Transcript: President Bush Interview

Dec. 16, 2003 -- MS. SAWYER: Was this the best day of your Presidency? PRESIDENT BUSH: No. The best day of my Presidency was when I was sworn in as President and--because it gave me a chance to assume this high office and implement a strategy that would make the world more peaceful and more free and a country more compassionate. That's so far been the best day of my Presidency. This has been a Presidency with a lot of dramatic moments, however, and, of course, the 13th of December was a very dramatic moment. September the 11th, 2001, was a dramatic moment. It's been a Presidency that has been an active Presidency for the sake of peace and freedom, and, therefore, there's been--there are a lot of interesting stories to talk about.// (STATUE VIDEO) MS. SAWYER: You have said, "Wanted, dead or alive." Were you sorry it was alive? PRESIDENT BUSH: I'm glad that chapter in Iraqi history's over with. MS. SAWYER: One way or the other? PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, absolutely. And--because, see, there were some people who were told that Saddam is coming back and, therefore, shouldn't risk anything for peace and freedom. And now they know he's not coming back, and I look forward to the trial. We had an interesting discussion yesterday which I'll be glad to share with you my sentiments, if you'd care to hear them, about how I think he ought to be tried by the Iraqis. // MS. SAWYER: And if he does not get the death penalty, will you be disappointed? PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I'm...let's just see what penalty he gets. But I--I think he ought to receive the ultimate penalty and--for what he has done to his people. I mean, he is a torturer, a murderer, and they had rape rooms, and this is--this is a disgusting tyrant who deserves justice, the ultimate justice. But that will be decided not by the President of the United States but by the citizens of Iraq in one form or another. // MS. SAWYER: But you also said in a way that will stand international scrutiny-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, that's right, and what I meant by that is, you know, you don't want a kangaroo court. I don't know if you saw the instant outburst when Bremer got up and said, "We got him," and some journalists, I believe they were journalists, started screaming, "Death to Saddam." And there needs to be a process that people--that is transparent and open and people are able to see exactly what's--what's going on. MS. SAWYER: Do you--does that mean you want an American role in it to ensure some international vantage point? PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, there is an American role in it already because the--until we-- MS. SAWYER: But-- PRESIDENT BUSH: --transfer for sovereignty, and it would be during this process that we'll be working with the Iraqis to develop a system that--that people will say it's open and it's fair. MS. SAWYER: But in terms of an American presence in the rial itself? PRESIDENT BUSH: I don't think so. I think the Iraqis are plenty capable of conducting the trial itself. // MS. SAWYER: Would you like to see him? PRESIDENT BUSH: No. I don't care to see him. MS. SAWYER: Never? PRESIDENT BUSH: I have no--I've seen him. I've seen enough of him. I saw him getting deloused and after having been pulled out a rat hole. MS. SAWYER: His daughter has said that those photos were disrespectful and humiliating to him, but he also seemed sedated, by the way. (DAUGHTER VIDEO FROM AL ARIBYA) PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah. MS. SAWYER: Was he sedated? And was it designed to humiliate him? PRESIDENT BUSH: (VIDEO HERE OF SADDAM EXAMINATION) No, I don't--first of all, I don't know if he was sedated or not. I mean, that's a question you'd ask the folks in the field. Secondly, it was designed to reflect the truth and to show--and to show the world that this barbaric person was found in a hole, hiding, cowering, that--it's also interesting that he's going to receive the justice that he never gave others. And it's--it's a dramatic moment. And I can understand a daughter being concerned about her dad. I mean, presumably somewhere in this hard, barbaric heart there was some love for his child. And--but he showed no love for the Iraqi people, particularly those that dared express an opinion other than his. // MS. SAWYER: Two little questions I'm just afraid I'll forget. One of the members of one of the congressional intelligence committees said this morning that it would be perfectly all right on Saddam Hussein to use some of the measures--not torture, but sleep deprivation, cold, some of the things that can be induced to make him uncomfortable. Do you endorse this? PRESIDENT BUSH: I have no idea what--how they're going to interrogate. I do know that this country doesn't torture. MS. SAWYER: And it's all right if they use the other means? PRESIDENT BUSH: I have no idea what they're going to do, but we do not torture. // MS. SAWYER: We read that he has already said no weapons of mass destruction. PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah. You've read that for many, many years. MS. SAWYER: But that he is talking. Has he said anything that is new, // PRESIDENT BUSH: I wouldn't trust a word he said. He--he's deceived and lied to the world in the past. He's not going to change his stripes. And I wouldn't--I wouldn't hold much account to the word of Saddam Hussein. MS. SAWYER: Do you think he was directing the raids on Iraq now that you've seen him, now that you see where he was hiding ? PRESIDENT BUSH: I don't think we know enough yet, and what we do know is that he's a dangerous man who gassed his own people, who murdered people, who invaded Kuwait, and--and that the world is safer without him. And the Iraqi people can now close that chapter, that ugly, brutal chapter of their history, and show the world they can govern themselves. MS. SAWYER: Many people have said, "Saddam Hussein. All right. What about Osama bin Laden?" VIDEO OF OSAMA PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, he's--he's--we're on his trail, too. He's-- MS. SAWYER: Close? PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I don't know. It's--it's--you know, had you and I conducted this interview the day before we captured Saddam, you'd have said, "Are we close to Saddam?" And I would have said, "You know, I really don't know." And I knew that we have a strategy to find him, but I didn't know how close we were. And I don't think you know how close you are on finding somebody like this until you actually find them. I mean, this is a person hidden in a hole and in a country the size of California. And bin Laden's on the run. I mean, he's--all I can say, he's certainly not leading any parades these days. And, you know, he's probably in a hole somewhere hiding from justice. We'll get him. SOT: "THERE'S AN OLD SAYING, DEAD OR ALIVE" MS. SAWYER: Dead or alive? PRESIDENT BUSH: Dead or alive.

