seeking the Democratic nomination in 2016. Candidates are cautious. They must equivocate. They dodge and tip-toe. But I'd rather leave this office having accomplished something of value than secure another four years having done nothing at all. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ushered in an era of hope and progress when he proposed the New Deal, and at the time his reforms were considered radical. But he once said, 'This country demands bold, persistent experimentation.' It is common sense to take a method and try it and if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. Roosevelt would have understood better than anyone the necessity for trying something different. The New Deal succeeded for many years, but we must now try something newer before it fails us. If America Works succeeds, we will reinvent the American Dream. If we fail in our attempt, we will admit it frankly and try another. But above all, we must try something. Thank you, and God bless the United States of America.

Chapter 29 [3.03][edit]

Frank Underwood: What is the face of a coward? The back of his head as he runs from the battle.

Frank Underwood: You can't turn a no to a yes without a maybe in between.

Viktor Petrov: So, this is what he does. He leaves the seduction to you. Isn't there a word for that in English...?
Claire Underwood: For what?
Viktor Petrov: Pimping. He's pimping you out.
Claire Underwood: How charming you are.
Viktor Petrov: Thank you. And you make a much better First Lady than ambassador, from what my people tell me. [uncomfortable pause] Only teasing. More wine for the ambassador, please.

Frank Underwood: Tell me, do you kiss the wife of every president?
Viktor Petrov: Not every president's wife looks like yours.
[Frank laughs, and then turns to the audience]
Frank Underwood: I'd push him down the stairs and light his broken body on fire just to watch it burn, if it wouldn't start a world war.

Chapter 30 [3.04][edit]

Mahmoud: You know what I dreamed of when I came here? Choking you with my bare hands.
Frank Underwood: Mr. Mahmoud, you may hate me. You may hate the office I hold. But here's the reality: I must make decisions every day that I hope are just. I don't know right from wrong all the time. I wish I did. But what I can't be is indecisive.
Mahmoud: It says in the Quran that the taking of one life is like the taking of all mankind.
Frank Underwood: It also says that the saving of one life is like the saving of all mankind.
Mahmoud: You didn't ask me here to apologize. You asked me here to forgive you.
Frank Underwood: I didn't order the strike to-
Mahmoud: I won't forgive you, Mr. President. I don't want to make it any easier for you to sleep at night. Knowing a few lines of the Quran does not absolve you.
Frank Underwood: I have a duty to this nation, Mr. Mahmoud. I swore an oath.
Mahmoud: There's a fine line between duty and murder. Only you have to power to stop what happened to me. The next time you wield it, I hope you'll think twice.

[Grayson has just kicked Sayyad out of the press corps]
Ayla Sayyad: The president just made a statement about free speech. Now you're going to start kicking reporters out of the White House?
Seth Grayson: No. Just you.
Ayla Sayyad: No, not just me! You're fucking with the second largest daily in America. You can get rid of me, but not the institution I work for.
Seth Grayson: You done?
Ayla Sayyad: Don't let your 15 minutes of power go to your head, Seth,
Seth Grayson: You can keep the plastic if you want, as a souvenir. That's all it's good for now.

Heather Dunbar: My letter of resignation.
Frank Underwood: I can't accept that. You're too valuable to us.
Heather Dunbar: I can't run for office as a Solicitor General.
Frank Underwood: Then you should reconsider running for office.
Heather Dunbar: It's too late for that, I think.
Frank Underwood: I don't understand, Heather, I offered you a seat on the Supreme Court.
Heather Dunbar: If Jacobs was stepping down, which he isn't.
Frank Underwood: You spoke to him?
Heather Dunbar: As Solicitor General, I'm friendly with all of the justices. I keep those relationships private, so no one will suspect any bias toward me. But Robert and I are very close. He and Ruth have me over for dinner once a month.
Frank Underwood: So you already knew about the Alzheimer's.
Heather Dunbar: He told me the day he was diagnosed.
Frank Underwood: I've never had anything but his best interests at heart.
Heather Dunbar: You don't care about Robert. You wanted to sideline me.
Frank Underwood: So you actually think you have a shot at this office.
Heather Dunbar: Yes I do, and so does the leadership.
Frank Underwood: You're in over your head Heather, no matter what Birch or Womack are telling you.
Heather Dunbar: Why should it concern you, Mr. President? You've announced that you're not running.
Frank Underwood: Is this personal for you?
Heather Dunbar: Don't flatter yourself!
Frank Underwood: You got Walker, but you couldn't get me!
Heather Dunbar: I don't have to run to make sure you leave office, you couldn't win anyway. I'm running because I know I'd make a good President.
Frank Underwood: Oh you might very well make a good President, but right now you're being delusional.
Heather Dunbar: When Birch approached me, I wasn't sure. I was tempted, but I knew it was a long shot. And when you offered the nomination I was overwhelmed. It's what I've been working toward my entire career. But then I spoke to Robert and when he told me how you threatened him I knew I had to run. Someone needs to scrub the stink from this office.
Frank Underwood: I didn't threaten him.
Heather Dunbar: What would you call it?
Frank Underwood: I was trying to save him, the same way I'm trying to save you now, once the news of his Alzheimer's gets out, which it will, because no matter how much we all try to lie about it, it's gonna leak. Can you imagine, what that's going to do to his reputation? He deserved better than that and you deserve being an also ran. Help me convince him. Take the seat on the Court where you belong.
Heather Dunbar: Is this how you live with yourself? By rationalizing the obscene into the palatable..

