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Quotes - 100% Pure Dubya (2006)
("This is one of the most intellectually gifted presidents we've had." - Karl Rove, Jan. 19, 2005)
ELAINE QUIJANO (CNN): This week, sir, we learned that Scooter Libby's defense team plans to call Vice President Cheney to testify in the ongoing CIA leak case. I wonder, sir, what is your reaction to that? Is that something you'll resist?
DUBYA: I read it in the newspaper today, and it's an interesting piece of news. And that's all I'm going to comment about an ongoing case. I thought it was interesting.
Interesting? And he only learned of this by reading about it in the newspaper? 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
As the majority party in the House of Representatives, they recognize that in their new role they now have greater responsibilities. And in my first act of bipartisan outreach since the election, I shared with her [Nancy Pelosi] the names of some Republican interior de, decorators who can help her pick out the new drapes in her new offices.
Interestingly enough, the White House transcript claims that laughter followed this. You be the judge. (I think I hear crickets chirping...) White House, Nov. 8, 2006
PETER BAKER (Washington Post): When you first ran for President, sir, you talked about the importance of accountability. We learned from Bob Woodward's recent book that Secretary Card, on two occasions, suggested that you replace Secretary Rumsfeld, and both times you said no. Given that the war in Iraq is not going as well as you want, and given that you're not satisfied as you just told us today, why hasn't anybody been held accountable? Should somebody be held accountable?
DUBYA: Peter, you're asking me why I believe Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a good job, I think, if I might decipher through the Washington code.
Actually, I think Peter is just asking why nobody has been held accountable. White House, Oct. 25, 2006
Our goals remain clear. Peace and security in Northeast Asia and a nukyular-free Korean Peninshula.
And so I want to thank you all for joining. I got a firsthand report on one of the panels from Laura, who said that — I think if I could summarize your words, it was like really interesting and very important.
Like, really? That's a cool summary, Dubya. Chevy Chase, Maryland, Oct. 10, 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.
What a powerful statement to the world about the compassion of the American people that you're free to choose the religion you want in our country.
Actually, I think the guarantee of religious freedom has more to do with the Constitution than it does with something more nebulous like compassion, Washington, D.C., Sep. 29, 2006
WILLIAMS: We always talk about what you're reading. As you know, there was a report that you have just read the works of a French philosopher.
DUBYA: Heh, heh, heh
WILLIAMS: Can you tell us —
DUBYA: The stranger —
WILLIAMS: Tell us the back story of Camus.
DUBYA: The back story of the — of the book?
WILLIAMS: Well, what, what led you —
DUBYA: What caused me?
WILLIAMS: What led you to this?
DUBYA: I was in Crawford, and uhh — I said, I was looking for a book to read and Laura said you oughtta try Camus, I also read three Shakespeares.
Dubya's final tally: One Camus and three Shakespeares. Perhaps next time there will be two Dostoevskys and a Poe. Interview with Brian Williams (NBC). New Orleans, Louisiana, Aug. 29, 2006
What's very interesting about the violence in Lebanon and the violence in Iraq and the violence in Gaza is this. These are all groups of terrorists who are trying to stop the advance of democracy.
Yes, violence... interesting... that's the right adjective for it. White House, Aug. 21, 2006
I'm, umm — this trip's a little different from the last time I spent the night here in Miami. Last night, uhh, Jeb and I had some crabs — with like members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, Dan Marino and his — uhh, really dynamic wife, TV stars — Andy Garcia, a movie star. We had a fantastic experience. It's a lot better, by the way, than preparing for a presidential debate.
Just a, like, really good example of why Dubya should always have his comments prepared for him. Miami, Florida, Jul. 31, 2006
See, the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this sh*t and it's over.
Dubya shows his true diplomatic finesse, while gnawing on a dinner roll, in this exchange with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the G8 conference, St. Petersburg, Russia, Jul. 17, 2006
Yo, Blair. How are you doing?