END OF PART 1

BUSH PART 2

MS. SAWYER: Does the capture of Saddam Hussein mean that the troops will come home? PRESIDENT BUSH: The troops will come home when we've completed the mission and--which is a free and secure Iraq. And the capture of Saddam Hussein is a great tribute to the bravery of our troops. And it's a great tribute to the capacity for us to gather intelligence, actionable intelligence, and be able to respond to it very quickly. // MS. SAWYER: I'm thinking that most mornings, I assume in that office right through that door-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes. OVAL OFFICE VIDEO MS. SAWYER: --you get the reports on deaths and casualties. PRESIDENT BUSH: I do. MS. SAWYER: As Americans do when they wake up every morning. PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah. MS. SAWYER: When you hear, on an average, nine // every day, what do you say to yourself in that office? PRESIDENT BUSH: I, first of all--and, you know, I've seen the grief of the moms and dads and husbands and wives and children firsthand. I've had--one of my duties is to--is to, you know, console as best as I can, and weep or hug or whatever is necessary to do my part to try to help. And--but I say thank God our country has got people willing to sacrifice on behalf of peace and freedom // I have had to make some very difficult decisions about sending brave young Americans into harm's way. And in so doing, they lost their life, and I've asked for God's blessings on their--on the people that love them. MS. SAWYER: Is there ever a point at which you would say this is too many, this is too high a price to be paying? PRESIDENT BUSH: The--my job is to do everything I can to protect America and Americans. We are at war, and the war on terror is--is the challenge of the 21st century, and we must win the war. And there are different fronts on the war on terror, and I will continue to do what I think is necessary to win that war. I--and the key for me is to remind the loved ones that their troops are getting what is necessary to achieve this objective, that this government's supporting them, and that--and that we honor their memories, and we will not stop short of the objective until we have achieved the objective. // PRESIDENT BUSH: // The way to dishonor a memory of a fallen soldier is to quit too early, is to not to see that America is a more secure country and the world is a more peaceful place. // MS. SAWYER: I guess for the family, how--maybe the question they would ask is, How much do you suffer with each death? PRESIDENT BUSH: I, I, I'm--I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a son or a daughter, or a husband, and--or a wife, for that matter, and I--it pains me. // MS. SAWYER: // Will we have fewer troops in Iraq this time next year? PRESIDENT BUSH: That depends on the commanders on the ground, and it's very important for you to understand how I think the commander-in-chief ought to run a way and a reconstruction effort. My job is to set the goal and to make sure our troops and planners have got the resources necessary to achieve the goal. I depend on the commanders on the ground to make the decisions necessary to achieve the goal: troop levels, troop rotations./ // MS. SAWYER: // We keep hearing that 40 percent of the casualties are among the Reserves and the National Guard, and their families have talked about the fact they're in humvees with soft sides. Some of the families have actually sent flak jackets over saying, "Can we give you any help?" Are we saying there is nothing more that can be done to protect them, that the casualties just have to be absorbed every day? PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I don't think people feel that way. I mean, that would be--if anybody--well, first of all, my, my job is to continue to ask those questions to our, to our military. What more can we do? Can we change flight patterns? Can we harden assets? Can we detect and defuse IEDs? the, these explosive devices, before they happen? And we've asked other countries for technology to help protect our troops. We're doing everything we can to protect the troops, and it's important for their loved ones to understand that. MS. SAWYER: Senator John McCain has said that at times, commanders in chief have to go to the military and overrule them, and more troops are needed right now. MCCAIN SOT: The dirty little secret is we don't have enough troops… PRESIDENT BUSH: I asked John Abizaid, who is the general in charge of that theater, does he need more troops. He said we've got what we need. As a matter of fact, the strategy is to, is to have more troops but they would be Iraqi troops, Iraqi