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Bush defends presidency in final news conference

By JENNIFER LOVEN
AP White House Correspondent Jan 12, 4:42 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) —  By turns wistful, aggressive and joking in the final news conference of his presidency, President George W. Bush vigorously defended his record Monday but also offered an extraordinary listing of his mistakes - including his optimistic Iraq speech before a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner in 2003.

(ap) - "Defends" in the Headline... "Defended" in the First Paragraph... And of course the "Mission Accomplished" Banner that the "Free Press" LOVES to continue to bring up. It was the End of the USS Lincoln's LONGEST Mission, and the Mission of Taking Iraq WAS "Complete". We weren't Done in 1945 in Japan, you Dishonest Bastards! Hell we didn't Give the Japanese their Sovereignty back until 1955! I can just Imagine the Mental "YEAHS!" by the other "Reporters" in the Room after that was Asked.  I bet a Couple of them even Flirted with Removing a Shoe or Two. - tha malcontent)

After starting what he called "the ultimate exit interview" with a lengthy and personalized thank-you to the reporters in the room who have covered him over the eight years of his presidency, Bush showed anger at times when presented with some of the main criticisms of his time in office.

(He's an Angry, Angry Man who is in Denial... You Know that's EXACTLY what the AP wanted to Print. - tha malcontent)

"I think it's a good, strong record," he said. "You know, presidents can try to avoid hard decisions and therefore avoid controversy. That's just not my nature."

(A Shot @ Clinton... And an Accurate one @ that... WTC Attack #1 in 1993... The Declaration of War by bin Laden on the United States in 1996... The Report in 1999 Outlining al Qaeda's Intentions to Use Planes as Missiles Against Targets such as the Pentagon, and of course the "Free Press" Assisted in the Final Hours by Screaming "Relative Peace and Prosperity for Decades to Come!" as the Stock Market Crashed, Manufacturing Jobs went bye-bye, and the USS Cole was Attacked during the 2000 Election Fall... Exactly what (43) was Referring to. - tha malcontent)

He particularly became indignant when asked about America's bruised image overseas.

("Indignant"... Classic. And of course it's a Matter of Fact that our Image is "Bruised" overseas, so says the AP. I Wonder if they Badgered Clinton about his Attack in the Sudan or Gulf War 1.5 in 1998 during his Intern Scandal?... I Know the Arab Nations were Not Happy with us then, but I Don't seem to A-member the AP giving a Rats Ass about it when their Boy was King. - tha malcontent)

"I disagree with this assessment that, you know, that people view America in a dim light," he said. "It may be damaged amongst some of the elite. But people still understand America stands for freedom."

(It's Damaged among Terrorist Nations and Fart Smelling Europeans... SO WHAT. We don't Govern, nor Protect this REPUBLIC According to the Opinions of other Countries or Terrorist Groups, AP. - tha malcontent)

Bush said he realizes that some issues such as the prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have created controversy at home and around the world. But he defended his actions after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, including approving tough interrogation methods for suspected terrorists and information-gathering efforts at home in the name of protecting the country.

(I Doubt the AP and it's Children in the Room Illustrated that the DemocRATS in Congress were Virtually Lockstep with the President just After 9/11, and have Done NOTHING since having FULL Power of Congress in 2006 to Change anything. - tha malcontent)

With the Iraq war in its sixth year, he most aggressively defended his decisions on that issue, which will define his presidency like no other. There have been over 4,000 U.S. deaths since the invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

(Apparently the only thing that has Happened is Saddam is Gone and 4,000 Americans are Dead According to the AP. - tha malcontent)

But it was in that area that he also acknowledged mistakes. He said that "not finding weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment." The accusation that Saddam had and was pursuing weapons of mass destruction was Bush's main initial justification for going to war.

(We didn't Find Saddam's WMD, which the UN Documented to Existed Months earlier... So the Months we Played Footsie with the French before going in, Saddam Hid or Moved those DOCUMENTED WMD, and that's a "Mistake" on (43)'s Part?... Should he have Ignored the "Free Press" Parroting of the Left to "Wait", and NOT Listened to the French and just Gone in after the Weapons?...  I can just Image what the AP's Take on that Cowboy Move would've been. - tha malcontent)

He also cited the abuses found to have been committed by members of the U.S. military at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq as "a huge disappointment."

