Quotes - Dubya the Policymaker (2007)
(Dubya's command of the issues in full relief)
2008 and after : 2007 : 2006 : 2005 : 2004 : 2003 : 2002 : 2001 and earlier
And so I'm looking forward to working with them [Congress] to come up with a good bill. But they need to fund these troops, and they don't need to be putting artificial timetable for withdrawal on the money that we're asking to make sure the men and women who courageously serve the United States of America have what it takes to do the job they've been asked to do. If the Congress can't get the job done in other words, those jet fumes will start to be moving out pretty soon here, later on this week if they can't get the job done, then I've got a suggestion for them. Just pass a one-year continuing resolution. That's all they got to do.
I don't get where Dubya is going with the jet fumes, but I suspect he may be inhaling them. North Fredericksburg, Virginia, Dec. 17, 2007

I'm going to tell you something. We have fabulous health care in America, just so you know. I think it's very important before people start griping about the health care system here and of course there's always grounds for complaint just to compare it with other systems around the world. And one of the reasons our system is expensive is because some of the new technologies that are coming online, they happen to be saving lives.
If you looked up "oblivious" in a hundred dictionaries, you'd be hard pressed to find a truer definition of it than this. North Fredericksburg, Virginia, Dec. 17, 2007

Front lines of this efforts are parents, are teachers, are counselors who are sending our kids a clear message, drug use is not fun. It is not glamorous. It is harmful. And I want to thank those who are making that a clear message. Drugs destroys lives.
Dubya sums it all up with some classic singular/plural disagreement. Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2007

One of the interesting tactical decisions that Russia has made that the United States supports is the notion that Iran has a sovereign right to have a civilian nukyular power program. What they don't have is our confidence that they should be able to enrich uranium so that those plants would work. Why? Because they had a covert weapons program that they did not declare and have yet to declare. Secondly, we understand that if they were to develop that weapons program it would be a real danger. And so the Russians said, well, would you support us on this notion that because they're untrustworthy when it comes to the fuel cycle, we will provide the fuel and we will collect the spent fuel? And I have, publicly. I'll say it again and we discussed this part of our strategy. Secondly, I explained to him the content of the NIE, what it meant and how our working together has been effective. And thirdly, we talked about ongoing efforts to come up with another U.N. Security Council resolution if the Iranian regime doesn't suspend.
Dubya's explanation of the complexities of nuclear policy is as unclear as always. And as he has done before, he used "secondly" twice in a row. Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2007

And the fundamental question I have for President Musharraf is, will these elections be under emergency rule or law? Because if they are, it's going to be hard for well, it'll be hard for those of us who have belief that he's advanced Pakistan's democracy to, to say that's, that's still the case.
The way Dubya answers his own "fundamental question" makes it sound as if both emergency rule and law are unacceptable. Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 2007

Some of them in Congress want to say we're going to spend some of the money, and by the way, tell you how to conduct the war. That's not going to work. We don't need members of Congress telling our military commanders what to do. We need our military commanders telling us what to do so we can win the war against these extremists and radicals.
Actually, a civilian-led military, with Congress in control of funding and empowered to declare war, is a cornerstone of American democracy. Apparently Dubya is operating from a completely different understanding. New Albany, Indiana, Nov. 13, 2007

We're going to we'll be sending a person on the ground there pretty soon to help implement the malaria initiative, and that initiative will mean spreading nets and insecticides throughout the country so that we can see a reduction in death of young children that a death that we can cure.
Dubya strives to cure death. Impressive. White House, Oct. 18, 2007

In my judgment, the best way to solve this issue with North Korea peacefully is to put it in keep it in the context of six-party talks. And the reason why is that diplomacy only works if there are consequences when diplomacy breaks down, and it makes sense for there to be other people at the table so that if North Korea were to have said to all of us, we're going to do x, y, or z, and they don't, that we have other people other than the United States being consequential.
Two things on this one: 1) Dubya's exclusive formula for diplomatic success suggests he will have little success at it, and 2) What does "being consequential" mean? White House, Oct. 17, 2007

