Bush Asked (Again) What He Would Do Differently About Iraq War; (Again) He Fails To Answer
The question from NBC's David Gregory earlier today was fairly simple.
GREGORY: You spoke of the troubles in Iraq. And as you know, we have Woodward and we have a shelf full of books about Iraq, and many of them claim that administration policies contributed to the difficulties there. So I'm wondering, is there anything you wish you would have done differently with regard to Iraq?
But Bush's answer was far from simple. Let's break it down.
PART 1: INCOHERENT RAMBLING
BUSH: Speaking about books, somebody ought to add up the number of pages that have been written about my administration. There's a lot of books out there -- a lot. I don't know if I've set the record, or not, but I guess it means that I've made some hard decisions and will continue to make hard decisions.
I guess Bush didn't read any of those books about his administration. Hard decisions? Sort of. Wrong decisions? That describes the situation more aptly.
PART 2: WHAT OTHERS COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY
BUSH: And, David, this is the -- this is about the fifth time I've been asked this type of question. And as you know, there are some things that I wish had happened differently -- Abu Ghraib. I believe that really hurt us. It hurt us internationally. It kind of eased us off the moral high ground. In other words, we weren't a country that was capable of, on the one hand, promoting democracy, and then treating people decently. Now the world has seen that we've held those to account who are -- who did this.
Remember, the question was what he would have done differently. This is sort of a bait-and-switch answer.
Another point: Bush said the U.S. held to account those who did this. That statement came on the same day that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was asked if he bears responsibility for what has gone wrong in Iraq, to which Rumsfeld responded, "Of course I bear responsibility."
Isn't there a disconnect with these statements?
PART 3: I WAS RIGHT
BUSH: You know, there's just a lot of look-backs. Presidents don't get to look back, but I will tell you, the decision to remove Saddam was the right decision. And I would look forward to the debate where people debate whether or not Saddam should still be in power.
Bush said he'd been asked the question five times. He hasn't answered it yet.
Reporters should keep asking. Maybe some of them will someday write books about the president who was incapable of admitting he'd ever made a mistake.