Although most of these can apply to politics in general. Courtesy of Foreign Policy:
“We’re evaluating the situation” — We still haven’t done anything.
“Events on the ground are fluid” — If I articulate an official position on what’s happening, somebody could get upset with my word choice.
“All options are on the table” — Bombs.
“We can’t rule anything out” — We retain the right to do anything and everything.
“Our position has been very clear” — Let me re-read some nonspecific generalizations from the briefing book that don’t address your question.
“We welcome this debate” — After harnessing the federal government’s resources to hide the issue, we’re going to dilute it with adjectives, already-public information, and selective leaking.
“We have serious concerns” — The harshest possible condemnation of an American ally.
“Intolerable” — Tolerable, obviously, since we’re still only talking about it.
“Policy X is not aimed at any one country” — Policy X is aimed at China or Iran.
“We’re in close consultation with X” — We’re going through the pretense of listening to others in an effort to spread the blame and burden.
“I would refer you to…” (version one) — See the earlier comments by a senior official that do not address your question.
“I would refer you to…” (version two) — See the spokesperson at another agency who also will not answer your question.
“I haven’t read that report yet” — We all read and discussed the report first thing this morning, but it raises uncomfortable questions that I won’t address.
“Person X is free to speak their mind” — Person X still doesn’t fully appreciate our very clear position; such people are often characterized as having “an agenda.”
“I think you’re reading too much into this” — Any news item conflicting with White House policy.
“I’m not in a position to comment here” — An anonymous “official” can fill you in via a well-placed leak momentarily.
“I don’t have anything for you on that” — That is a particularly uncomfortable question that of course I will not answer.
“I’m not going to prejudge the outcome” — Deferring the articulation of any comments to describe an upcoming event.
“That’s an excellent question” — The opening response to every non-answer.
“I will look into that” — I probably won’t look into that, but feel free to ask again at tomorrow’s press briefing.