Quote Gallery The Berlusconi Bravado

As Italy's longtime political heavyweight Silvio Berlusconi runs for office once again, here's a look back at some of the controversial former leader's most colorful statements.
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One of Berlusconi's most legendary quips came in February 2006, when he said: "I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone."

Foto: MAX ROSSI/ Reuters
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In October 2011, the three-time Italian prime minister told his conservative The People of Freedom Party deputies that it should rename itself "Forza Gnocca!," a reference to his original Forza Italia! (Go Italy!) party, but using a slang term for female genitalia.

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In the summer of 2011, Berlusconi reportedly said in a telephone conversation with a journalist that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a "culona inscopabile," which was widely translated as "unfuckable fatass." Here, he shares his thoughts with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy at a G-20 meeting in 2009.

Foto: Christian Thiel
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After the deadly earthquake in the central Italian city of L'Aquila left tens of thousands homeless in April 2009, Berlusconi described their living conditions this way: "Of course, their current lodgings are a bit temporary. But they should see it like a weekend of camping."

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In 2006, Berlusconi reportedly said: "Only Napoleon did more. But I'm definitely taller."

Foto: Guido Montani/ picture alliance / dpa
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Berlusconi, shown here in 2004 with his former wife Veronic Lario, has been involved in multiple sex scandals, for which he is entirely unapologetic. "When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30 percent of women answered, 'Yes', while the other 70 percent responded, 'What, again?'" Berlusconi reportedly said in April 2011.

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Berlusconi likes to frame himself as someone who enjoys the finer things in life, but this joke attributed to the media tycoon was beyond unrefined: "An AIDS patient asks his doctor whether the sand treatment prescribed him will do any good. 'No', the doctor replies, 'but you will get accustomed to living under the earth'."

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When US President Barack Obama was elected, Berlusconi welcomed him into office by praising him as "handsome, young and suntanned." Unable to comprehend why anyone might find this offensive, he later commented that Obama must sunbathe together with his wife Michelle, for she too was "suntanned."

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The never-shy politician also reportedly bragged in a wiretapped conversation in September 2011 that he had fended off a line of women outside his door and of "doing only eight girls, because I couldn't do more." Here, he disembarks from a ship in September 2012, when he began hinting he might run for office once again.

Foto: Luca Turi/ dpa
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After workers at Italian carmaker Fiat were laid off in December 2002, Berlusconi reportedly encouraged them to seek work on the black market, saying: "The most keen can certainly find a second job, maybe unofficial."

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Berlusconi has endured rabid press coverage of his sexcapades, including "bunga bunga parties" and allegations about inappropriate relations with the underage Karima el Mahroug (shown here), known by her stage name "Ruby." But he has rarely shown remorse. "It's better to like beautiful girls than to be gay," he said in November 2010.

Foto: Fabrice Thuile/ AP
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In July 2003, Berlusconi told Martin Schulz, a German member of the European Parliament: "I know that in Italy there is a man producing a film on Nazi concentration camps. I'll suggest you for the role of Kapo. You're perfect."

Foto: Luca Bruno/ AP
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In an interview with Britain's Spectator magazine in September 2004, Berslusconi said: "Mussolini never killed anyone. He just sent people on vacation."

Foto: STR/ AP
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Berlusconi said in June 2005 that he'd used his manly charms to persuade Finnish President Tarja Halonen to give up the country's claim to host the new European Food Safety Authority. "I had to use all my playboy tactics, even if they have not been used for some time," he said. She was not amused.

Foto: Leon Neal/ AFP
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After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Berlusconi offended the Muslim world by saying the West was superior. "We should be conscious of the superiority of our civilization, which consists of a value system that has given people widespread prosperity in those countries that embrace it, and guarantees respect for human rights and religion," he said. "This respect certainly does not exist in the Islamic countries."

Foto: DPA / ABC / New York Police
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"One citizen is equal to another (in the eyes of the law) but perhaps this one is slightly more equal than the others, given that 50 percent of Italians have given him the responsibility of governing the country," he said in reference to himself during a corruption trial in June 2003. Never afraid to show a little bravado, Berlusconi, shown here at a campaign event in February 2013, has said he is the man to lead Italy yet again.