I didn’t get a chance (or have the stomach) to watch Mr. Bush’s press conference on Tuesday night. But fortunately, somebody who did watch it was generous enough to summarize it for those who missed it. I received this summary via email. Unfortunately, as with many items like this, by the time I received it, all traces of the original author had been lost. In spite of the fact that I am therefore unable to give credit where it’s deserved, I think this is too good not to post here, in case some of my readers also missed the press conference.
A Busy Person’s Guide to the Bush Press Conference
Since most people don’t like to watch an hour of Bush on television (and
for some reason I don’t mind even though it drives me nuts), I decided to
boil down the questions and answers from tonight’s press conference in the
East Room of the White House to their bare essentials. The questioners
(Q:) are not identified. All answers (A:) are (paraphrases) from George W.
Bush. (transcript of the conference)
Q: April is the deadliest month in Iraq, people are comparing it to
Vietnam and support for the war is declining to less than 50%. What say
A: Its not Vietnam. This is hard. A free Iraq will be great. This is hard.
We’ve been there a long time, but its not that long. Things have been hard
for me. I don’t listen to polls.
Q: How long will US troops be in Iraq?
A: I don’t know–ask someone else. We’ll be there as long as we need to.
Q: You have said we’d be greeted as liberators, that Iraqi oil would pay
for the war and that we’d find WMD in Iraq. Why were you so wrong on all
of these counts?
A: September 11th. Threat. Saddam, threat. Intelligence told me so. I told
UN to act but they didn’t so I did. Saddam could have made WMD. Danger.
Oil? It wasn’t destroyed and its flowing. Iraqi’s are happy…the silent
majority supports us…Iraqi’s are happy.
Q: You told Bob Woodward that Osama wasn’t a priority before 9/11. Do you
feel any personal responsibility for 9/11?
A: I was angry and sad on 9/11. Before 9/11 I was not.
Q: And do you feel personal responsibility for 9/11?
A: No. The patriot act is good. We were stovepiped. No war footing. 9/11
was gathering threat…thats why I dealt with Iraq. We must preempt all
who hate us.
Q: You never admit mistakes (WMD, postwar planning, 9/11). Should people
be unhappy about that? Did you screw up?
A: No war footing. Osama hated us. We didn’t know what was coming. I
wonder where the WMD are. Saddam, threat. World, better. Iraqi’s are
Q: You said the Aug. 6th PDB didn’t warn of hijacking airplanes into
buildings, but just some things really close to that. Did you do anything
A: I asked for the briefing and then went on vacation. The report was
historical. I was concerned. If I didn’t know something its George Tenet’s
fault. Nothing new in PDB. FBI was doing good. I would have acted. If only
they had told me: “9/11, NYC, WTC, 8:30am” I would have been there.
Q: The PDB says there were 70 FBI investigations. Today the 9/11 hearings
found that as wrong. Did you get bad info?
A: I expect to get valid information.
Q: Has the FBI talked to you since?
Q: Richard Clarke apologized to ! the nation. Do Americans deserve an
apology from you?
A: If only they had told me “9/11, NYC, WTC, 8:30am” I would have been
there. Its Osama’s fault, not mine.
Q: The “coalition” forces constitute hardly any of the troops. Isn’t it
window dressing? What happens when you turn Iraq over to them?
A: Don’t say mean things about other people. We must remain strong. The
Iraq war is a blow against terrorism. Iraq will be free someday.
Q: Why won’t you testify before the 9/11 commission without Cheney at your
A: Because they want to ask us questions.
Q: I asked why you’re appearing together, instead of separately as they
A: Because we can both answer this way.
Q: Some say you let 9/11 mature too far–Iraq not far enough. What do you
think? What’s next?
A: They say we should have taken out Afghanistan and they say I shouldn’t
have attacked Iraq. See? War footing. I thought about Al Q! aeda. Our oceans
don’t protect us. We let people in. Its a tough decision for me to use the
military. We’ll use it whenever we need to. They found 50 tons of mustard
gas in Libya. I worry about WMD. We’re at war against terror.
Q: People are unhappy about Iraq–will you lose your job over it?
A: I don’t plan on losing my job. I don’t like seeing dead people on
television. Its hard to console family members. I will make my case. Lets
talk about the war against terror. Our soldiers are great.
Q: After 9/11, whats your biggest mistake?
A: I wish you could have given me the questions beforehand. I went to war
in Afghanistan. Even though there were no WMD I still would have taken
Iraq. They found 50 tons of mustard gas. Saddam is dangerous. He had WMD.
I can’t come up with a mistake I’ve made.
Q: Several thousand FBI agents wrote you today begging you to not split up
law enforcement and counterterrorism but you said today you m! ight. Will
A: Lets talk. The war will be long. Our enemy is ruthless. It will be
long. We should learn from mistakes. A free middle east will be hopeful.
Free. Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. We are a great power. We feed
North Korea, we fight AIDS in Africa. I am leading and making the world a
better place. We’ll stay the course. Stay the course. Soldiers are dying
in Iraq for freedom.
Q: Why are you such a bad communicator?
A: “When I say something, I mean it.”