Chimpy answers questions from the press for the first time in a month:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve answered some of Senator Kerry’s criticisms in the last couple days about your Iraq policy. A couple of Republicans have raised some questions, as well, in the last couple days. Senator Hagel said that, “sharp analysis of our policies is required. We didn’t do that in Vietnam, to the point where we finally lost.” Senator McCain, you’re not being “as straight as we would want him to be,” about the situation in Iraq. What do you say to them?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Both Senators you quoted strongly want me elected as President. We agree that the world is better off with Saddam Hussein sitting in a prison cell. And that stands in stark contrast to the statement my opponent made yesterday when he said that the world was better off with Saddam in power.
I strongly disagree. It is in our interests that we deal with Prime Minister Allawi. It’s in our interests that we work toward a free society in Iraq. And I believe we’ll have a free society in Iraq, and I know that a free society in Iraq makes America safer and the world better off.
My opponent has taken so many different positions on Iraq that his statements are hardly credible at all.
Who is from the Iraqi media?
Q Right here, Mr. President, thank you. Why do you think the CIA’s assessment of conditions in Iraq are so much at odds with the optimism that you and Prime Minister Allawi are expressing at the moment?
PRESIDENT BUSH: The CIA laid out a — several scenarios that said, life could be lousy, like could be okay, life could be better. And they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be like. The Iraqi citizens are defying the pessimistic predictions. The Iraqi citizens are headed toward free elections. This government has been in place for a little over two months, and the Iraqi citizens are seeing a determined effort by responsible citizens to lead to a more hopeful tomorrow. And I am optimistic we’ll succeed.
Listen, I understand how tough it is. The Prime Minister understands how tough it is — he has to live with the few who are trying to stop the aspirations of the many. And we are — we’re standing with the Iraqi people because it’s in our nation’s interests to do so. We’re standing with the people of this good country because we understand that, as Prime Minister has said, that we must defeat them there; otherwise we’ll face them here at home.
And we’ll prevail. We will succeed. It’s an historic opportunity. And that’s why I’m so honored to be with the Prime Minister. It’s an historic opportunity not only to change this good country for the better and secure America, but it’s an historic opportunity to set example for people in the broader Middle East that free societies can, and will, exist.
And I want to thank you for your leadership, sir.
Summary: The Republicans who ciriticize me still love me and my opponent is a poopy head; the CIA is wrong (this time).