Jeffrey LewisBush Press Conference

Obviously, I didn/’t get to see the Bush press conference, but I received the following observations:

He didn’t answer a single question (most of which were softballs), he was offered and refused 3 or 4 opportunities to admit that he’d made any mistakes at all over the course of his administration and he refused to do so, he said he still expects to find WMDs in Iraq and that the latest report proved that Hussein had the capacity to manufacture biological weapons, he made the claim that “there was … nobody in our government [who] could envision flying airplanes into buildings” in the same sentence in which he talked about the Genoa conference (where he was briefed on the threat of terrorists using planes as missles)…it was just a disaster.

The worst moment was when, in answering a question about the biggest mistake he/’d made since becoming president, he completely froze for a good 5 seconds, and then said something like “I can/’t come up with an answer under all this pressure. Something will come to me later.” I wanted to shout “Pressure? This is a press conference; they/’re pussycats! The Cuban Missile Crisis was pressure!”

Oh, and someone asked “how do you respond to critics who compare Iraq with Vietnam?” He answered “I think the analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy.” Then he went on to a 5 minute filibuster about how important a free Iraq would be, and how he won/’t back down from the war on terror. Absolutely no reference to Vietnam; no discussion of how we/’ll win in Iraq; no discussion of how to win the war on terra…nothing, except hints that Kerry is a coward.

Oh, and he called Rumsfeld Secretary of State, and said if General Abizaid wants more troops, “that/’s what he gets” two days after Abizaid explicitly asked for more troops.

Probably the most politically damaging moment (other than his refusal to accept any responsibility or admit any mistakes) was when he flat-out refused to answer a question about why he and Cheney had to appear in front of the 9-11 commission together.

I really think it/’s going to hurt him, so I/’m happy with it, I guess, but I really was just ashamed.

The bizarre thing is that I see all these comments in the transcript (the Genoa remark is a couple of paragraphs removed). Could Bush/’s performance possibly have been that bad?

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