Farewell to a flack: Brian Robinson's most memorable (printable) quotes

Brian Robinson and his soon-to-be former boss.

Combined ShapeCaption
Brian Robinson and his soon-to-be former boss.

Brian Robinson used a mix of biting wit and unbridled umbrage to defend Gov. Nathan Deal at every turn and slam any critic who crossed his boss.

The governor's chief attack dog is leaving his pirate-themed statehouse office and Deal's employ next month for the glittery promises of private practice. The departure is no surprise now that the thrill of the campaign is gone after Deal's final run for public office.

Robinson, a former aide to Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, joined Deal's team in March 2010 when he was running near the bottom of the crowded GOP primary, faced with low name recognition and damaging ethics allegations. The governor credits his bruising attacks and sharp rhetoric for giving new life to his bid for office.

"He is a part of the Deal family. We brought him on very early in our campaign, and he saw us through the tough times," said Deal. "And he did so with style."

We've compiled a list of his 10 most memorable quotes to see Robinson off. The printable ones at least - those not suitable for a family publication (and there are many) have been preserved elsewhere.

Here goes:

1. "To so bitterly rehash 2-year-old political trash provokes more pity than anger. This is sadder than the end of 'Old Yeller.'"

That was Robinson's reaction to a passage in a book penned by Karen Handel, Deal's 2010 GOP runoff opponent, that invoked the ethics allegations against his campaign.

2. "We don't question whether he has cows. We knew he was getting a lot of manure from somewhere."

The retort from Robinson after Democrat Roy Barnes invited reporters to his barn in the heat of the 2010 campaign to debut his new calves.

3. "Qualifying is over and the opposition offers up the Downton Abbey Democrats - those who think titles are inherited."

A 2014 attack on the trio of legacy candidates that Georgia Democrats fielded in races for governor, U.S. Senate and agriculture commissioner.

4. "She told the AJC that she doesn't like the governor's proposal because the commission would be too big and would outnumber the employees. I'm stuffing a pillow in my mouth to stifle my screams."

An email obtained via an Open Records Act request in 2014 detailed Robinson's strange way of blowing off steam after learning that then-ethics chief Holly LaBerge wasn't a fan of his boss's ethics proposal.

5. "It appears that once again someone has commandeered Karen Handel's e-mail account and is sending out crazy messages under her name. She might need to consider putting password protection on her account."

Another Robinson slam aimed at Handel in 2010, this involving her campaign's denial that she sent emails indicating she supported granting benefits to gay partners of county employees.

6. "We think it's cute that he thinks anyone in Georgia would buy his book, but if any Georgian does, I'm happy to double the royalties and buy a pack of gum for a charity of Michael Moore's choice."

That one came after filmmaker Michael Moore vowed to donate royalties from sales of his memoir in Georgia "to help defeat the racists and killers who run that state" in protest of the 2011 execution of Troy Anthony Davis.

7. "Tomorrow I'm going to sit in Vincent Fort's office and demand to be arrested. Oh wait, I have to go to work."

This Robinson broadside was targeted at state Sen. Vincent Fort, another of his favorite foils, after the Democrat was arrested in a 2014 Moral Monday protest.

8. "When you don't get asked to the prom, you can be cool about it and act like you have better things to do, or you can have a public meltdown on the school PA system and make wild accusations against the person who turned a blind eye to your inviting smiles. No decent person enjoys seeing the latter, particularly when it involves someone of dignity and respect."

When newspaper publisher Dink NeSmith, a former Regents chair, accused Deal of "dictatorial tactics" and propaganda, Robinson unloaded.

9. "If I sponsored a bill, I would

actively ask

Explore @ bettergeorgia

to oppose it. It is to losing as the

Explore @ ATLHawks

are to winning."

Left-leaning guerrilla group Better Georgia, yet another frequent target of Robinson's attacks, got that reaction after launching a new ad campaign against the "religious liberty" movement.

10. "What's going to be the art with this? Carter in stained glass in a white robe with the children gathering around him contrasted with a Luckovich caricature of a yellow-toothed governor stealing a kids' lunch money?"

Lest we not forget, Robinson, a former AJC opinions desk staffer, often reserved his most toxic venom for his erstwhile colleagues. That was his response to Maureen Downey, who proposed an election-year package focusing on education featuring Deal and opponent Jason Carter.

We couldn't find any such illustration in our archives, but this one of Robinson at the height of the snowjam backlash should do the trick.