Thank You For Being A Friend

From Holden:

On the deteriating relationship between Tom DeLay and the Chimpster, I give you…

Bush Mouthpiece Little Scottie McClellan, on Monday:

Q Have you been tracking these ethics allegations against Tom DeLay? Do you think he has some explaining to do, or as Congressman Shays says, should he step aside?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think you’ve heard from the President, what he has said on the matter, that Majority Leader DeLay is someone the President considers a friend, and he is someone that he has worked closely with to get things done in Washington. And the President looks forward to continuing working closely with the Majority Leader to get things done on behalf of the American people. And that’s what we will continue to do. We support the work that he is doing on behalf of the American people.

Bush Mouthpiece Little Scottie McClellan, on Wednesday:

Q Scott, you said a couple days ago that, as the President said, he considers Tom Delay a friend. I actually went back — I never saw the President say that anywhere. He said he had confidence in Tom DeLay. And I also noticed that Tom DeLay said when the President was running for President in 2000 — or 1999 — that Bush was not a social friend of his. So does Bush consider —

MR. McCLELLAN: There are a number of congressional leaders that he works closely with on the Hill and he considers a friend, sure.

Q And he considers Tom DeLay a friend?

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure. I mean, I think there are different levels of friendship with anybody, so — [laughter]. Well, no, you referred to social friends and — but, no, he certainly is a friend.

Q What level of friendship are you referring to here?

MR. McCLELLAN: A friend. The President considers him such. And we support his efforts, along with the efforts of other congressional leaders, to move forward on the agenda that the American people want us to enact.

Bush Mouthpiece Elisabeth Bumiller, today:

President Bush and Representative Tom DeLay, the much-investigated but still powerful House majority leader, have never been pals. They made that clear in the fall of 1999, when Mr. Bush, the Republican front-runner for president, accused Mr. DeLay of balancing the federal budget on the backs of the poor and Mr. DeLay shot back that Mr. Bush “does not know how Congress works.”

In an interview that fall, Mr. DeLay also recalled that, when he first met Mr. Bush, the future president was “oil-field trash – that’s an endearing term, by the way.” In private conversations afterward, Mr. Bush was heard to express contempt for Mr. DeLay.