From the president's first White House press conference, February 22nd, 2001 ...
Our budget is fiscally responsible. If enacted, it will reduced (sic) the deficit by an unprecedented amount over the next four years.
Bad budget intelligence from the CIA?
Of course, there was no deficit in 2001. So reducing it ... well, perhaps the whole thing was just a misunderstanding over plus and minus signs.
P.S. Special thanks to TPM reader PN for the quote.
Late Update: Several folks have written in to say that I'm being unfair to the president with this quote because he must have meant 'debt' and not 'deficit'. They may be right. But looking at the context, which you can find if you go through the link provided above, I don't think you can find any context which points in that direction. The only thing that points in that direction -- and it's a pretty good pointer -- is that the 'deficit' comment simply doesn't make any sense. So the only way to make sense of the comment is to assume he meant debt. Not of course that it really materially changes the underlying point since the debt has gone up by unprecedented levels, not down -- as could have been, as was, predicted at the time.