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Quotes - Dubya the Policymaker (2006)
(Dubya's command of the issues in full relief)
We, we have met with Syria since I have been the President of the United States. We have talked to them about what is necessary for them to have a better relationship with the United States, and they're not unreasonable requests. You know, we've, we've suggested to them that they no longer allow — Saddamists to send money and arms across their border into Iraq to fuel the violence — some of the violence that we see. We've talked to them about, they've gotta leave the democrat Lebanon alone.
And one of the things that has changed for American foreign policy is a threat overseas can now come home to hurt us, and September the 11th should be a wake-up call for the American people to understand what happens if there is violence and safe havens in a part of the world.
Dubya offers a somewhat mangled take on post-9/11 foreign policy, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006
Our goals remain clear. Peace and security in Northeast Asia and a nukyular-free Korean Peninshula.
I mean — I — you have, one has a stronger hand when there's more people playing your same cards.
Dubya presents an alternate understanding of the rules of poker in explaining his stance toward North Korea, White House, Oct. 11, 2006
It is conceivable that there will be a world in which radical forms, extreme forms of religion fight each other for influence in the Middle East, in which they've got the capacity to use oil as an economic weapon.
Conceivable? Hasn't that been happening for a while? White House, Oct. 11, 2006
Once again North Korea has defied the will of the international community, and the international community will respond. This was confirmed this morning in conversations I had with leaders of China and South Korea, Russia and Japan. We reaffirmed our commitment to a nukyular-free Korean Peninshula.
I worked with [Arizona Congressman] Rick [Renzi] to pass what's called the Healthy Forest Initiative. See, his district has got a lot of important forests. It means that we can work together with local folks to thin out those forests so they're not full of combustionable fuel.
By that twisted phrase, he means "trees". Scottsdale, Arizona, Oct. 4, 2006
Now, this idea that somehow we've got to live under international treaties, you know — and that's fine, we do, but oftentimes the United States passes law to clarify obligations under international treaty.
Dubya very nearly reaches the tipping point by half-dismissing the notion of international treaty obligations, White House, Sep. 15, 2006
DAVID GREGORY (NBC): Mr. President, critics of your proposed bill on interrogation rules say there's another important test — these critics include John McCain, who you've mentioned several times this morning — and that test is this. If a CIA officer, paramilitary or special operations soldier from the United States were captured in Iran or North Korea, and they were roughed up, and those governments said, well, they were interrogated in accordance with our interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, and then they were put on trial and they were convicted based on secret evidence that they were not able to see, how would you react to that, as Commander-in-Chief?
DUBYA: David, my reaction is, is that if the nations such as those you named, adopted the standards within the Detainee Detention Act, the world would be better. That's my reaction. We're trying to clarify law. We're trying to set high standards, not ambiguous standards.
Dubya answers the question by changing the premise to something completely unrealistic and then running away as fast as he can, White House, Sep. 15, 2006
DUBYA: Now, perhaps some in Congress don't think the program is important. That's fine. I don't know if they do or don't. I think it's vital, and I have the obligation to make sure that our professionals who I would ask to go conduct interrogations to find out what might be happening or who might be coming to this country, I got to give them the tools they need. And that is clear law.
DAVID GREGORY (NBC): But sir, this is an important point, and I think it depends —
DUBYA: The point I just made is the most important point.
Dubya shuts down any chance of a follow up from David Gregory, who was still hoping for an answer to his original question regarding the danger of the U.S. codifying its own interpretation of the Geneva Conventions. White House, Sep. 15, 2006
I believe government has an obligation to open its coffers for competitive bidding to faith-based and community-based groups in order to make sure America — America's souls are saved one person at a time.
Does he really think that the government should exercise a role in "saving America's souls"? Wow. Nashville, Tennessee, Aug. 30, 2006
WILLIAMS: The folks who say you should've asked for some sort of sacrifice from all of us after 9/11, do they have a case looking back on it?
DUBYA: Americans are sacrificing. I mean, we're, we're — you know, we pay a lot of taxes. Uhh, the, uhh — Americans sacrificed when they — umm, you know, when they economy went in the tank. Americans sacrificed, when — you know air travel was disrupted. American pax, taxpayers have paid a lot to help this nation recover. Umm, I think Americans have sacrificed.
Given an opportunity to comment on past policy decisions, Dubya decides to "wing it" instead, with predictable results. Interview with Brian Williams (NBC). New Orleans, Louisiana, Aug. 29, 2006
REPORTER: And if I may, to President Bush, you've got Iran's nuclear program, you've got North Korea, yet, most Europeans consider the United States the biggest threat to global stability. Do you have any regrets about that?
DUBYA: That's absurd. The United States is — we'll defend ourselves, but at the same time, we're actively working with our partners to spread peace and democracy. So whoever says that is — it's an absurd statement.
An unexpected question throws Dubya for a loop, Vienna, Austria, Jun. 21, 2006
The first thing we got to understand as a country is that illegal immigration undermines the rule of law. It creates an underground economy. It can danger our national security
And we certainly don't want our national security dangered... Artesia, New Mexico, Jun. 6, 2006
In my judgment, we need to set aside whether or not greenhouse gases have been caused by mankind or because of natural effects, and focus on the technologies that will enable us to live better lives and at the same time, protect the environment.
(1) I think this issue was settled by scientists a while ago... (2) How does Dubya propose to address the root causes of the problem if they are discarded as irrelevant? Chicago, Illinois, May 22, 2006
The first choice, and a choice that I think will work with the Iranians is diplomacy. And I believe we can accomplish this through diplomacy.