(The Criminal Acts of Individuals are the Norm and Standard for the Entire Military, and in that the Responsibility Solely of the President... Classic.  But Waco was NOT Clinton's Fault... Got it. - tha malcontent)

"I don't know if you want to call those mistakes or not, but they were - things didn't go according to plan, let's put it that way," Bush said.

(Ah!... He didn't say they were "Mistakes". So how does the AP Justify Running this Story with the Angle that he was "Listing his Mistakes"? - tha malcontent)

And he admitted another miscalculation: Eager to report quick progress after U.S. troops ousted Saddam's government, he declared less than two months after the war started that "in the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed," a claim made under a "Mission Accomplished" banner that turned out to be wildly optimistic. "Clearly, putting `Mission Accomplished' on an aircraft carrier was a mistake," he said Monday. "It sent the wrong message."

(Well, Apparently that Banner was a Mistake According to (43)... I Disagree, but the President has to Play the Politics... That's the Bone they get from him, and they have Chewed on it Obsessively since he First "Conceded" it, and Probably will for Decades to come. - tha malcontent)

He also defended his decision in 2007 to send an additional 30,000 American troops to Iraq to knock down violence levels and stabilize life there.

(He Defended Success... Classic. - tha malcontent)

"The question is, in the long run, will this democracy survive, and that's going to be a question for future presidents," he said.

(Passin' the Buck... Barry will do Very Little Different, and the Left, being the Obedient Lapdogs to the New POTUS that they are already Proving to be, will Sit and Like it. - tha malcontent)

On another issue destined to figure prominently in his legacy, Bush said he has "thought long and hard about Katrina - you know could I have done something differently, like land Air Force One either in New Orleans or Baton Rouge." Bush was criticized for flying over the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and waiting until four days after it hit to visit the scene.

(A Visit from the President on Day 1, 2 or 3 would have had what Affect?... Honestly AP. - tha malcontent)

But he also said he disagrees with those who say the federal response to the storm was slow.

"Don't tell me the federal response was slow when there were 30,000 people pulled off roofs right after the storm passed. ... Could things been done better? Absolutely. But when I hear people say the federal response was slow, what are they going to say to those chopper drivers or the 30,000 who got pulled off the roof?" he said.

(And I will do what the President won't... "What about the Mayor?... What about the Governor who Refused Federal Assistance for 24 Hours?..." - tha malcontent)

He also defended his record on Mideast peace.

A bruising offensive by Israel in the Gaza Strip has dashed any slight hopes for an accord soon that produces a Palestinian state. But Bush, asked why peace hasn't been achieved, said his administration had made progress. He said he had laid out the vision for "what peace would look like" and got all sides to agree on a two-state solution to the long-running Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

(Fandamntastic... The AP has all but Put the Current Warring on the Jews. A Question for ya, AP... Who Started Lobbing Rockets into the Civilian Populace of the other, AP?... No Mention of the Terrorists Responsibility?... Classic AP. - tha malcontent)

"It's been a long time since they've had peace in the Middle East," he said. "The challenge, of course, has been to lay out the conditions so that a peaceful state can emerge. ... Will this ever happen? I think it will. And I know we've advanced the process."

(Clinton had it all Fixed before he Left Office... It was Perfect, and then (43) came in and Attacked Iraq for no good Reason! - tha malcontent)

He called President-elect Barack Obama "a very smart, engaging person" and said he wishes his successor all the best. He hinted at the enormous responsibility Obama is about to assume, describing what it might feel like on Jan. 20 when, after taking the oath of office, he enters the Oval Office for the first time as president.

"There'll be a moment when the responsibility of the president lands squarely on his shoulders," Bush said.

He gave his view of the most urgent threat facing the incoming president: an attack on the United States. He chose that risk over the dire economic problems now facing the nation.

(He Chose it because it has Happened TWICE now at the Beginning of (2) Presidencies... In 1993 al Qaeda Attacked the World Trade Center Killing Americans on American Soil... Clinton didn't even Visit the Site in 1993, much Less Capture the Guilty Party who went on to Level those Towers on 9/11... Don't even get me Started on that. Actually, you could say something Middle East has Festered for each New President going back to Carter, but I Digress... Something is almost Certainly going to Happen, just ask VP Joe! - tha malcontent)


"I wish that I could report that's not the case, but there's still an enemy out there that would like to inflict damage on America - on Americans."