[Heather starts to leave the oval office]

Frank Underwood: I haven't excused you yet!
Heather Dunbar: See you in Iowa.

Frank Underwood: I understand the Old Testament God, whose power was absolute, who ruled through fear. [points to the Cross] But Him?
Charles Eddis: There's no such thing as absolute power for us, except on the receiving end. Using fear will get you nowhere. It's not your job to determine what's just. It's not your place to choose which version of God you like best. It's not your duty to serve this country alone, and it better not be your goal to simply serve yourself. You serve the Lord, and through Him you serve others. Two rules: Love God, and love each other. Period. You weren't chosen, Mr. President. [points to the Cross] Only He was.
Frank Underwood: May I have a few moments for myself, to pray?
Charles Eddis: It's all yours. [leaves]
Frank Underwood: [to the Cross] Love. That's what you're selling. Well, I don't buy it.
[He spits on the Cross. When he tries to clean off the spit, the Cross falls and shatters. Meechum comes running in.]
Edward Meechum: Is everything all right, sir?
Frank Underwood: I was praying, and it just fell. Have someone come in and clean this up.
Edward Meechum: Yes, sir.
Frank Underwood: [to the audience] Well, I've got God's ear now.

Chapter 31 [3.05][edit]

Hector Mendoza: We're drafting a law that says that this use of funds is illegal.
Frank Underwood: And who's going to enforce that law?
Bob Birch: We were ready to impeach one president; we'll do the same with you, if necessary.
Frank Underwood: And put Donald Blythe in this office? You know he's not up for the job. Congress would get killed for malpractice. As crooked as you may think I am, you know I can handle the pressure, and you know that Donald can't. So pass your law, I'll veto it, and when you overrule me in the Senate, we'll let the third branch decide.
Bob Birch: Don't declare war on Congress, Mr. President.
Frank Underwood: Not on Congress. I'm declaring war on atrophy. [to the audience] But, these days, who could tell the difference?

Frank Underwood: No writer worth his salt can resist a good story, just as no politician can resist making promises he can't keep.

Chapter 32 [3.06][edit]

Michael Corrigan: Do you know what I've been asking myself ever since the hunger strike? Am I truly willing to die for this? I don't know the answer to that question, but at least I have something I care enough about to even ask the question. Have you asked that of yourself? What are you willing to die for?

Frank Underwood: There won't be a revolution because you freed one man.
Viktor Petrov: Revolutions sneak up on you, one small step at a time. I can't ignore the smallest step.

Frank Underwood: [about Corrigan] He was a coward, and I'm glad he's dead.
Claire Underwood: He had more courage than you'll ever have.
Frank Underwood: Do you really wanna discuss courage, Claire? Because anyone can commit suicide, or spout their mouths off in front of a camera. You wanna know what takes courage? Keeping your mouth shut, no matter what you may be feeling. Holding it all together when the stakes are this high.
Claire underwood: We're murderers, Francis.
Frank Underwood: No, we're not. We're survivors.
Claire Underwood: If we can't show respect for one brave man and still accomplish what we set out to do, then I'm disappointed in both of us.
Frank Underwood: I never should have made you ambassador.
Claire Underwood: I never should have made you president. [leaves]
Frank Underwood: [to the audience] What're you lookin' at?!

Chapter 33 [3.07][edit]

Tom Yates: [to Frank about his marriage] Everything okay between you two?
Frank Underwood: You bet. [pause] Well, they've been better. [pause] No, it's not okay.

Frank Underwood: Are the AARP here?
Remy Danton: In the lobby. The chairman told me they wanna support Dunbar.
Frank Underwood: They're just trying to rattle us.
Remy Danton: Dunbar's promising to save Social Security, go after Wall Street and government waste instead of entitlements.
Frank Underwood: Well, get 'em in here.
Remy Danton: Here's a list. The meeting's not for another 10 minutes.
Frank Underwood: Well, start bringing them in here. It'll take them that long to hobble over on their walkers.