police, Iraqi civil defense corps, and there's about 160,000 trained Iraqis that are in charge of their own security. The truth of the matter is for Iraq to emerge as a free society, the Iraqi citizens must step up, and I think--I truly believe that the arrest of Saddam Hussein will encourage more Iraqis to step up, because the doubt as to whether or not he'll return has now been removed. // MS. SAWYER: Once again, through that door this morning, presumably, you received the threat matrix which you get every morning. PRESIDENT BUSH: I did, yes. MS. SAWYER: Are more al Qaeda in Iraq today than they were before the war? Are more al Qaeda in the United States today than there were before the war? PRESIDENT BUSH: Interesting question. It's hard to quantify that. Ansar Islam, which is an al Qaeda affiliate--I would call him al Qaeda--was active in Iraq before the war--hence, a terrorist tie with Iraq, and they are still active in Iraq. I don't know the numbers. It's hard for us to quantify yet numbers, but they suffered a pretty serious blow when the war first broke out in Iraq, and how many have been able to return or how many we've brought to justice, it's just hard to tell right now. In terms of our own country, you know, we pay a price for being such a free country. People move, are able to move in and out. They're able to burrow into our society. We're doing a better job of understanding who's coming in and who's leaving. But if there is a sleeper cell here, we're doing everything we can to find them and disrupt them. MS. SAWYER: How many Arab sleepers do we have now? PRESIDENT BUSH: I can't answer the question. // [Technical interruption.] TERROR MS. SAWYER: But Secretary Rumsfeld, in his famous memo that was leaked (laughter), worried that more radicals are being produced in the schools, Islamic schools than we're capturing, than we can kill, capture or otherwise contain. PRESIDENT BUSH: No one said the war on terror is going to be short. I mean, this is going to be a long struggle. And the United States, and our friends, including the French and the Germans, must continue to cooperate, which we are on a number of fronts, to defeat those who hate freedom and who spread a message of hate and intolerance. // MS. SAWYER: Many people have expressed great interest in your faith and your religion and the role it plays. I guess--did you pray to God for the capture of Saddam Hussein? PRESIDENT BUSH: No. I prayed to God for wisdom and strength and guidance. MS. SAWYER: And-- PRESIDENT BUSH: It's like saying, do you pray to God that you get a vote? No. I mean... MS. SAWYER: One of the questions that I guess people have is: Does your confidence come from feeling that--that God is behind you? PRESIDENT BUSH: My confidence comes from a lot of sources. I do--I am sustained by the prayers of the people in this country. I guess an appropriate way to say this, it's one of the beautiful things about America and Americans from all walks of life is that they're willing to pray for the President and his family. And that's powerful. It's hard for me to describe to you what that means. It's--let me just say this: It's a leap of faith to understand. And--but I am a confident person, I am, because I believe in the values of America. I believe in what we stand for. I'm confident because I've got assembled a great team. // I'm confident in my management style. I'm a delegator because I trust the people I've asked to join the team. I'm willing to delegate. That makes it easier to be President. //

END OF PART 2

BUSH PART 3

DIANE SAWYER Fifty percent of the American people have said that they think the administration exaggerated the evidence going into the war with Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, connection to terrorism. Are the American people wrong? Misguided?

PRESIDENT BUSH: The intelligence I operated one was good sound intelligence, the same intelligence that my predecessor operated on. The--there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a threat. The--otherwise the United Nations might--wouldn't a passed, you know, resolution after resolution after resolution, demanding that he disarm. // I first went to the United Nations, September the 12th, 2002, and said you've given this man resolution after resolution after resolution. He's ignoring them. You step up and see that he honor those resolutions. Otherwise you become a feckless debating society. // And so for the sake of peace and for the sake of freedom of the Iraqi people, for the sake of security of the country, and for the sake of the credibility of institu--in--international institutions, a group of us moved, and the world is better for it.

