Response of the Day
KING: Al Gore was on recently on this program and concerning the environment he said, “President Bush and Vice President Cheney have anointed to any key position that has anything to do with climate change special interest spokesmen for the oil companies, coal companies, and this is no secret.” How do you respond to that?
G. BUSH: Um.
Greiving Families Anger The Chimp
KING: Concerning Iraq, do you ever have doubts about it? Do you ever say, you know, “The country obviously turns one way. Things don’t look great sometimes. People are kind of down?” Does it ever get to you to say — and this is for both of you. Does it ever get to you to say, “Maybe, maybe it was wrong?”
G. BUSH: The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision and I’m actually convinced it was. Where I get mad is when I — you know, that some grieving mom or wife or dad has lost their loved one and that’s the agony of war. And I’ve met with enough families to know how it’s broken their heart to lose a loved one.
“Unilateral In Nation”
G. BUSH: You know, some people say well, America’s unilateral in nation. Quite the contrary. We set up multilateral frameworks to solve these problems.
Saddam “Was A Weapon”
KING: So there is no doubt, if you had it to do over again, knowing the WMDs weren’t there, you’d still go in?
G. BUSH: Yes. This is — we removed a tyrant, who was a weapon — he was an enemy of the United States who harbored terrorists and who had the capacity, at the very minimum, to make weapons of mass destruction. And he was a true threat. And yes, I would have done the same thing.
He Doesn’t Understand A Free Press
KING: You blame The New York Times, but the L.A. Times also published that story about intercepting and also The Wall Street Journal printed it.
G. BUSH: Well, disclosure is disclosure. I don’t think I’ve blamed any paper by name — maybe I have.
KING: You did name The New York Times.
G. BUSH: I did? I don’t know if I did or didn’t but anyway, let me put it this way. I am disturbed that people would feel comfortable enough going to newspapers with state secrets. It doesn’t make any sense to me to give the enemy — our — our game plan on how we’re going to deal with them …
KING: Isn’t that a ticklish line, though, a free press …
G. BUSH: I do support a free press strongly. I also want people to recognize that we’re at war and it’s just — it’s just — I just don’t understand. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.
Ken Lay, a Friend After All (Somebody Tell Pony Blow)
KING: The death of Ken Lay.
G. BUSH: Yes, yes.
KING: I know he was your friend. How do you feel? Were you shocked?
G. BUSH: I was. I was really surprised. You know, my hope is that his heart was right with the Lord and I feel real sorry for his wife. She’s had a rough go and she’s now here on Earth to bear the burdens of losing her husband, a man she loved.
KING: Was that whole thing, the whole Enron story shocking to you?
G. BUSH: Yes, yes.
KING: Because, I mean, you knew him pretty well from Texas, right?
G. BUSH: Pretty well, pretty well, I knew him. I got to know him.
G. BUSH: Yes, he’s a good guy.
Where Is Osama?
KING: Going to get [al Qaeda leader Osama] bin Laden.
G. BUSH: Oh we’ll get him. Oh we’ll get him.
KING: Why has it been so hard? Five years coming.
G. BUSH: It’s a …
KING: More than that, really.
G. BUSH: One way to look at it is he in charge of the folks he was in charge of before, have they got training — you know, places, and a safe haven, the answer is no. We’ve got him on the run. And they’re hiding. I, of course, would like to bring him to justice but we’ll get him. We’re, we’re — it’s just a matter of persistence and patience. Every day I think about this.
G. BUSH: Every day — well, everyday I think about al Qaeda. Every day I think about protecting this country. I mean, every day. The thought has not — the thought has entered my mind and I think about it and talk to people about it and strategize about it every day.
KING: Obsessed with it.
G. BUSH: No. Well, in a way I guess you could say obsessed, but obsession is the wrong word. Doing my duty.