Claire Underwood: I can't believe we've become this.
Frank Underwood: Become what?
Claire Underwood: Like everyone else.

Chapter 34 [3.08][edit]

Frank Underwood: Henry Mitchell, the new Senate Majority Leader. What happened to Hector Mendoza? Well, you don't declare a couple of paid speeches as income, and boom, you're no longer in Congress, and certainly not running for president. [pointing to Mitchell's portrait of Eisenhower] You got rid of Ronnie. Hector loved that painting.
Henry Mitchell: Oh, he's not gone, just in storage.
Frank Underwood: [to the audience] Just like Hector.

Tom Yates: [about the America Works book] I think it may be the best thing I've written in years. It could also be utter and complete shit. But when I can't tell the difference, it's usually a good sign.

Edward Meechum: You'd better not fuck him over.
Tom Yates: Excuse me?
Edward Meechum: With what you're writing.
Tom Yates: I don't intend to.
Edward Meechum: The part about being foolish.
Tom Yates: Were you eavesdropping?
Edward Meechum: He's not foolish.
Tom Yates: That wasn't my point.
Edward Meechum: I wouldn't take a bullet for a man who was.

Frank Underwood: I never tried to swim to Fort Sumter. Thomas probably knows that I made it up, but he wrote about it anyway because he understands the greater truth: Imagination is its own form of courage.

Chapter 35 [3.09][edit]

[Baldwin and Yates have sex with a picture of Frank in the background]
Kate Baldwin: Well, the president just saw me come.

Harlan Traub: Mr. President, I know you have a thousand things on your mind, but I would just love to talk to you about how to revolutionize the food processing industry here in Iowa.
Frank Underwood: [to the audience] Please, slit my wrists with his butter knife.

Harlan Traub: I'm used to talking to candidates, not chauffeurs.
Remy Danton: I'm not a chauffeur.
Harlan Traub: Well, it's your hands on the wheel.

[Heather Dunbar receives a call from Frank Underwood in the Oval Office.]
Frank Underwood: Heather.
Heather Dunbar: Mr. President?
Frank Underwood: Doug Stamper is my friend and you came very close to killing him.
Heather Dunbar: Excuse me?
Frank Underwood: You're aware he's an alcoholic.
Heather Dunbar: Yes.
Frank Underwood: And how serious his injuries were.
Heather Dunbar: Mr. President—
Frank Underwood: But you still put him to work, a man who's trying to recover, who's trying to get back his life. Did you honestly think he could handle that?
Heather Dunbar: Douglas came to us.
Frank Underwood: And you should have turned him away, if you had one ounce of decency.
Heather Dunbar: What's happened? Is he okay?
Frank Underwood: You don't have the right to ask me that question. And if you do anything that endangers his health again, I swear to God, I will put you in your fucking grave.

Chapter 36 [3.10][edit]

[Petrov demands that Claire step down from her ambassador post in return for a resolution to the Jordan Valley crisis]
Viktor Petrov: You want to kill me now. I can see it. I read an amusing article where a Civil War re-enactor said your great-great grandfather killed a Yankee soldier with his bare hands. When I was in Afghanistan, we were ambushed by the mujahideen. [lifts his short to reveal scars] And the man who shot me here and here stabbed me when his rifle jammed. I pulled the knife away and slit his throat.
Frank Underwood: Yes, I know. You've told that story dozens of times to the press.
Viktor Petrov: The part I don't tell is that after I slit his throat, I kept going. I strapped his head to a donkey so it would carry it back to his village. I killed a man with my bare hands. It wasn't make believe. Do you think you're capable? I think you are. You're ruthless, like me. Sometimes we must be ruthless with those who hate us, and sometimes we must be ruthless with those we love.

Frank Underwood: Are we friends?
Tom Yates: We can pretend to be.

Frank Underwood: Sometimes I think the presidency is the illusion of choice.

Chapter 37 [3.11][edit]

[Frank is practicing for the debates]
Seth Grayson: We should focus on Sharp next.
Donald Blythe: Want me to play her?
Frank Underwood: Donald, thank you for taking your role so seriously. You should consider a career on the stage. [to the audience] Because he sure as hell isn't gonna be on my ticket.

Frank Underwood: [about Sharp] Such a shame how ruthless pragmatism gets weighed down by family values. Without that doctor and his pimply-faced brood, she could soar as high as this plane. Oh, I know - the marriage was my idea. Don't remind me.