First of all, it's important for our citizens to understand that we spend 35 billion dollars a year for poor children's health insh uhh, care, through Medicaid 35 billion dollars. So if you hear rhetoric out of Washington sayin' we're not taking care of poor children in America, they're just not reminding you of the fact that 'cause of your generosity, we're spending 35 billion a year.
Completely without any data to suggest how much money might be needed, Dubya throws out a dollar figure (listen to him drop the accent on "billion") to indicate that we are spending enough money (through our generosity?) to take care of the health needs of poor children. Rogers, Arkansas, Oct. 15, 2007

And the fundamental question facing policymakers is how do you make sure that that volunteer army is robust and well-trained. And the answer is, pay people well, but also remember that the spouse makes a big decision as to whether or not people are willing to serve, at least stay in that volunteer army or serve in the first place. And that's why we've improved housing. And that's why we've made sure that a spouse can communicate with his or her loved one on a real-time basis, if they're in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Dubya wears his desire to retain troops in service to his war effort on his sleeve here, by explaining his efforts to improve housing and communications as an effort to win over spouses of service members... Wow. Rogers, Arkansas, Oct. 15, 2007

One of the things in a complex environment like the presidency is you got to surround your people surround the President, or surround myself with people whose judgment you trust. And I listen to my cabinet secretaries, and I bring them in the Oval Office. They've got access to me. They've got to be able to come in and say, here's what I believe. The temptation of politics is for somebody to walk in when you're not looking so good and walk in the Oval Office and say, man, you're looking beautiful when you're not. You got to have cabinet secretaries who can walk in and say, here's what's on my mind. And I bet you if I ask [Transportation Secretary] Mary [Peters] and she gives me the reason why she's for it, I bet you I support it.
Dubya's explanation (and endorsement) as to why he doesn't know anything about controversial changes to retirement policies for commercial airline pilots supported by his Secretary of Transportation. Rogers, Arkansas, Oct. 15, 2007

I just vetoed a bill today, and I want to explain to you why. It's called S-CHIP Children's Health Insurance Policy.
That would be CHIP... S-CHIP stands for "State Children's Health Insurance Program". Would it really be too much trouble for him to know the names of the bills he vetoes? Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Oct. 3, 2007

It is estimated by here's the thing, just so you know, this program expands coverage, federal coverage up to families earning $83,000 a year. That doesn't sound poor to me.
Apparently Dubya knows poor when he hears it, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Oct. 3, 2007

There's been a heated debate so far in Congress, and I suspect there will be a lot of heat when they come back, because Democrats in Congress got a significant appetite for more federal spending. They passed a budget resolution that includes an extra 205 billion dollars in discretionary spending over the next five years. That averages out to about 112 million dollars per day, 4.7 million dollars per hour, 78,000 dollars per minute. Put another way, it's about 1,300 dollars in higher spending every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year for the next five years.
Click here to see the quote and comment from the first time Dubya used this argument, Washington, D.C., Aug. 8, 2007

More Afghans are stepping up to serve and it's in the interest of the United States to help you develop that national army and local police that will send a clear message to the people of Afghanistan that the governments can help provide an opportunity for children to raise their children in a peaceful world.
Dubya unwittingly offers support to underage parenting, Camp David, Maryland, Aug. 6, 2007

Only in Washington can 22 billion dollars be called a very small difference. And that difference will keep getting bigger. Over the next five years it will total nearly 205 billion dollars in additional discretionary spending. That 205 billion dollars averages out to about 112 million dollars per day, 4.7 million dollars per hour, 78,000 dollars per minute. Put another way, that's about 1,300 dollars in higher spending every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year for the next five years. That's a lot of money even for career politicians in Washington. In fact, at that pace, Democrats in Congress would have spent an extra 300,000 dollars since I began these remarks.
Put another way, over the same span of time that the virtual 300,000 dollars in proposed spending were being "spent" by Democrats, 888,462 real dollars were spent on Dubya's war in Iraq (based on current Congressional Research Service estimates of $10 billion/month). And here's the running tally (provided by zfacts.com): ###. White House, Aug. 2, 2007

You talk about the farmer out there who's worried about makin' crop, that 2,200, dollars, means a lot. It may sound small to the, to the you know, the opiners in Washington, but you ask the average American family, would they raather have the 2,200 dollars to spend on their own, or would they raather send it to Washington, D.C., they'll say, let me have my money, I can do a good job with it.
You really have to hear Dubya say "opiners" for the full effect. And also note the one word that Dubya hasn't yet been able to transform from the New England to the Texan pronunciation: rather. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jul. 26, 2007

