Thursday, September 23, 2004
From the presser today at the White House:
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. Anybody who says that we are safer with Saddam Hussein in power is wrong. We went into Iraq because Saddam Hussein defied the demands of the free world. We went into Iraq after diplomacy had failed. And we went into Iraq because I understand after September the 11th we must take threats seriously, before they come to hurt us.
And I think it's a preposterous claim to say that America would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power. I certainly know that that's the case for America and I certainly know it's the case for the Iraqi people. These are people who were tortured. This good man was abed in a London flat, and he wakes up with two Saddam henchmen there with axes, trying to cut him to pieces with an axe. And, fortunately, he's alive today; fortunately, we call him friend and ally. But he knows what it means to have lived under a society in which a thug like Saddam Hussein would send people with axes to try to kill him in bed in a London flat.
No, this world is better off with Saddam Hussein in prison.
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.
Deny ANY wrongdoing - check
Lie about failed diplomacy - check
Iraq & 9/11 in the same sentence - check
Lie about terrorist presence - check
And that's just in two questions.
Kos said it, and I agree. This will be the last time we'll see Bush taking questions in a press conference before the election. I'll miss the babbling brook.
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