Claire Underwood: I was thinking...
Tom Yates: About what? Mrs. Underwood?
Claire Underwood: Jumping.
Tom Yates: Jumping?
Claire Underwood: You ever have that feeling? In conversation?
Tom Yates: Which feeling?
Claire Underwood: On a bridge, you look over and... step back...
Tom Yates: Do you need me to get someone?
[Claire drops her orange juice, and seems in a trance]
Claire Underwood: He proposed, and I said, 7 years. If it's still good, another 7. If not... every 7 years. I don't hate campaigning. What I hate is... how much I need... of...
Tom Yates: How much you need each other.
Claire Underwood: I didn't jump. I didn't step back. I... [faints]

Chapter 38 [3.12][edit]

Remy Danton: I'm out, Jackie. No more politics.
Jackie Sharp: You don't mean that. It's who you are.
Remy Danton: That's what I thought, too, for a long time. I don't even know if I'll stay in D.C.
Jackie Sharp: What will you do?
Remy Danton: That's the best part: I have no idea.

Suzy: [about her husband] He goes after anything in a skirt. Which I don't mind so much, to be honest. I mean, I've had a fling or two myself. What I don't like is how he lies about it. And then, when he asks if I've been with someone and I say yes, he flips out, like there's some kind of double standard. I mean, he wants to dog Christie Mulligan in the back of her brand new Escalade, fine. Why shouldn't I be able to give Kyle Beckenbauer some head for building Kayla's crib?

Frank Underwood: [to Dunbar] I have only one thing to say: Go fuck yourself. [to the audience] Christ, that felt good.

Claire Underwood: We've been lying for a long time, Francis.
Frank Underwood: Of course we have. Imagine what the voters would think if we started telling the truth.

Chapter 39 [3.13][edit]

Claire Underwood: There's a lot more to Francis and me than what you wrote.
Tom Yates: Maybe so, but I never got a chance to ask.
Claire Underwood: Then ask. Whatever you want.
Tom Yates: Why aren't you with him in Iowa?
Claire Underwood: [pause] I'm headed there tomorrow.
Tom Yates: You see? I ask a question, and neither of you answer. It's tiresome constantly swinging a sledgehammer at the facade, just to get a glimpse beneath the cracks.
Claire Underwood: Tell me what you see.
Tom Yates: Somebody who's lost. But I don't know, maybe it's all for the best. I'd rather imagine who you might be than who you actually are. Good luck, Claire.

Rachel Posner: [to Doug] You don't have to kill Rachel. She's already dead. She died in those woods, and it's better that way. She didn't have a very good life. But if you do this, you're not killing Rachel, you're killing Cassie, and all Cassie Lockhart wants to be is someplace far away. Someplace where nobody will ever find her. She likes to go to the movie theater. Doesn't matter what's showing, she likes the smell of the popcorn. She wants a dog, a Black Lab. She wants a queen-sized bed, lots of blankets to curl up under. She doesn't want much. She just wants to be invisible. Hey. Hey, look at me. My name is Cassie Lockhart.

Frank Underwood: You can't have it both ways. You want an equal partner when it suits you. You want a man to take charge when it suits you. And I'm just supposed to just, what, divine when you want which? Stop being so selfish. You're better than that.
Claire Underwood: I'm not being selfish.
Frank Underwood: You are. We're in the middle of an election, and look at us.
Claire Underwood: That's exactly it. Look at us, Francis. We used to make each other stronger, or at least I thought so. But that was a lie. We were making you stronger. And now I'm just weak and small, and I can't stand that feeling any longer.
Frank Underwood: All right. What do you want? What is the goddamn alternative? Please, Claire, tell me, because I don't understand. All I'm hearing is, it's not enough. That the White House is not enough. That being First Lady is not enough. Not enough!
Claire Underwood: No. It's you that's not enough.
[long pause]
Frank Underwood: When we lose because of you, there will be nothing. No plan, no future. We will only be has-beens. You want to amount to something? Well, here is the brutal fucking truth, and you can hate me, you can be disgusted, you can feel whatever it is that you wanna feel, because frankly, I am beyond caring: without me, you are nothing. You're right, this office has one chair, and you have always known that, from the very beginning. And if you suddenly can't stomach that, well then I'm a fool for having married you in the first place. But I don't have time to be a fool. I have to run this country, and win a nomination. I am doing my job. Doug is out there doing his job. And it is now time for you to do yours. You want me to take charge? Fine, I'm taking charge. [grabs her face and forces her to look at him] You will get on that plane tomorrow, you will come to New Hampshire, you will smile and shake hands and kiss babies, and you will stand with me on a stage and you will be the First Lady! And you do all that, I don't give a damn if you vomit on your own time!

Claire Underwood: Francis, I'm not going with you to New Hampshire.
Frank Underwood: Yes you are. I'll see you in the car.
Claire Underwood: I'm leaving you.