MS. SAWYER: But let me try to ask--this could be a long question. // // When you take a look back, Vice President Cheney said there is no doubt, Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, not programs, not intent. There is no doubt he has weapons of mass destruction. Secretary Powell said a 100 to 500 tons of chemical weapons and now the inspectors say that there's no evidence of these weapons existing right now. The yellow cake in Niger, in Niger. George Tenet has said that shouldn't have been in your speech. Secretary Powell talked about mobile labs. Again, the intelligence--the inspectors have said they can't confirm this, they can't corroborate. Nuclear. Suggestions that he was on the way on an active nuclear program. David Kay: We have not discovered significant evidence of-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Yet. MS. SAWYER: --an active-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Yet. MS. SAWYER: Is it yet? PRESIDENT BUSH: But what David Kay did discover was they had a weapons program, and had that, that--let me finish for a second. Now it's more extensive than, than missiles. Had that knowledge been examined by the United Nations or had David Kay's report been placed in front of the United Nations, he, he, Saddam Hussein, would have been in material breach of 1441, which meant it was a causis belli. And look, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a dangerous person, and there's no doubt we had a body of evidence proving that, and there is no doubt that the President must act, after 9-11, to make America a more secure country. MS. SAWYER: Again, I'm just trying to ask, these are supporters, people who believed in the war who have asked the question. PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, you can keep asking the question and my answer's gonna be the same. Saddam was a danger and the world is better off cause we got rid of him. MS. SAWYER: But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction as opposed to the possibility that he could move to acquire those weapons still-- PRESIDENT BUSH: So what's the difference? MS. SAWYER: Well-- PRESIDENT BUSH: The possibility that he could acquire weapons. If he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger. That's, that's what I'm trying to explain to you. A gathering threat, after 9-11, is a threat that needed to be de--dealt with, and it was done after 12 long years of the world saying the man's a danger. And so we got rid of him and there's no doubt the world is a safer, freer place as a result of Saddam being gone. MS. SAWYER: But, but, again, some, some of the critics have said this combined with the failure to establish proof of, of elaborate terrorism contacts, has indicated that there's just not precision, at best, and misleading, at worst.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah. Look--what--what we based our evidence on was a very sound National Intelligence Estimate. // MS. SAWYER: Nothing should have been more precise? PRESIDENT BUSH: What--I, I--I made my decision based upon enough intelligence to tell me that this country was threatened with Saddam Hussein in power. MS. SAWYER: What would it take to convince you he didn't have weapons of mass destruction? PRESIDENT BUSH: Saddam Hussein was a threat and the fact that he is gone means America is a safer country. MS. SAWYER: And if he doesn't have weapons of mass destruction [inaudible]-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Diane, you can keep asking the question. I'm telling you--I made the right decision for America-- MS. SAWYER: But-

PRESIDENT BUSH: --because Saddam Hussein used weapons of mass destruction, invaded Kuwait. //

But the fact that he is not there is, means America's a more secure country. MS. SAWYER: I want to try politics. PRESIDENT BUSH: Okay. MS. SAWYER: Nobody's succeeded-- //

MS. SAWYER: You have said that Secretary Cheney--that Vice President Cheney will be the Vice Presidential candidate. PRESIDENT BUSH: For a good reason: he's a great Vice President. MS. SAWYER: Is it important to have continuity in the Secretary of Defense in the next term? Will you promise-- PRESIDENT BUSH: I haven't made any decisions on Cabinet except for the Vice President. I mean, everybody's got to understand that--that their job is for four years, and I'll make those decisions, if I'm fortunate enough to win. MS. SAWYER: [inaudible] assumptions? Are you beatable? PRESIDENT BUSH: Everybody's beatable in a democracy. And that's the great thing about a democracy. People get to make that decision. I know how I'm voting. I'm not sure who I'll be voting against because I don't--they haven't nominated a candidate yet. But I know who I'll be voting for, and I just hope the people stay with us. And if they--if they do, I'll be honored to serve. If not, I'll be heading back to Crawford, Texas. //

END OF PART 3

BUSH PART 4 NARR: IT WAS AT CAMP DAVID. FIXING UP THE CABIN FOR THE FAMILY.

