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Quotes - Dubya on the Presidency (2006)
(Democracy in a nutshell, with the emphasis on "nut")
MARK KNOLLER (CBS): Mr. President, did you or your Chief of Staff order an investigation of the leak of the Hadley memo before your meeting with Prime Minister al Maliki? And if the leak wasn't authorized, do you suspect someone in your administration is trying to undermine your Iraq policy or sabotage your meeting with Prime Minister al Maliki a few weeks back?
DUBYA: I'm trying to think back if I ordered an investigation. I don't recall ordering an investigation. I do recall expressing some angst about — about ongoing leaks. ...You know, there may be an ongoing investigation of this, I just don't know. If there is — if I knew about it, it's not fresh in my mind.
Dubya dishes up a scary non-answer, White House, Dec. 20, 2006
We have proven that you can keep taxes low, achieve other objectives, and cut the deficit.
I'm not sure if you can reasonably claim responsibility for cutting the deficit when you oversaw its creation (and it still exists), White House, Dec. 20, 2006
I'm proud to be the first sitting American President to visit Estonia. I'm really glad I came. Yours is a beautiful country and a strong friend and ally of the United States. I appreciate the warm welcome I've received. My only regret is that Laura is not with me. She's receiving the Christmas tree at the White House. She sends her very best, Mr. President.
Well, I guess we know where the White House Christmas tree and Estonia stand on the importance scale, and now so do the people of Estonia. Tallinn, Estonia, Nov. 28, 2006
ELAINE QUIJANO (CNN): Thank you, Mr. President. You talk about the U.S. government and the Iraqi government working closely together on benchmarks. I'm wondering, sir, why was Prime Minister Maliki not at the news conference yesterday with General Casey and Ambassador Khalilzad? Would that not have sent a strong message about there being a very close level of cooperation between the two governments?
DUBYA: Elaine, I have no idea why he wasn't there.
QUIJANO: Was he invited, sir?
DUBYA: I have no idea. I'm not the scheduler of news conferences.
Ahh, well that explains it. White House, Oct. 25, 2006
Five years after 9/11, the worst attack on American homeland in our history, the Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstruction, and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut-and-run.
Dubya expressing shock and dismay that there is an entire political party whose members might sometimes disagree with him, Birmingham, Alabama, Sep. 28, 2006
REPORTER: What is your philosophy on granting presidential pardons?
DUBYA: You know, I don't have the criterion in front of me, Mark, but we have a strict criterion that we utilize — we being the Justice Department and the White House Counsel. And I, frankly, haven't compared the number of pardons I've given to any other President.
Either Dubya only has one criterion that determines all the pardons he issues, or he doesn't understand what criterion means. White House, Aug. 21, 2006
I am willing to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court.
I suppose that's good to know, although in any case he is bound by the Constitution to abide by Supreme Court rulings, willing or otherwise. Chicago, Illinois, Jul. 7, 2006
At my press conference, they spent a lot of time talking about the world. And I told them today — like I'm going to tell you now — that my biggest job is to protect — is to work to protect the American people. And I think about it all the time. They ask, what's the job like to be President. And the answer to that job is you make a lot of decisions. It's a decision-making experience.
And a language-bending experience, too, in some cases. Chicago, Illinois, Jul. 7, 2006
As you know, I've made the tough decision to commit American troops into harm's way. It's the toughest decision a President can ever make, but I want you to know that I tried diplomacy — in other words, a President has got to be able to say to the American people, diplomacy didn't work.
Well as long as the president can say it, that must make it true. Sun City Center, Florida, May 9, 2006
That's George Washington, the first president, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three — three or four books about him last year. Isn't that interesting?
Yes, that is a very interesting thing about George Washington... White House, May 5, 2006
This is the Oval Office. It's a shrine to democracy. And we treat it that way. When people walk in here, they — they don't come in here in bathing suits and flip-flops. They come in here dressed like they'd come to a shrine. It is to be respected and honored because the Office of Bush is bigger than the person who occupies it. It's one of the great things about a true democracy — is that the institutions outlast the individuals, and therefore, there's stability in the process.
Of all the hallmarks of "true democracy", Dubya singles out stability,
In my travels across the great land, a comment that I hear often from our fellow citizens is, "Mr. President, I pray for you and your family." It's amazing how many times a total stranger walks up and says that to me. You'd think they'd say, "How about the bridge?" Or, "How about filling the potholes?" No, they say, "I've come to tell you I pray for you, Mr. President."
Dubya can't resist from a pothole reference in his touching account of how everyone prays for him, White House, May 4, 2006
I'm not through yet, you know I was uhh. Uhh — hehe — the, umm, it is — I'm glad my Vice President is not running for President, not that he would make a great President, but that it, uhh, it certainly changes the dynamics inside the White House. It's uhh — and it is an amazing moment, you're right, it's, I, I guess it's the most wide-open race ever. Oh, it can't be ever. Ever's too long. But — in a long time.
Is Dubya being carelessly candid here, or just screwing up as usual? Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced Int'l Studies, Washington, D.C., Apr. 10, 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
The more people learn about the transaction that has been scrutinized and approved by my government, the more they'll be comforted that our ports will be secure.
So it's "his" government now... Washington, D.C., Feb. 23, 2006
You know, I like, uhh, my buddies from West Texas. I liked 'em when I was young, I liked 'em when I was middle age, I liked 'em before I was President, and I like 'em during President and I like 'em after President. And it's fun to have 'em come to the White House.
Dubya shoots for downhome charm and instead enters a vortex of bizarre phrasing, Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 1, 2006
My job as your President is to look at the world the way it is. And I clearly see the threats to America. My job is to worry about those threats. That's not your job. We got a lot of people in government worrying about those threats on your behalf, so you can go about your life. That's what we want.
I think I'm even more worried than I was before I read this, Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 1, 2006
REPORTER: The FISA law was implemented in 1978 in part because of revelations that the National Security Agency was spying domestically. What is wrong with that law if you feel you have to circumvent it and, as you just admitted, expand presidential power?
DUBYA: May I — if I might, you said that I have to circumvent it. There — wait a minute. That's a — there's something — it's like saying, you know, you're breaking the law. I'm not. See, that's what you've got to understand. I am upholding my duty, and at the same time, doing so under the law and with the Constitution behind me. That's just very important for you to understand. Secondly, the FISA law was written in 1978. We're having this discussion in 2006. It's a different world. And FISA is still an important tool. It's an important tool. And we still use that tool. But also — and we — look — I said, look, is it possible to conduct this program under the old law? And people said, it doesn't work in order to be able to do the job we expect us to do.
I like the concept: If the law seems out of date, just ignore it. I think I'm going to start driving 100 MPH on the freeway because it's 2006.. White House, Jan. 26, 2006
You know, it's amazing, when people say to me, well, he was just breaking the law. If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefin' Congress? Heh!
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