Dubya's way of getting British Prime Minister Tony Blair's attention at the G8 conference, St. Petersburg, Russia, Jul. 17, 2006
DUBYA: I fully understand, however, that there will be a Russian-style democracy. I don't expect Russia to look like the United States. As Vladimir pointedly reminded me last night, we have a different history, different traditions. And I will let him describe to you his way forward, but he shared with me some very interesting thoughts that I think would surprise some of our citizens. Now that I've lured you into the deal here, you know — like, for example, how do you promote land reform. So we discussed land reform. You know, one of the interesting decisions a government has to make, particularly this government would have to make, is how do you encourage private ownership of land further than that which has already happened. Anyway, he shared some thoughts with me. Sorry to put — lay the trap out there for you — but it was a good discussion. He's a strong man. Look, he's willing to listen, but he also explains to me, he doesn't want anybody telling him how to run his government. He was elected. And so it was a cordial relationship. But he can speak for himself.
PRESIDENT PUTIN: We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, I will tell you quite honestly. [Massive laughter erupts]
DUBYA: Just wait.
Dubya suffers from a zinger issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and issues sad retort: "Just wait." Strelna, Russia, Jul. 15, 2006
DUBYA: I'm looking forward to the feast you're going to have tonight. I understand I may have the honor of slicing the pig. ...I'm optimistic we can still get something done on the Doha Round. It's going to take work, but G8 is a good place for us to continue the dialogue, and we will. And I guess that's about all — we discussed a lot of things, in other words. And thank you for having me. I'm looking forward to that pig tonight. ...
REPORTER: On both of these. Does it concern you that the Beirut airport has been bombed? And do you see a risk of triggering a wider war? And on Iran, they've, so far, refused to respond. Is it now past the deadline, or do they still have more time to respond?
DUBYA: I thought you were going to ask me about the pig.
REPORTER: I'm curious about that, too.
DUBYA: The pig? I'll tell you tomorrow after I eat it.
In press availability with German Chancellor Merkel, who very apparently was going to be serving roast pig to Dubya that evening, Stralsund, Germany, Jul. 13, 2006
There's a lot of issues that I'm sure we'll be talking about today — North Korea and Iran, hopefully the Middle East, maybe some local issues here in Chicago. It's my honor to be here. Thank you for coming. And now I'll start answering some questions, starting with one of the senior members of the press corps — are you over 60? You look like you're about 65. Anyway, go ahead.
Dubya gets the press conference off to a classy start, Chicago, Illinois, Jul. 7, 2006
I've reminded the Prime Minister — the American people, Mr. Prime Minister, over the past months that it was not always a given that the United States and America would have a close relationship.
With Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan, Dubya subs "America" for "Japan" to concoct an interesting flub, White House, Jun. 29, 2006
We're honored that the Flying Tomato represented our country, and we want to thank all the dudes and dudesses of the snowboarders who are here.
Dubya takes a painful stab at being hip in a ceremony with the 2006 U.S. Winter Olympic and Paralympic Teams, White House, May 17, 2006
REPORTER: Do you think you would be able to work effectively with a future Australian leader, be it either a successor of Mr. Howard from his own party, or from their opposition?
DUBYA: Well, I suspect he's going to outlast me, so that is a moot point. Probably a question you ought to ask him. Somebody said, you and John Howard appear to be so close, don't you have any differences? And I said, yes, he doesn't have any hair.
Dubya keeps his answers classy in this press availability with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, White House, May 16, 2006
I, personally, have a working relationship with Vladimir Putin and that's very important. I've got a warm relationship with him. It's a relationship where I can sit down with him and ask him direct questions as to why he's made the decisions he's made. It's a relationship where he questions me about what the intentions of the United States may be. It's one that I value, and I think it's an important relationship not only for the United States to have, but it's an important relationship for countries in Europe for the United States to have a relationship with Vladimir Putin.
Highlighted for your enjoyment... White House, May 5, 2006
I can look you in the eye and tell you I feel I've tried to solve the problem diplomatically to the max, and would have committed troops both in Afghanistan and Iraq knowing what I know today.