REPORTER: Mr. President, music is one of our largest exports the country has. Currently, every country in the world except China, Iran, North Korea, Rwanda and the United States pay a statutory royalty to the performing artists for radio and television air play. Would your administration consider changing our laws to align it with the rest of the world?
DUBYA: Help. Maybe you've never had a President say this I have, like, no earthly idea what you're talking about. Sounds like we're keeping interesting company, you know? Look, I'll give you the old classic. Contact my office, will you? I really don't I'm totally out of my lane. I like listening to country music, if that helps.
No, that really doesn't help at all. But at least you admitted you were completely out of your depth. That's a first. Nashville, Tennessee, Jul. 19, 2007

Now, I don't know if you know this or not we're up to about 7 billion gallons of ethanol being produced and used in America. That's up from 2 billion three or three or four years ago. That's a good deal, if you're interested about energy independence, because that energy's comin' from corn growers here in America. Problem is, we're growing a lotta corn for ethanol, which means the price of corn is goin' up for the pig farmer. So we gotta relieve the pressure on the pig farmer by well, not all, everybody, you know, but pig farmer's paying like you, you, use a lotta corn. And therefore, we're, we're, we're spending money on technologies. And I believe more and more people are gonna be using ethanol to power their automobiles.
Did you notice how Dubya doesn't actually explain how he plans to help out the pig farmers in the end? Not to mention the American public, which eats corn... Cleveland, Ohio, Jul. 10, 2007

The immediate goal is to make sure there are more people on private insurance plans. I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.
Going the extra mile to demonstrate that he has no idea what is wrong with health care in America. You have to hear it to actually believe he said it. Cleveland, Ohio, Jul. 10, 2007

You'll hear people say in Washington, well, we need to raise taxes in order to either pay for new programs or balance the budget. I happen to believe we can balance the budget without raising taxes if we're wise about how we spend your money. And we're proving it possible.
At the time of this statement, the United States was consistently deficit spending, with Dubya's approval, for every year since 2001. Cleveland, Ohio, Jul. 10, 2007

How many of you have ever said, gosh, I wonder whether this health care quality is better than the neighbors? I doubt any of you many of you have done that. Why? Because the system is not geared toward that. Somebody else pays your bills. If you really think about it, and you're working, say, for a company in America, and they provide a health care plan for you, there's a third-party payer. Well, if somebody else pays the bills, why do you care what the cost is at the time of purchase?
Some data to put Dubya's assertions in context: 1) Less than 60% of Americans are covered by insurance through their employers. 2) Most employer-sponsored health care coverage requires employee contributions for premiums, as well as requiring co-pays and payment for some percentage of the services they receive; 3) 16% of Americans don't have any insurance at at all; 4) 9% of Americans pay for their own insurance. Cleveland, Ohio, Jul. 10, 2007

I strongly believe the people of Cuba ought to live in a free society. It's in our interests that Cuba become free and it's in the interests of the Cuban people that they don't have to live under an antiquated form of government that has just been repressive. So we'll continue to press for freedom on the island of Cuba. One day, the good Lord will take Fidel Castro away.
I guess you have to give him credit for wearing his heart on his sleeve, Newport, Rhode Island, Jun. 28, 2007

Our country has not ordered a new nukyular power plant since the 1970s, partially as a result of constant litigation and overly complex regulations. So we're working to overcome those obstacles.
Perhaps it's also partially a result of these two obstacles: Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. Athens, Alabama, Jun. 21, 2007

REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President. Yesterday you called for a deadline for U.N. action on Kosovo. When would you like that deadline set? ...
DUBYA: Thanks. A couple of points on that. First of all, I don't think I called for a deadline. I thought I said, time I did? What exactly did I say? I said deadline? Okay, yes, then I meant what I said.
Dubya provides "clarity" on his position regarding a deadline for establishing an independent nation of Kosovo, Tirana, Albania, Jun. 10, 2007