PRESIDENT BUSH: // I was at what they call Aspen, which is the presidential cabin, reading the book on Ben Franklin. And the phone--the man came in, the guy at the house came in and said, "There's a secure phone call from Secretary Rumsfeld." That doesn't happen very often. And my first anticipation was something bad had happened. And he got on the phone and said, "First reports aren't always accurate, but John Abizaid thinks that we have captured Saddam Hussein." MS. SAWYER: At that moment, what happened inside you? PRESIDENT BUSH: At that moment, a cautionary note came, because I had been disappointed before. My instincts were to say, "That is good news, but let's make sure it's true." // because I know how hard they had been working to accomplish this mission. / / //Laura finally came in //And her attitude was pretty reserved, frankly. It was like, "Good, let's hope it's him." // MS. SAWYER: // So the President said your reaction was surprisingly measured. MRS. BUSH: Well, both of our reactions were like that, just because we didn't know for sure. // It was the next morning when Ms. Rice called--that would be Condi Rice--5:15 in the morning, saying, "It has been confirmed out of Baghdad that we have captured Saddam Hussein," that I began to get this sense of joy for the Iraqi people and a sense of accomplishment for our troops, // You know, my Dad called me during this series of phone calls I was making to our allies and friends, and he said, "Congratulations, son." I said, "Dad, this is a joyous moment for the Iraqi people." MS. SAWYER: But did you have a moment just father to son after 12 years in which Saddam Hussein had called you "the son of the viper"? T BUSH: Right. No, not really. I was busy, believe this or not. Look, I had phone calls stacked up, and I wanted--I didn't want to keep other foreign leaders waiting. It was--it was a touching moment because Dad--I could sense this great sense of pride in his voice, and--but it was very important for him to realize that the moment is--it's an important moment, but there's nothing final about it. The only thing that's final about it is that the Iraqi people don't have to worry about Saddam ever again. But there's no finality for me. There's a lot more to be done in Iraq. // MS. SAWYER: What did your Mom say? PRESIDENT BUSH: I haven't spoken to her yet. Now, I know you probably don't think I'm telling the truth, but I'm telling you, I haven't checked in with her. She'd probably say, "Next time you go on TV, keep your hair better combed," knowing her. // NARR A FAMOUSLY OUTSPOKEN MOTHER - A WIFE WHOSE ROLE IS MORE ASSERTIVE THAN WE SEE. REMEMBER WHEN THE PRESIDENT SAID THIS: SOT: "Bring em on" SOMEONE ELSE SAW IT, TOO. WE STARTED BY TALKING ABOUT THE DISCLOSURE THAT HE DOESN'T READ NEWSPAPERS. DIANE SAWYER First of all, I just want to ask about reading. Mr. President, you know that there was a great deal of reporting about the fact that you said, first of all, that you let Condoleezza Rice and Andrew Card give you a flavor of what's in the news. PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes. MS. SAWYER: That you don't read the stories yourself. PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes. I get my news from people who don't editorialize. They give me the actual news, and it makes it easier to digest, on a daily basis, the facts. MS. SAWYER: Is it just harder to read constant criticism or to read-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Why even put up with it when you can get the facts elsewhere? I'm a lucky man. I've got, it's not just Condi and Andy, it's all kinds of people in my administration who are charged with different responsibilities, and they come in and say this is what's happening, this isn't what's happening. MS. SAWYER: You don't think you're missing anything by not reading them? PRESIDENT BUSH: Missing opinions? MS. SAWYER: Do you read them? MRS. BUSH: I read the newspapers, sure, of course, and I read some columns, but I agree with him that we can actually get what is really happening from the people who really know what's happening, and that isn't always what you get in the newspapers. MS. SAWYER: Do you tell him, oh, there's a-- MRS. BUSH: Sure. Sure. I mean, we talk about things that we see, but I also know that there are certain-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, she tells me all right. [Laughter.] MRS. BUSH: There are certain columnists I won't read. I mean, what--you know, why would I? MS. SAWYER: You were saying that-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Straighten up your act, Mr. President. MS. SAWYER: I was remembering when you said "wanted dead or alive," and she suggested-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, she told me-- MS. SAWYER: When you said, "Bring 'em on--" PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah. MS. SAWYER: --did she say something to you? PRESIDENT BUSH I'm sure she did. Of course, I was speaking to our troops then. Remember, we had just finished a, I mean, I don't need to rationalize it. Yeah, she said something about it. [Laughter.] She didn't like my rhetoric. Of course, she grew up in a part of the world where people tend to speak bluntly, so I'm surprised she doesn't understand why I speak that way, but nevertheless she can be a pretty tough critic. And I take it, I take it to heart, I might add. That doesn't necessarily mean I change, but I take it to heart. // END PART 4