Dubya proposes diplomacy in order to accomplish — diplomacy, Sun City Center, Florida, May 9, 2006
If the government makes a promise, we want to make sure that promise lives up to what we've told you. We've said we're going to get you a modern health care system, and we have.
I'm pretty sure that the modernity of the health care system is low on most people's priority list, Sun City Center, Florida, May 9, 2006
The point now is how do we work together to achieve important goals. And one such goal is a democracy in Germany.
Comment made to reporter for German newspaper Bild-Zeitung. We're relatively sure he meant to say Iraq instead of Germany. White House, May 5, 2006
They said, well, this is only good for the rich. Well, as a result of reforming health care, we now have got 3 million people who are now owners of health savings accounts, most of whom have got incomes of 50,000 dollars or less, about a third of those who signed up.
Only in Dubya's world can a ratio of "about a third" be considered "most", Las Vegas, Nevada, Apr. 24, 2006
You know what's an amazing statistic, is there are 1,700 counties in our country that have no OB/GYN.
What's more amazing is the number is actually 1,500, and the White House website actually issued a correction. I'm pretty sure this is a first (the correction, that is, not Dubya having his facts mistaken). Bridgeport, Connecticut, Apr. 5, 2006
We support the election process, we support democracy, but that doesn't mean we have to support governments that get elected as a result of democracy.
Dubya presents his take on the sanctity of democratic election results, Washington, D.C., Mar. 29, 2006
Step one of any immigration policy is to enforce our border in practical ways. We are spending additional resources to be able to use different detection devices, unmanned UAVs, to help
As opposed to the manned UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Cleveland, Ohio, Mar. 20, 2006
This deal wouldn't go forward if we were concerned about the security for the United States of America.
In reference to the sale of port operations for 6 U.S. ports to a U.A.E.-based company. I think Dubya meant to say the deal wouldn't have gone forward if there was any cause for concern regarding the security of the U.S., or at least I hope so. Washington, D.C., Feb. 23, 2006
In New Orleans and in other places, many of our fellow citizens have felt excluded from the promise of our country. The answer is not only temporary relief, but schools that teach every child, and job skills that bring upward mobility, and more opportunities to own a home and start a business.
Dubya's wording here is interesting. Note the use of "felt" instead of "been", and then the solution: All it takes is to teach "those people" how to be entrepreneurs. 2006 State of the Union Address, Jan. 31, 2006
And that is, if there are problems, like in this case, some beef coming out of Brooklyn, I think it was, and if the Japanese balk at opening their markets, we have got to be aggressive about explaining to people why our beef is safe.
Instead of explaining our way out of it, might I suggest finding out for certain where dangerous beef is coming from and why, and then addressing the cause? Manhattan, Kansas, Jan. 23, 2006
I do not believe that any guest worker program ought to contain amnesty, because I believe that if you granted amnesty to the people here working now that that would cause another 8 million people or so to come here. I do believe, however, it is humane to say to a person, you're doing a job somebody else won't do, here is a temporary card to enable you to do the card.
Making the case for "doing the card", Manhattan, Kansas, Jan. 23, 2006
Do you realize we've got a crisis when it comes to OB/GYNs in America? These good docs who have got the great compassionate job of taking care of young'uns, they're getting run out of business because of frivolous and junk lawsuits. It makes no sense.
That's right: young'uns. Sterling, Virginia, Jan. 19, 2006
One of the most — I think one of the most important and interesting domestic initiatives, which I agree has created an interesting philosophical debate, is to allow faith-based programs and community-based programs to access federal money in order to achieve the results we all want. I mean, for example, if you're trying to encourage people to quit drinking, doesn't it make sense to give people somebody an alternative — he can maybe go to a government counselor? Or how about somebody who calls upon a higher being to help you quit drinking? All I care about is the results.
Separation of church and state? He doesn't care for it much. By the way, I always enjoy Dubya's usage of "interesting". Sterling, Virginia, Jan. 19, 2006
Seems like to me we ought to encourage marriage in this country, and the tax code ought to encourage that. ...It seems like to me that you want a tax system that encourages a family member to be able to pass their assets on to whomever they choose without the government making it impossible to do so. ...The best way, it seems like to me, to solve the deficit is to keep pro-growth tax policies in place and do something on the spending side. ...Do you realize we've got about 250 years of coal here in America? It seems like to me a wise investment is to figure out how to use that coal in a way that heats your homes and fuels your businesses, and at the same time, protects the environment. ...It seems like to me the more transparency in pricing, the more likely it is consumers will have an input into the cost of health care.
Dubya engages in a seems-like-to-me fest, Sterling, Virginia, Jan. 19, 2006
And that's really the role of government, when you think about it. I like to tell people the role of government is not to try to create wealth. That's not the role of government. Oh, sure, the role of government is to help the poor and help the elderly with medicine — but it's not to try to create overall wealth. The role of government is to create an environment in which people are willing to risk capital, to take risk. ...The role of government in my judgment is to take care of the poor, through Medicaid and community health centers. The role of the government in my judgment is to take of the elderly through a Medicare program which is, which is modern, and by the way, provides choices for our seniors. But also I think the role of government is to encourage a direct relationship between the consumer/the patient, and the provider/the doctor, without a lot of, lotta, lot, without a lotta go-betweens. ...You're very smart to — part of the role of government is to create an environment in which people are willing to risk capital.
Dubya has some thoughts on the role of government, Sterling, Virginia, Jan. 19, 2006
In order to safeguard the civil liberties of the people, we have this [NSA domestic eavesdropping] program fully scrutinized on a regular basis. It's been authorized, reauthorized many times. We got lawyers looking at it from different branches of government.
So he had judicial branch and legislative branch lawyers looking at it, too? I'm skeptical. Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 11, 2006
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