Thursday, October 14, 2004

Hot Bush! Flaming pants!

In the debate last night Kerry quoted Bush saying that he was "not that concerned" about Osama bin Laden. Bush said this was an exaggeration. When I heard Kerry say it, I remembered the quote he was talking about. When Bush denied it, I wasn't sure if I remembered wrong or if Bush lied. Luckily, the Internet is here to help.

The first proof that I remembered right, I found on Scott Feldstein's blog. Then I saw a more extensive discussion at Talking Points Memo.

To save you the intolerable labor of clicking through, here's the exchange from last night:
KERRY: Yes. When the president had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, he took his focus off of them, outsourced the job to Afghan warlords, and Osama bin Laden escaped.

Six months after he said Osama bin Laden must be caught dead or alive, this president was asked, "Where is Osama bin Laden?" He said, "I don't know. I don't really think about him very much. I'm not that concerned."

We need a president who stays deadly focused on the real war on terror.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. President?

BUSH: Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations.
You can find the President's quote in a press conference on March 13, 2002:
THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.
If you look at the whole context, that really is what President Bush was saying. He no longer cared about catching Osama bin Laden. I'm just hoping our free press takes this opportunity to replay that part of that press conference for the viewers at home, hopefully right before or after a clip of Kerry talking about how Bush took his eye off the ball.
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