(Fearmongering, Warmongering Tyrant!... If it wasn't for your Interventionism in your First Year, we would NEVER have been Attacked on 9/11, Dubya!... What was (43) doing in 2001 that Justified that Attack again?... - tha malcontent)

He said he would ask Congress to release the remaining $350 billion in Wall Street bailout money if Obama so desires. But, he said, Obama hadn't made that request of him yet.

That soon changed. Shortly after the news conference, the White House said Obama had asked for the request and Bush had agreed to make it.

That will take at least one burden off Obama's shoulders involving a program that is extraordinarily unpopular with many lawmakers and much of the public.

The last news conference of Bush's presidency lasted 46 minutes, and he took questions from more than a dozen reporters.

The last previous time the president had taken questions in a public setting was Dec. 14 in Baghdad, a session that hurtled to the top of the news when Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi threw his shoes at Bush during a question-and-answer session with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

(Put a Smile on every Person in the "Free Press", and will every time they Re-Re-Re-Report it... - tha malcontent)

Bush's last previous full-blown news conference was July 15. He refused to hold another during the final months of last year's presidential campaign, concerned that the questions would be mostly related to political events and determined to stay out of GOP nominee John McCain's spotlight as much as possible. But even though aides had suggested that would change after the election, Bush still declined to participate in a wide-ranging question-and-answer session until now, just eight days before leaving office.

(As Compared with Clinton?... (41)?... Reagan?... - tha malcontent)

He has been granting a flurry of legacy-focused interviews as he seeks to shape the view of his presidency on his way out the door.

He gave advice to both his Republican Party and his Democratic successor.

To the GOP, he said it must be "compassionate and broad-minded" to come back from the drubbing it received in last year's elections, in which Republicans lost the White House and sank deeper into the minority in Congress. He said the immigration debate of two years ago was harmful, because conservative opposition to broad reform made it appear that "Republicans don't like immigrants."

(Sorry, (43), you are Wrong... 2008 was Economy, Economy, Economy... And of course, Terrible Candidate for the GOP. - tha malcontent)

"This party will come back. But the party's message has got to be that different points of view are included in the party," he said.

Bush cautioned Obama not to listen to too much criticism - including from "your so-called friends" - and to focus on doing what he thinks is right. He also said to ignore talk of the isolation of the office.

"I have never felt isolated, and I don't think he will," Bush said. "One reason he won't feel isolated is that he's got a fabulous family and he cares a lot about his family."

(I wonder what Barry has Said of (43)?... - tha malcontent)

He went on to mock the way some describe the job.

"I believe the phrase 'burdens of the office' is overstated," he said. "You know, it's kind of like, `Why me? Oh, the burdens, you know. Why did the financial collapse have to happen on my watch?' It's just pathetic, isn't it, self-pity? And I don't believe that President-elect Obama will be full of self-pity."

Bush seemed to struggle to envision himself on Jan. 21, his first day back at home and without a job.

(Just about every angle Possible to Paint (43) as "Defensive", "Angry", "Evasive", "Indignant" and now "Struggling"... Classic. - tha malcontent)

"I'm a Type A personality. I just can't envision myself, you know, the big straw hat and a Hawaiian shirt sitting on some beach," he said. But, he added, it would probably be a pretty low-key day with him and his wife, Laura, at his ranch in Texas. "I wake up in Crawford on Tuesday morning - I mean, Wednesday morning, and I suspect I'll make Laura coffee and, you know, go get it for her."

(And not Think Twice about you Bastards in the "Free Press" as you Fawn ALL OVER Barry for the Next at least 4 Years. Whatever will the AP do without Dubya to "kick around"?...  A Personal Thank you from me, Mr. President.  You will be Remembered in History as a Great President, and you Action Following 9/11, as Opposed to Clinton's 8 Years of Inaction, Attack after Attack, will be Viewed as what Settled the Middle East once and for all.  But as with all things, it will Take Time, and a the Courage of Future American Leaders to NOT put us right back where we were on 9/10. - tha malcontent)

 

 

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