Well, almost. He refused to speak abou this promise to restore “dignity” to the White House.
Q Back in October of 2000, Mr. President —
PRESIDENT BUSH: October of 2000?
Q Yes, sir. Back in October of 2000, this is what you said —
PRESIDENT BUSH: Okay. Whew.
Q “We will ask not only what is legal, but what is right; not what the lawyers allow, but what the public deserves.” In the CIA leak case, has your administration lived up to this campaign promise?
PRESIDENT BUSH: In the — pardon my — I didn’t hear you.
Q In the CIA leak case, has your administration lived up to this campaign promise?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Oh, Deb, look, I said the other day to the press corps that was assembled in Argentina that there’s still an ongoing investigation. We take this investigation very seriously, and we’ll continue to cooperate during the investigation.
Or directly answer questins about Dick Cheney’s promotion of torture.
Q Mr. President, there has been a bit of an international outcry over reports of secret U.S. prisons in Europe for terrorism suspects. Will you let the Red Cross have access to them? And do you agree with Vice President Cheney that the CIA should be exempt from legislation to ban torture?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Our country is at war, and our government has the obligation to protect the American people. The executive branch has the obligation to protect the American people; the legislative branch has the obligation to protect the American people. And we are aggressively doing that. We are finding terrorists and bringing them to justice. We are gathering information about where the terrorists may be hiding. We are trying to disrupt their plots and plans. Anything we do to that effort, to that end, in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture.
And, therefore, we’re working with Congress to make sure that as we go forward, we make it possible — more possible to do our job. There’s an enemy that lurks and plots and plans, and wants to hurt America again. And so, you bet, we’ll aggressively pursue them. But we will do so under the law. And that’s why you’re seeing members of my administration go and brief the Congress. We want to work together in this matter. We — all of us have an obligation, and it’s a solemn obligation and a solemn responsibility. And I’m confident that when people see the facts, that they’ll recognize that we’ve — they’ve got more work to do, and that we must protect ourselves in a way that is lawful.