BUSH PART 5

MS. SAWYER: Howard Dean. It has been reported that members of your administration were salivating at the prospect that he would be the nominee. PRESIDENT BUSH: Look, I will respond to the Democrat nominee when they nominate the candidate, and I will--look, there's just a lotta politics in Washington. Washington loves politics. It is--it makes for juicy news reporting and gossip. My job is to make this country more secure, more prosperous, and a better country, and I will continue doing that. // MS. SAWYER: // He has Al Gore now endorsing him. Do you think Al Gore was looking for vindication for-- PRESIDENT BUSH: That's up for the Democrats to decide all that business. And all the pundits and the people, that's your job, is to analyze all this stuff, not mine. // MS. SAWYER: Would it be harder to run against a woman? Do you think it's trickier to run against a female? PRESIDENT BUSH: I've had that experience, and I had a tough race and--with Governor Ann Richards. (ANN RICHARDS SOT) It was a--it was an interesting race and a tough race. MS. SAWYER: // Would you be surprised if Mrs. Clinton got in? (HILLARY CLINTON VIDEO) PRESIDENT BUSH: That's--that's for the Democrats to decide. Again, I don't want to sound like a broken record, but it's truly how I feel. // Pretty soon there'll be a candidate, // and then you'll be asking me questions, why aren't you willing to debate, and why aren't you engaging? And the reason why is because the President has got a job to do. MS. SAWYER: You don't plan to debate? PRESIDENT BUSH: Oh, I'm confident we'll debate. I meant early in the process, there will be all kinds of pressures to respond to this or respond to that, and I know what's coming. And I just want to warn you. I'm going to do my job. I've got a lot to do. As we say, the dance card is quite full these days. But we're making good progress for the country, and that's important. // MS. SAWYER: One of the worrying sectors is still jobs. Treasury Secretary John Snow said that we needed to create 200,000 more jobs a month in order, at the end of this, for you not to be the first president, as everyone has said, since Herbert Hoover, who had a net job loss in his term. How are you going to create 200,000 new jobs a month? PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, first, let's make sure the record, so I can distinguish myself from Herbert. I inherited the recession. I didn't create one. When we showed up in office, the country was beginning to go into decline, and we responded with some tax relief, strong tax relief to stimulate the economy, and it's working. It is also important that people keep--at least remember that the attacks happened just as the economy was coming around. We had corporate scandals, which we've acted strongly, "we" being the Congress and the executive branch. You know, it didn't help that we were marching to war, in all due respect for the TV stations and networks, (SHOW NETWORK INSIGNIAS) there was at least--I know one had "March to War" every day on TV, which is not conducive to capital investment when you think you're marching to war. Anyway, we've overcome those obstacles, and the country's--the economy's growing. And I'm pleased and won't rest until people can--who are looking for a job can find work. But I am pleased with the progress we have made. // MS. SAWYER: What worries you most about the economy? The deficit? [inaudible] campaigning against them and-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, well, you got to understand, we're at war and I'm going to spend what is needed to win the war. And we've got to protect the homeland. We'll spend what's needed to protect the homeland.// We've got a plan to cut it in half over the next five years. It means Congress is going to have to tow the line when it comes to spending. We can't--they can't, particularly in campaign years, try to be all things to all people and overspend. But I think we're making good progress. I'm satisfied with the progress we've made // MS. SAWYER: Massachusetts Supreme Court said that they were not, they did not feel the law was in a position to block gay marriage. When you talk about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, are you saying you will absolutely support a Constitutional amendment against gay marriage and against gay civil unions? PRESIDENT BUSH: If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment which would honor marriage between a man and a woman, codify that, and will--the position of this administration is that whatever legal arrangements people want to make, they're allowed to make, so long as it's embraced by the state or [?] start at the state level. Let me tell you, the court I thought overreached its bounds as a court. It did the job of the legislature. It was a very activist court in making the decision it made. As you know, I'm a person who believes in judicial restraint, as opposed to judicial activism that takes the place of the Legislative Branch. MS. SAWYER: But you and Secretary--why do I get-- PRESIDENT BUSH: It's just a throwback. MS. SAWYER: That's right. Some of us are still-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Vice President Cheney. MS. SAWYER: Thank you very much. Some of us are still stuck back in the '70s and '80s. Vice President Cheney has spoken out in favor of civil unions. In the 2000 election, you said pretty much it was a state issue. PRESIDENT BUSH: That's right. Except and unless judicial rulings undermine the sanctity of marriage. In which case, we may need a Constitutional amendment. MS. SAWYER: And do you think that the defense of marriage law is enough then? PRESIDENT BUSH: It may be undermined at this point. I also think it's very important, on this subject, that the country be tolerant of people and understand people, but tolerance and belief in marriage aren't mutually exclusive points of view. MS. SAWYER: Are they sinners? Are gays sinners? PRESIDENT BUSH: We're all sinners. We're all sinners, and that's important for-- MS. SAWYER: No distinction. PRESIDENT BUSH: I think we're all sinners. One of my favorite Bible verses says, "Why would I take a speck out of your eye when I have a log in my own?" // and having said that, however, I do believe in the sanctity of marriage. // but I don't see that as conflict with being a tolerant person or an understanding person. // END OF PART 5