REPORTER: Will you give any ground on the two-degree target that she [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] wants?
DUBYA: No, I talked about what I'm for. Remember? I said I'm for sitting together with the nations to sit down and discuss a way forward. I think when people really look at what I've said, they say, well, that's an interesting way to bridge the difference between what China has said, for example, and what others in Europe have said.
Apparently this is Dubya's idea of give and take... Heiligendamm, Germany, Jun. 6, 2007

My position is, is that he [World Bank Group President Paul Wolfowitz] ought to stay. He ought to be given a fair hearing. And I appreciate the fact that he has advanced he's helped the World Bank recognize that eradication of world poverty is an important priority for the bank.
Perhaps Dubya doesn't realize it, but the World Bank was established in 1944 with the express mission of eliminating poverty, White House, Apr. 30, 2007

One of my concerns is that the health care not be as good as it can possibly be.
He's succeeding if that really is one of his concerns, Tipp City, Ohio, Apr. 19, 2007

It's now been 64 days since I have requested that Congress pass emergency funding for these troops. We don't have all of them there. About half more are going to head in. We're making some progress. And 64 days ago, I said to the United States Congress, these troops need funding. And instead of proving that vital funding, the Democrat leadership in Congress has spent the past 64 days pushing legislation that would undercut our troops.
It really makes you wonder how he couldn't come up with "providing", although the reference to the "Democrat leadership" is par for the course, Fairfax, Virginia, Apr. 10, 2007

We have made it clear to high-ranking officials, whether they be Republicans or Democrats, that going to Syria sends mixed signals signals in the region and, of course, mixed signals to President Assad.
I'm left wondering where Dubya's outrage was when Republican Representatives Frank R. Wolf (Virginia), Joe Pitts (Pennsylvania) and Robert B. Aderholt (Alabama) visited Syria the week before Democratic House Speaker Pelosi, and when Republican Representative Darrell Issa (California) visited with Syrian President Assad the day after Pelosi met with Assad. White House, Apr. 3, 2007

President Calderón is taking a tough stand against organized crime and drugs, and I appreciate that. I made it very clear to the President that I recognize the United States has a responsibility in the fight against drugs. And one major responsibility is to encourage people to use less drugs.
Yes, drug use isn't the problem... excessive drug use is. Mérida, Mexico, Mar. 14, 2007

I'm sure most people here in South America don't understand the United States has doubled our bilateral aid to countries in Central and South America since I've been the President. It's gone from $800 million to $1.6 billion last year. And I say that not to just brag about dollars, but it's a starting point for people to understand this nation is committed to this prospect: A prosperous neighborhood is in the interests of the United States. A peaceful neighborhood is in our interests.
Ignorant people of Central and South America, pay attention. You must understand that our monetary largesse is purely motivated by self-interest. São Paulo, Brazil, Mar. 9, 2007

If I thought we could achieve success [by entering face-to-face talks with Iran], I would sit down. But I don't think we can achieve success right now. And, therefore, we'll want to work with other nations. I think that we're more likely to achieve our goals when others are involved, as well. I really don't want to put the situation let me put it this way. I want to make sure in the Iranian issue that the whole world stays engaged, because I believe that's a more effective way of convincing the Iranians to give up their nukyular weapons ambitions. That's why. Look, this is a world in which and I'm not suggesting you're this way but this is a world in which people say, meet sit down and meet. And my answer is, if it yields results, that's what I'm interested in. And so I believe the strategy that and by the way, I remember this during the North Korean issue, debate. People kept saying, well, all you've got to do is sit down with the guy. And I kept saying, well, I think it's going to be more effective if we have other people at the table with us saying the same thing, so that just in case he decides not to honor the agreement, there will be other people saying the same thing I'll say, which is, you said one thing, you did another.
Making what can only be termed a confusing defense of his approach toward Iran, White House, Feb. 14, 2007

One way to encourage you to make the right decisions when it comes to health care is to take the inequities out of the tax code. If you work for a company, you pay you get your health care free, in essence.
Hmmm... yeah, the monthly premiums and all the co-pays and deductibles I pay must be a figment of my imagination. Lee's Summit, Missouri, Jan. 25, 2007

2008 and after : 2007 : 2006 : 2005 : 2004 : 2003 : 2002 : 2001 and earlier

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