Monday, January 17, 2005

Bush: Regrets, I've Had a Few (A Very Few)

Under other circumstances, this (registration required) might be refreshing, but given the world situation and given the Bush's tortured speaking style, it's not. It's depressing.

President Bush has some regrets about two signature lines of his presidency — urging that terrorist Osama bin Laden be captured "dead or alive" and later telling insurgents in Iraq, "Bring 'em on."
During an interview Thursday with the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a dozen other newspapers, Bush said: "Sometimes, words have consequences you don't intend them to mean. 'Bring 'em on' is the classic example, when I was really trying to rally the troops and make it clear to them that I fully understood, you know, what a great job they were doing.
"And those words had an unintended consequence," Bush continued. "It kind of, some interpreted it to be defiance in the face of danger. That certainly wasn't the case. Or, you know, 'dead or alive' in referring to Osama bin Laden at the Pentagon. I can remember getting back to the White House, and Laura said, 'What did you do that for?'
"I said, 'Well, it was just an expression that came out. I didn't rehearse it.'… I don't know if you'd call it a regret, but it certainly is a lesson that a president must be mindful of, that the words that you sometimes say — I speak plainly sometimes, but you've got to be mindful of the consequences of the words. So put that down. I don't know if you'd call that a confession, a regret, something."