BUSH PART 6 MS. SAWYER: I wanted to talk a little bit about the two of you at the end of this year, a different Christmas from the one heading into war a year ago. Is it going to be celebrated dif--differently, for the two of you? PRESIDENT BUSH: I don't think so. We've got the--we got a lotta Christmas parties here in Washington, to thank the people that work with us, and, and, and then we're gonna go up to Camp David and see some of our family, starting with Old 41 and "Bar" and Marv and Daro [ph], and their families, and then we're off to Crawford by ourselves. MS. SAWYER: And your daughters are going to be there, about to graduate from college. MRS. BUSH: The girls will be here of course. One, one of 'ems already here; the other one's still in finals. MS. SAWYER: Is this serious "empty nest" syndrome setting in here? MRS. BUSH : Well, we've had "empty nest" syndrome the whole time we've lived here at the White House, so, you know, it's just a, another real passage in their lives and so it's a, also a passage in ours, when they graduate from college and go to work, and they're looking forward to it, and we are too. MS. SAWYER: You've said no serious boyfriends yet. MRS. BUSH: No. MS. SAWYER: Is that kind of a relief? MRS. BUSH: Sure. I mean, it's a relief in some ways, although I hope they find somebody they love, and we're both actually hoping for grandchildren right away; but don't tell them. MS. SAWYER: Who of you is a tougher judge of the boyfriends? PRESIDENT BUSH: Me. I've got a pretty high standard. MRS. BUSH : I'm the one with-- PRESIDENT BUSH: As you can imag-- PRESIDENT BUSH: --the really high standard. MS. SAWYER: And you think perhaps they'll both study teaching? MRS. BUSH: They may do that for a while. That's what they'd like to do, and then I think they'll go to graduate school. Who knows? I mean, they're just, you know, on the verge of their life out of school for the first time in all these years, and, and we'll see. MS. SAWYER: If there's one thing you could say to them, starting this part of their lives, what would it be, looking back when you were starting yours? PRESIDENT BUSH: We still love you. MRS. BUSH: One of the-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Go, go for it. MRS. BUSH: Yeah; that's right; go for it-- PRESIDENT BUSH: And we will love you-- MRS. BUSH: --for sure. PRESIDENT BUSH: And we will love you, no matter what happens. MRS. BUSH: I think that the "go for it" part is really right, that it's so--one a the things I learned as I got older was how important being productive and working is to your happiness, to anyone's happiness, and so I hope they, they learn that. (BUSH ON BARNEY SOT: 'YOU'RE THE SON I NEVER HAD") MS. SAWYER: And is Barney the son that-- MRS. BUSH: Absolutely not! PRESIDENT BUSH: That is a provocative question. MRS. BUSH: No; he's not. He's our precious little dog that we are so crazy about. PRESIDENT BUSH: That's easy for you to say. Who's out there fishing with me on a regular ba--I can't get anybody in the family to fish with me except for Barney. MRS. BUSH: Barney does love to fish. He loves to sit on the prow of the boat-- MS. SAWYER: Do you-- MRS. BUSH: --for hours on end. MS. SAWYER: --just say, I'm President of the United States and I can't get anybody to go fishing?

PRESIDENT BUSH:

Well, it's a--my--at least when I canvass our family, // MS. SAWYER: Just curious. What movies are you loving now? MRS. BUSH: Let's see. We have a lot of movies we hope to see over the Christmas holidays, the new ones. MS. SAWYER: Number one? MRS. BUSH: Well, we're interested in-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Jack Nicholson's movie. MRS. BUSH: Let's see, what's the name of it? "Something's Got to Give." Our girls tell us that "Elf" is very funny and that the president will like it. So we'll probably watch it. // MS. SAWYER: America is now immersed in this reality TV. PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes. MS. SAWYER: Extreme Makeover ever enter-- PRESIDENT BUSH: No, we don't have--I hate to say this, and I don't want to disappoint the people that pay your salary, but I don't watch it. I couldn't tell you--I have no idea what you're talking about. I know what reality TV is. I haven't-- MRS. BUSH: We don't watch any of those shows, of course, needless to say. PRESIDENT BUSH: Sorry about that. MS. SAWYER: What do you watch on television? MRS. BUSH: We watch a lot of sports. PRESIDENT BUSH: Sports. Your show [inaudible], with baited breath waiting to see this. MS. SAWYER: Right, and if they have a fishing show on the sports channel. PRESIDENT BUSH: Look, we don't watch much TV at all, as a matter of fact, We get to--I'm an early to rise person. Laura and I get up--we got up this morning at about 5:15 this morning, and I'm at work before 7:00. We don't entertain a lot except for this part of the season. But I'm reading a lot of materials. My briefing book, I get my briefing book at about 7 o'clock at night, and I'm working for the next day. And when you get up at 5:15 and work out like we both do, you get pretty sleepy at a reasonable hour. And so I don't have a lot of time for TV. MS. SAWYER: What kind of music do you like to keep playing? PRESIDENT BUSH: I like country and western. // MS. SAWYER: Is there a song that is just the two of yours song? This is a personal, romantic question, but-- MRS. BUSH: I don't think so. PRESIDENT BUSH: That may not be my inclination. MRS. BUSH: We have a very large music collection. We really do. PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, Laura loves Van Morrison. // MS. SAWYER: Have you bought Mrs. Bush's present yet? PRESIDENT BUSH: I have. MS. SAWYER: You knew what you-- PRESIDENT BUSH: Incredibly expensive. [Laughter.] It's amazing with fake jewelry, you just can't tell the difference between real or not.// [Laughter.] MRS. BUSH: // I already have a few little things, very small things wrapped for him. The most fun part about the holidays and Christmas especially is being at Camp David with all of our family, the girls, my mother, and his parents. That'll be the really fun part. The bowling tournament and the backgammon tournament and--what else will we have? And then going to church with those people who are stationed at Camp David who we go to church with every Sunday that we're there, and watching their little children in the Christmas pageant. Those are--that's what really makes Christmas special for us.// MS. SAWYER: And on New Year's Day, you get up at sunrise and walk? PRESIDENT BUSH: That's right. MRS. BUSH: Our sunrise New Year's Day walk, we started doing that with the millennium, that first--January 1st, 2000, and it's really fun for us. We love that. It gives us an opportunity to think about what's happened. We actually at the ranch get up and walk at sunrise every day, but especially that New Year's Day is a special time.

END OF ACT 6

PART 7

MS. SAWYER: If I ask about this past year, I wonder if you'd say the same thing--well, I'll find out. Looking back, proudest moment and moment you'd like to go back and do over again in this let's say the past four years. PRESIDENT BUSH: Let's see, here. Proudest moment. When Barney caught that fish. I don't know. Look, you know my nature is not to sit around and analyze and to second guess. I may, we've just been very fortunate. I've made a lot of tough decisions. There's a lot going on. MS. SAWYER: Anything you'd like to go back and do differently? PRESIDENT BUSH: Not that I can think of right this second. MRS. BUSH: I'm very proud of our country, and we've seen that especially since September 11th all the time. I'm proud of Americans. I'm so proud of the strength and the resolve that Americans have, // and I'm also really proud of my husband. // MS. SAWYER: Are you looking forward to this next year? MRS. BUSH: I am looking forward to it. I like a campaign year. It's a lot of fun. // It's also our last campaign. MS. SAWYER: At any point you ever said to each other, "Do we want to do this again?" PRESIDENT BUSH: Not really. MRS. BUSH: Not really. PRESIDENT BUSH: There's too much to do. There's been--you know, if the war on terror was over or whatever, maybe we would have, but there's too much left to do.// MS. SAWYER: You said once, in I think it was the 2000 campaign, you didn't need to be president. PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah. MS. SAWYER: Do you need it now? Do you need to be re-elected? PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, you know, let's try to put that in context. I'm not exactly sure. I'm confident I said that, if you said I said it, because my attitude was is that if I get whipped, fine. I can move on with my life. I've got, I've got a wife that I'm in love with. I've got daughters I love. I've got a wonderful group of friends that will be my friend--be my friends whether I'm president or not president. We've got a place we love in Texas. And so "need" is an interesting word. I want to be president because I've got a lot more to do. I believe we're on the verge of some historic change, and the world will be better off for it, and I look forward to making the case. //