“His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. [...]
We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it—and rather successfully.” – Edward R Murrow regarding Joe McCarthy
- When the wind is right, a faint odor of kerosene is exhaled from Senator McCarthy.
- Ray Bradbury, in Nation (2 May 1953), and quoted in “About Fahrenheit 451 : Historical Influences for Fahrenheit 451″
- Nothing would probably please him more than to get the publicity that would be generated by a public repudiation by the President.
- US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on declining to publicly confront McCarthy’s strategies, as quoted in The Party of Fear (1988), by David Harry Bennett, p. 304
- I will not get in the gutter with that guy.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, as quoted in Robert J. Donovan (1956) Eisenhower: The Inside Story
- The junior senator from Wisconsin, by his reckless charges, has so preyed upon the fears and hatreds and prejudices of the American people that he has started a prairie fire which neither he nor anyone else may be able to control.
- Senator J. William Fulbright (D-Arkansas), as quoted in Enough Rope (1969) by Arthur Vivian Watkins
- This is the first time in my experience, and I was ten years in the Senate, that I ever heard of a Senator trying to discredit his own Government before the world.… Your telegram is not only not true and an insolent approach to a situation that should have been worked out between man and man but it shows conclusively that you are not even fit to have a hand in the operation of the Government of the United States.
- Harry S. Truman, drafted response (probably unsent) to a telegram received on 11 February 1950. 
- Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
- Joseph Welch, in response to McCarthy accusing Fred Fisher, one of the employees of Welch’s law firm, of being a Communist. (Transcripts and audio of the exchange between Welch and McCarthy