Greatest Hits from Today’s Press Conference

From Holden:

What a hoot:

First, the preznit’s fabulous sense of humor is on display once again:

PRESIDENT BUSH: Is anybody here from the Iraqi media? Why don’t we — yes, please, sir. Standing next to a fine man in Deans.

Q (Question not asked in English.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: I’m not so sure I agree with that. (Laughter.)

Next, a rare follow-up but still no answer:

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, NBC man, there — your name?

Q Gregory, sir.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Gregory.

Q Mr. President, you say today that the work in Iraq is tough and will remain tough. And, yet, you travel this country and a central theme of your campaign is that America is safer because of the invasion of Iraq. Can you understand why Americans may not believe you?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No.

[snip]

Q Sir, may I just follow, because I don’t think you’re really answering the question. I mean, I think you’re responding to Senator Kerry, but there are beheadings regularly, the insurgent violence continues, and there are no weapons of mass destruction. My question is, can you understand that Americans may not believe you when you say that America is actually safer today?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein were still in power. This is a man who harbored terrorists — Abu Abbas, Abu Nidal, Zarqawi. This is a man who was a sworn enemy of the United States of America. This is a man who used weapons of mass destruction. Going from tyranny to democracy is hard work, but I think the argument that says that Saddam Hussein — if Saddam Hussein were still in power, we’d be better off is wrong.

Sounds like both General Abizaid and the CIA are just guessing – er, I mean estimating:

Q And I like to, if you don’t mind, follow on something the Prime Minister just said. If General Abizaid says he needs more troops and the Prime Minister says he does not want more troops, who wins?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Let me talk to General Abizaid. As I said, he just came in to see me, and I want to make sure — I’m not suggesting any of the reporters here might be taking something out of context — that would never happen in America. But, nevertheless, I do want to sit down and talk to him about it. Obviously, we can work this out. It’s in the — if our commanders on the ground feels it’s in the interest of the Iraq citizens to provide more troops, we’ll talk about it. That’s — that’s why — they’re friends; that’s what we do about friends.

First part of the question — oh, yes, yes —

Q They say you’ve been opportunistic —

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, got it. Listen, the other day I was asked about the NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE, which is a National Intelligence Estimate. This is a report that talks about possibilities about what can happen in Iraq, not probabilities. I used an unfortunate word, “guess.” I should have used, “estimate.” And the CIA came and said, this is a possibility, this is a possibility, and this is a possibility. But what’s important for the American people to hear is reality. And the reality is right here in the form of the Prime Minister. And he is explaining what is happening on the ground. That’s the best report. And this report was written in July, and now we are here in September, and as I said, “estimate” would have been a better word.

Time to return to his fratboy asshole days and taunt CBS news:

Q Mr. President —

PRESIDENT BUSH: Hold on for a minute. Hold on for a minute, please, please. We’ve got other people from — hold on for a second.

PRIME MINISTER ALLAWI: From the other —

PRESIDENT BUSH: From Iraq. Are you from Iraq?

Q No —

PRESIDENT BUSH: Okay. No, hold on for a second. We need people from Iraq first, please. One journalist from Iraq. You’re not from Iraq, Allen. And neither are you, Elisabeth.

PRIME MINISTER ALLAWI: Give Al Arabiya —

PRESIDENT BUSH: Is anybody here from CBS? Roberts, there you are. Please.

Q — happy to be here.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Happy to be here, thank you. (Laughter.)

He thinks being called disingenuous means that they think he’s really smart:

Q You have been accused on the campaign trail in this election year of painting an overly optimistic portrait of the situation on the ground in Iraq. Yesterday, in Valley Forge, you said that there was a “handful” of people who were willing to kill to try to disrupt the process. Isn’t that really understating the case, particularly when there are intelligence reports that hundreds, if not thousands, of foreign fighters are streaming across the border from Syria to take up the fight of the insurgency? And do you believe, given the situation on the ground in Fallujah and other northern cities in the Sunni Triangle, that elections are possible in four months?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I do, because the Prime Minister told me they are. He is — he’s interested in moving this country forward. And you heard his statement, and I believe him.

The first part of the question?

Q The first question was, aren’t you being —

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, got it, got it. Yes. Yesterday —

Q — disingenuous —

PRESIDENT BUSH: Right.

Finally, the poor gnomes at the White House who have to transcribe the preznit’s words can’t decide if they prefer parentheses or brackets but they know sic when they see it:

It’s important that we train Iraqi troops. There are nearly 100,000 troops trained. The Afghan (sic) national army is a part of the army. By the way — it’s the Afghan [sic] national army that went into Najaf and did the work there.