Never did I expect in my lifetime to hear Dubya (or anyone else again for that matter) utter the phrase "to the max". Irvine, California, Apr. 24, 2006
You know, I know gas prices are high. There's no magic wand to wave.
Dubya revisits an old standby of his to explain away record high gasoline prices, Las Vegas, Nevada, Apr. 24, 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
One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry.
Dubya stakes solo ground for the U.S. that is shared by many. Beauty... Washington, D.C., Mar. 29, 2006
I believe that a prosperous, democratic Pakistan will be a steadfast partner for America, a peaceful neighbor for India, and a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world.
The only problem with that theory, however, is that Pakistan isn't part of the Arab world. And it isn't a democracy, either, for that matter. New Delhi, India, Mar. 3, 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
We now know that in October 2001, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad — the mastermind of the September the 11th attacks — had already set in motion a plan to have terrorist operatives hijack an airplane using shoe bombs to breach the cockpit door, and fly the plane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We believe the intended target was Liberty Tower in Los Angeles, California.
The funny part is that there is no Liberty Tower in Los Angeles. The threatened building was the U.S. Bank Tower, formerly known as the Library Tower. The not so funny part is that the White House never shared this information with the Mayor's office in Los Angeles. Mayor Villaraigosa learned about it after hearing this speech on TV. Washington, D.C., Feb. 9, 2006
Today I met with her [Condoleezza Rice], for example. When I sat down with her, I wasn't thinking politics, I was thinking about what will I do to continue to keep the pressure on Iran, so that they give up their nukyular ambitions.
And that isn't politics? Air Force One, Feb. 1, 2006
Let me put it to you in Texan. If Al Qaeda is calling into the United States, we want to know.
I must be fluent in Texan, because I had no trouble whatsoever understanding that. Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 1, 2006
This year alone we've overcome higher energy prices and natural disasters, and yet we really are the envy of the world.
Yes, I'm sure the folks who fled New Orleans feel like they've overcome everything, Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 1, 2006
In this decisive year, you and I will make choices that determine both the future and the character of our country. We will choose to act confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom — or retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life. ...Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer — so we will act boldly in freedom's cause. Far from being a hopeless dream, the advance of freedom is the great story of our time. ...We're writing a new chapter in the story of self-government — with women lining up to vote in Afghanistan, and millions of Iraqis marking their liberty with purple ink, and men and women from Lebanon to Egypt debating the rights of individuals and the necessity of freedom. ...And we do not forget the other half — in places like Syria and Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Iran — because the demands of justice, and the peace of this world, require their freedom, as well. No one can deny the success of freedom, but some men rage and fight against it. ...We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it. ...[We're] helping the Iraqi government to fight corruption and build a modern economy, so all Iraqis can experience the benefits of freedom. And third we're striking terrorist targets while we train Iraqi forces that are increasingly capable of defeating the enemy. Iraqis are showing their courage every day, and we are proud to be their allies in the cause of freedom. ...Ultimately, the only way to defeat the terrorists is to defeat their dark vision of hatred and fear by offering the hopeful alternative of political freedom and peaceful change. ...Tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran. America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. ...In all these areas — from the disruption of terror networks, to victory in Iraq, to the spread of freedom and hope in troubled regions — we need the support of our friends and allies. ...American leaders — from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy to Reagan — rejected isolation and retreat, because they knew that America is always more secure when freedom is on the march. ...Together, let us protect our country, support the men and women who defend us, and lead this world toward freedom. ...America is a great force for freedom and prosperity. ...Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage. Like Americans before us, we will show that courage and we will finish well. We will lead freedom's advance.
On the Dubya freedom scale, this speech claims third prize, falling short of the 2005 State of the Union and his 2005 inaugural address, 2006 State of the Union Address, Jan. 31, 2006
Yesterday I had an interesting experience standing with his law clerks, and I could — started reading the notes that, of course, were adequately prepared for me, and the first person said he's a Democrat who supports Alito. The second person was a person who voted Green that supported Alito. The third a left-leaning woman Democrat who supported Alito. The fourth person I talked about was somebody who worked in the John Kerry campaign who supported Alito. I was wondering, where are all those Republican clerks. My point is, is that he has broad support from people who know him, people from both political parties, because he's a decent man who has got a lot of experience and he deserves an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate.
