Reuters’ Steve Holland interviewed Chimpy aboard Air Force One yesterday (he wore his Commander in Chief jacket for the occasion). Reuter’s did a great job of cleaning up the transcript to make it seem like the president was semi-literate, but they left me a few gems.
Can’t Help Himself
There is a way forward, there’s a compromise to be had. My hope is that the Democrat leader sees it.
Just Can’t Resist
We hope that the Democrat leaders would seize it.
It’s Your Fault
The hard part about this debate has been — you know, the enemy has done an excellent job of preying upon the conscience of the American people.
What Al Qaeda Has Got
On the other hand, my job is to make sure they understand that this is a part of an overall strategy, that al Qaeda has got plans and designs — all of which, by the way, is to drive America out of different parts of the world, find safe haven and to attack again.
More Than One Person For President!
If that person — if the people who say we’re not having any war on terror ever gets elected, they’ll sit in the office, the Oval Office, and realize we are in a war on terror.
What About One Who Listens To Dick Cheney?
And a President who listens to the intelligence being gathered will realize that the main job for the President here in this part of the 21st century is to defeat the enemy by staying on the offense and, therefore, securing America.
We Gotta Find That Guy Al
I think that we’re in for a long ideological struggle. I think this is — and I think Presidents are going to have to keep the pressure on al Qaeda by using good intel and finding him and pressuring him.
The Terrorist Deciders!
The message is to the Iranians that we would expect them to help this government in Iraq succeed, and that we will — we don’t like it when they’re shipping weapons in to kill our soldiers and innocent civilians — and we will continue to keep the pressure on those inside the country that are making these decisions.
Secondly, we abhor the violence where innocents die.
Definitely Syria. I don’t know about this particular incident. I’ll be guarded on making accusations until I get better information. But I will tell you there’s no doubt that Syria has been involved in — Syria was deeply involved in Lebanon, until the United States and France passed a resolution that got them to leave. No question they’re still involved in Lebanon. I think one of the things that’s going to be very important is for this Hariri trial to go forward, and show the world how active Syria has been or not been in Lebanon, particularly with this case.
But You Doesn’t Have To Call Him Johnson
We’d very much like it be an American And Henry Paulson, Secretary Paulson, Hank Paulson, is in charge of the process.
Maybe He Needs A President Czar
As I understood, they stepped back from those remarks there. In other words, in Condi’s trip, if I’m not mistaken — you’d better check to make sure — I believe that’s what happened.
Look, I think — I sent Bob Gates to Russia to talk about missile defense, all aiming at saying to the Russians, we’re not you’re enemy, and what we’re doing is to help a lot of people become protected from a potential missile launch by a rogue regime. And therefore it’s in your interest that you participate in the system. And we’ll be transparent.
He Forgot Poland!
But there is a lot of tension with Russia, particularly in Europe now, as Russia is using her energy and using some — denying market access to different countries, for example, Polish meat.
The Democracy Decider
He thinks that they’ve got a democracy emerging there in Russia. Obviously, there’s a lot of suspicion about that, and I look forward to continuing to talk to him as to why he thinks his country is on the path to democracy. It looks like at times it’s not, to me.
There Is Some Positives And Some Negatives
But, yes, it’s — there’s some positives and some negatives. Some positives in Russia is there’s a middle class beginning to develop that is gaining purchasing power, which will help their economy.
Changes Of Rule Of Law
Obviously, some of the negatives are the different changes of rule of law, the diminution of a free press; just some of the decisions he’s made have sent mixed signals to the West and mixed signals to me.
Damn, That’s Good Blow!
The key point I want to make on this is that we want to work with — I want to work with Europeans, as well as the Chinese and the Indians to come up with a way forward that achieves a series of objectives one, a reduction of greenhouse gasses — without endangering economic vitality and growth, and at the same time helps move the technologies that will enable us to, here in America at least, become more energy independent, and at the same time better stewards of the environment.
I hope we can reach an agreement on some basic principles that we can — I think we can reach agreement on principles.
There’s no such thing as accurate short-term history of a President.
Stupidity That No Witty Header Can Describe
So give me a chance to finish the last 20 months. We’ve had a very — 20 months is a long time during this presidency.
No One Suffers More
There’s a lot of — my biggest regret thus far is the loss of life, for U.S. casualties. It’s the hardest thing for a President when you commit our troops into harm’s way, is to know that they have died as a result of your decision.
Questions and Responses:
Life During Wartime
Q: I remember when — August of 2001, we were all desperate to find out your stem cell policy, and that was the driving issue.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that, plus, remember, the issue with China, the EP-3. And then the attacks. I have been a President during a war.
Q What do you think your legacy is going to be?
THE PRESIDENT: Whatever it is, I’m not going to be around to see it.
The Worst Is Yet To Come
Q: What would you say would be your top successes and top things that you wish had gone better?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we haven’t — I mean, I’m not through being President yet.