At a press conference this morning with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a reporter asked President Bush whether his use of the word “unsettling” to describe the violence in Iraq would “convince many people that you’re still in denial about how bad things are in Iraq.”
Bush responded curtly, “It’s bad in Iraq. That help?” and then chuckled.
Bush later said, “You know, in all due respect, I’ve been saying it a lot. I understand how tough it is, and I’ve been telling the American people how tough it is.”
LINK: Bush Asked Whether He’s ‘Still In Denial,’ Responds ‘It’s Bad In Iraq. That Help?’
QUESTION: Mr. President, the Iraq Study Group described the situation in Iraq as “grave and deteriorating.” You said that the increase in attacks is “unsettling.” That will convince many people that you’re still in denial about how bad things are in Iraq and question your sincerity about changing course.
BUSH: It’s bad in Iraq. That help? (Laughter)
QUESTION: Why did it take others to say it before you’ve been willing to acknowledge it to the world?
BUSH: You know, in all due respect, I’ve been saying it a lot. I understand how tough it is, and I’ve been telling the American people how tough it is. And they know how tough it is.
And the fundamental question is: Do we have a plan to achieve our objective? Are we willing to change as the enemy has changed?
Al Gore was on The TODAY SHOW and brought some sober thoughts to the discussion of the Iraq Study Group and the war.
LINK: Al Gore on Iraq: “This was the worst strategic mistake in the entire history of the United States.”
Gore: Well, the report this morning is actually one of several studies. There's one in the Pentagon. There has reportedly been one in the White House itself is (garbled) up. They're all basically saying the same thing, Matt–this is an utter disaster. This was the worst strategic mistake in the entire history of the United States and now we as a nation have to find a way, in George Mitchell’s words—"to manage a disaster." but—I would urge the president not to try to separate out the personal issues of being blamed in history for this mistake and instead recognize it’s not about him. It’s about our country and we all have to find a way to get our troops home and to prevent a regional conflagration there.
Bush vs Gore v2.0