Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bush's press conference this morning

Dubya gave an exceptional statement and followed that up with a great round of Q & A with the reporters. He exchanged barbs with Helen Thomas who charged him with lying about everything related to the war and he shot back, listen you old hag, Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan training and being protected by the Taliban. So we went in after them, removed the Taliban and set them on the road to democracy, then went to the UN over Iraq and got unanimous support for resolution 1441, disarm or else. Saddam shose or else.

I think your premise, in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist _ that I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect. [...]

No president wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true.

My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. When we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people.

Our foreign policy changed on that day. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life.

And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people, that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy, and that's why I went into Iraq.

He made 2 gridiron comments with Helen... was he suggesting the ol' battering ram could be the new middle linebacker for the Redskins? We'll just have to wait and see if that happens. The president gave another excellent response to a question asking how he reacts to people who support him but are losing faith in the war because of the frequency of bombings constantly in the news. The reporter set himself up for this one, and Dubya gave the press in general a nice jab right on the jaw.

Thirdly, in spite of the bad news on television _ and there is bad news; you brought it up. You said, How do I react to a bombing that took place yesterday? It's precisely what the enemy understands is possible to do. I'm not suggesting you shouldn't talk about it.

I'm certainly not being _ please don't take that as criticism. But it also is a realistic assessment of the enemy's capability to affect the debate, and they know that.

They're capable of blowing up innocent life so it ends up on your TV show. And, therefore, it affects the woman in Cleveland you were talking to.

And I can understand how Americans are worried about whether or not we can win. I think most Americans understand we need to win. But they're concerned about whether or not we can win.

So one of the reasons I go around the country to Cleveland is to explain why I think we can win.

Basically America thinks the war is going horribly because that's all you show on TV. That's why I've got to constantly get out there and tell them it's not as bad as they see on TV 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When you think about it, the rpess has made his job twice as difficult. How much time has he had to waste combatting a press that's hostile to his agenda? Think of the hundreds of things he could be focusing and concentrating on if he didn't have to battle the press every step of the way.