I guess the second clerk from the Green Party doesn't count. White House, Jan. 26, 2006
So the Palestinians had an election yesterday, and the results of which remind me about the power of democracy. You see, when you give people the vote, you give people a chance to express themselves at the polls — and if they're unhappy with the status quo, they'll let you know. That's the great thing about democracy, it provides a look into society.
Maybe I'm splitting hairs here, but isn't one of the central assumptions of democracy that all people are endowed with the unalienable right to participate in selecting a government that serves them, rather than being "given the vote" and providing the powers that be a chance to "look into society"? Dubya's description sounds a lot more patrician than I remember being taught in school. White House, Jan. 26, 2006
REPORTER 1: What do you hear or your staff hear about releasing of photographs of Jack Abramoff with you, Mr. President? If you say you don't fear anything, tell us why you won't release them?
DUBYA: She's asking about a person who admitted to wrongdoing and who needs to be prosecuted for that. There is a serious investigation going on, as there should be. The American people have got to have confidence in the — in the ethics of all branches of government. You're asking about pictures — I had my picture taken with him, evidently. I've had my picture taken with a lot of people. Having my picture taken with someone doesn't mean that I'm a friend with them or know them very well. I've had my picture taken with you — at holiday parties. My point is, I mean, there's thousands of people that come through and get their pictures taken. I'm also mindful that we live in a world in which those pictures will be used for pure political purposes, and they're not relevant to the investigation.
REPORTER 1: Do you know how many?
DUBYA: I don't have any idea.
REPORTER 2: Mr. President, you talked about Jack Abramoff in the context of pictures, but it may not necessarily just be about pictures. He also had some meetings with some of your staff. So you remember, you ran on the idea of restoring honesty and integrity to the White House. So why are you letting your critics perhaps attack you and paint you with maybe a guilt by association? Why not just throw open your books and say, look, here is —
DUBYA: There is a serious investigation going on by federal prosecutors, and that's their job. And they will — if they believe something was done inappropriately in the White House, they'll come and look, and they're welcome to do so. There's a serious investigation that's going on.
REPORTER 2: But, sir, don't you want to tell the American people look, as I promised, this White House isn't for sale and I'm not for sale?
DUBYA: It's hard for me to say I didn't have pictures with the guy when I did. But I have also had pictures with thousands and thousands of people. I mean, people — it's part of the job of the President to shake hands and — with people and smile. And I do. And the man contributed to my campaigns, but he contributed, either directly or through his clients, to a lot of people in Washington. And this needs to be cleared up so the people have confidence in the system.
REPORTER 3: Can I ask you again, why won't you release the photos of yourself with Jack Abramoff?
DUBYA: I just answered the question.
Actually, there were two different questions being asked, and he only answered the other one, White House, Jan. 26, 2006
A lot of people, I understand, disagreed with that decision, and that's what democracy is all about, that's what we believe in. We believe you can disagree. There's a — there's a custom in our country for people to express themselves, and it's good.
More than just a custom, it's actually a fundamental right guaranteed by the First Amendment, Manhattan, Kansas, Jan. 23, 2006
Sam Alito is eminently qualified to be a member of the bench. ...Sam's got the intellect necessary to bring a lot of class to that Court.
He seems to be simultaneously denigrating the current members of the Supreme Court as lacking class, while also suggesting that classiness is the product of intellect. Bizarre. White House, Jan. 9, 2006
Thank you all. Madam Secretary, it's your building, you can give my speech, if you want to. But first, our nation sends our deepest sympathies to Ariel Sharon. He lies immobilized in an Israeli hospital. We pray for his recovery. He's a good man, a strong man, a man who cared deeply about the security of the Israeli people and a man who had a vision for peace. May God bless him.
Dubya warms up the crowd, and then segues to referring to the still alive Ariel Sharon in the past tense. Nice. Washington, D.C., Jan. 5, 2006
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