Bush Not Worried About Low Approval Ratings

Secondly, you know, I don't know the survey you're referring to, but I do know that our country gained great goodwill as a result of our efforts to help relieve the suffering from the earthquakes. And so my trip is one to say to the Pakistani people, "We care about you," and there's tangible evidence to show we do because we are spending half a billion dollars to help the country recover and rebuild from this devastating natural disaster.

Secondly, I'm going to talk to my friend President Musharraf and remind him that we have a common enemy in al Qaeda, and so long as al Qaeda is plotting and planning in the neighborhood, we're going to need to work together to stop those plots. This is a man who's had his life threatened I think four times by al Qaeda; in other words, four attempts on his life. And so he knows firsthand how dangerous these folks are.

But our agenda's bigger than that. Our agenda is also one of you don't have any bilateral investment treaty so that we can continue the possibility of open trade with Pakistan. So I'm looking forward to it. It's a good chance to say to people, look, we care about you, and we've got a common agenda.

VARGAS: President Musharraf has been candid about talking about the challenges, though, of being an ally in the war on terror with a population that is so divided, some of it so openly supportive of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. He told us in an interview last summer that he actually hopes the United States finds Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. It's a political headache for him to have to deal with that.

BUSH: He'll have to make a choice. That's the thing about this world. You know, sometimes it's not easy. Sometimes you have to decide.

VARGAS: Do you think he's doing enough, the Pakistanis are doing enough to find bin Laden, since everybody believes bin Laden is in Pakistan?

BUSH: We're looking and we've had some success against some of his lieutenants and allies. The war against terror requires constant pressure, the sharing of intelligence, the capacity to find these people lurking in remote regions of the world. And, you know, Western Pakistan is pretty remote. But I'll be talking to President Musharraf about the need to work together to find these killers.

VARGAS: If when you leave the Oval Office, the White House, Osama bin Laden is still at large, will you consider that a failure?

BUSH: What I'm looking at is management structure, operators, and whether or not we're doing everything we can to protect the American people. Of course, we'd like to bring him to justice, and we'll stay up -- you know, the only thing I can tell the American people, so long as I'm the president, we'll stay on the hunt and we'll use resources and power and influence to convince others to join us on the hunt as well. And, you know, I'm an optimistic person. I believe we will bring him to justice.

VARGAS: I know you don't read the polls. You have said that many, many times.

BUSH: So what are you going to do, ask me about a poll?

VARGAS: I am going to ask about a poll, just the most recent poll that's out today that does have your approval rating at an all-time low for your administration. You don't care about that, but you have talked a lot about political capital, the importance of it, the value of it, your intention to use it. Do you think you have political capital right now?

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