Bush Bashing, Parental Advice and November Politics

Gibson: Bob Woodward has written a new book [State of Denial], which goes back to the time when the [first Iraq] war was beginning, and quotes Mrs. Bush as having said that you were losing sleep over whether that was the right thing to do, and your feeling that perhaps it was not.

Bush: I'm familiar with this, I haven't read the book, and I don't think I'm going to read the book. But in that incident, it was a conversation that Barbara allegedly had with David Borin--

Gibson: Senator Borin.

Bush: Gibson: Ah.

Bush: And yet Woodward puts it in the book. That's a Kitty Kelley journalism in my view, and he can get away with it, he's a very famous journalist. There's no accountability to name sources. And I, I'm sorry, I don't think it's first-class. And I've -- I think I passed that along to Bob Woodward long before this came out. I like the guy, have a very pleasant personal relationship when I see him but I don't like that kind of journalism. Putting quotes on a per -- you know, that's just literary license, that's just liberty. That's not what I think, if you're gonna quote somebody, you gotta name who it is and say -- and if they're in quotes, or even the main principle of the thought, you oughta be prepared to stand behind it.

Gibson: Did you think it was the right thing for the President to go in [to Iraq]? A lot of people think when Brent Scowcroft, who was very close to you as your national security adviser-

Bush: Still is very close to me.

Gibson: That when Brent who's been critical of … much of what we've done in regard to the Iraq war, a lot of people think that he might be expressing your views.

Bush: I've heard that and that's not true, and Brent would be the first to tell you that. He's a very honorable man, he gets that rap, I think he got it in the Woodward book. I haven't read that part. But he's, he wouldn't attribute things to me, I'm sure of that.

Gibson:Didn't lose sleep over going into Iraq.

Bush: I don't think I lost sleep, do I worry about when our country's at war? Sure.

Gibson: When you see the situation now, we've lost more than 20 kids just since the beginning of October.

Bush: Right.

Gibson: When you look at the escalating violence, what do you think?

Bush: I think back to when I was in World War II. And the number of dead bodies on the sands of Iwo Jima. What are we talking 10,000 people killed in that one, one landing, I think it was something like that. Think back to my own ship where we lost, four out of our-- wait, no, no, we lost nine out of our 15 pilots I think. I think back to the horrors of war through Desert Storm. Where we, I'm convinced, did the right thing but, every lost soldier hit me in the heart. And I think the same thing here.

'Toughest Decision' A President Makes

Gibson: One of the most memorable days of my life, was Thanksgiving of 1990. You were up, you were about 10 miles from where I was, you were up on the front, telling kids in the first Gulf War that they were gonna go to war. And I was 10 miles back with a bunch of kids who'd just had Thanksgiving dinner. And we piped your speech in to these kids so that they could listen, and you essentially told the kids that I was standing with, that they were gonna go to war. And it occurred to me what a godawful difficult thing that must be for a President, to tell kids, "I feel it necessary to put your lives in jeopardy." I don't know how … a President does that.

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