The press' behavior in the White House press conference today (watching it live right now) is deplorable. Talk about actively shilling for the Democratic Party!
More details when the transcript is posted. I love the "empty skirt" (if I may borrow a phrase from the Honourable Michael Savage) trying to switch the topic to Rush Limbaughâthereby equating the figurehead of the Democratic Party with an unelected but widely popular talk show host. (Okay, maybe only "wildly" popular, but hopefully you get my point.)
The White House Press Corps is actively campaigning against a sitting President. Shouldn't these reporters be required to file with the Federal Elections Commission for their shameless electioneering?
(Neat! Did you know that C-SPAN offers a somewhat complete archive of White House press briefings?)
HAHAHAHAHAH! Thanks to HotAir and Arthur for bringing us the following picture from our "uneducated" troops!
[unidentified]Is the President going to keep mentioning Kerry in future press conferences?
[David Gregory, NBC]
Can I just follow that.. do you... Do you feel that Senator Kerry offered a sufficient explanation and apology in his appearance [on Imus] this morning?
Does the President actually believe [ed: sneeringly] that Senator Kerry intended to criticise the troops?
[ed: huffy] But, but there's been a lot of dissection of this, including by you, yesterday, describing this as a pattern, so it's important as to whether the President believes that he actually meant to malign the troops, because as you heard yesterday, Senator Kerry says he knows he meant it. [ed: not a fully correct transcription, but the point is clear]
[Jim Axelrod, CBS News]
Tony, the Vice President, we went after the Vice President for something he said, nobody said he didn't mean to say that, the Vice President didn't say that. [unintelligible]
Let me ask you this, because, in reading the transcript, it's pretty clear Senator Kerry was in the middle of going after the President when he said this. Would you agree with that?
It's obviously a nebulous thing to figure out... You can read the transcript, he obviously dropped what it looks like the prepared remark should have been the prepared remarks, assuming these are the prepared remarks, but he was saying, the President lives in the state of denial, and then he goes to another one, where, that he obviously botched. My question is: Is there a difference in your mind, because the AmVets and the American Legionâeverybody who's calling for Senator Kerry to apologize, would be if indeed he maligned the troops. If he was just going after the President, that's a different story. [ed: "Is it?"]
There's one followup. Have you thought about sending Senator Kerry a gift basket?
[Bret BaierâFox News]
Tony, uh, the Kerry spokesman put out the prepared text as apparently he was supposed to say it, he also put out, uh they also put out a quote that said, about Kerry not choosing to go on the campaign trail for a number of stops, saying "We made a decision not to allow the Republican hate machine to use Democratic candidates as proxies in their distorted spin war."
What impact do you think it will have on the election in 6 days, and what are you telling Republican candidates to do with it?
Do you call this an unnecessary distraction from the issues?
One last thing, following on Jim's question, do you think that the President believes that Senator Kerry was somehow minimizing the troop sacrifice in Iraq by this statement?
[Jessica Vellin, ABC News]
Two questions, first, we haven't heard Rush Limbaugh apologize directly to Michael J. Fox, but the President has accepted his apology. Why is that acceptable, and John Kerry's comments today aren't accepted?
[incredulously] He said "I botched the joke." Which is, I got it wrong.
The President sat for an interview with Rush Limbaugh today. Why hasn't he called on Rush Limbaugh, uh, to make that same kind of apology to people who have Parkinson's Disease?
May I ask you about a plan to win that? There is a report in today's NYT that Central Command had drawn up an analysis showing that the US in Iraq is one step closer to chaosâthe situation in Iraq is one step closer to chaos. [ed: freudian slip?] This was drawn up before the President said in his last press conference we are absolutely winning. Was the President aware of this report saying Iraq is closer to chaos before he told the nation we're winning?
But just to be clear, when commanders on the ground tell the President, in the large picture, we are stepping closer to chaos, he believes that can also be a picture of winning?
Are you saying chaos is the same thing as winning?
[Jim Axelrod, CBS News]
I just wanted to correct one thing, when you say that "John Kerry is the head of a party," that's obviously wrong. [..] Because, he doesn't head anything any more.
Are the Administration, and the Republicans, trying to exploit this Kerry flap to turn the focus away from the handling of the war on Iraq, which does not reflect necessarily well on the Republicans, and towards the President's insistence that the Democrats can't be trusted with national security?
[incredulous]But, the President has been hammering this homeâ
You don't think that you and the Republicans are gleefully jumping on these comments by Senator Kerry?
Tony, but the Vice President, you just released a short time ago, excerpts of what he's going to say 6 or 7 hours from now, and he's going to jump on John Kerry...
Basically, you cited the VP before, about what he said about a dunk in the water. Some human rights groups interpret that to mean the VP, they interpreted that the VP was condoning waterboarding, that he was condoning torture. The VP came out, spoke to reporters, and said that's absolutely not what I meant. He never apologized to anyone [ed: to who? The terrorists?] if they took it wrong, he did not condone that. John Kerry is now saying, that's not what I meant, why won't you take him at his word like you would of the Vice President?
You cited the example of the Vice President, and said that, "Last week, you all jumped on him."
The Vice President's words were, he said something about a dunk in water, heâ
We're not here to explain his words. [ed: but that's what you're doing!]
Another subject. Today, you put out a pretty tough statement about the Siniora government, saying that Syria needs to watch it, essentially. How concerned are you that there is an effort to topple the Sinioran government, the democracy there?
We understand the good parts of democracy, but why'd you put out the statement. Are you concerned about reports of arms smuggling?
Tony, two questions: First, you say that you wanted to see Democrats offer, engage in a more substantive way in Iraq, yet when Democrats do that, their ideas are either rejected out-of-hand, as was the case with Biden's idea of partitioning Iraq, or in the case of Murtha, where you had Republican members of Congress effectively accusing him of being a coward and saying that the idea doesn't reflect reality. So when you have substantive proposalsâredeploying troops is a substantive proposal, partitioning the country is a substantive proposalâwhy not engage? Why does [unintelligible]
[unintelligible]âis a non-starter. Howâ[unintelligible]
Arguably, partitioning Iraq so that parts of the country can stabilize and govern themselves, how [unintelligible]
Tony, thanks. You haven't said much about Israel and the Palestinians lately. Um, have you given up on any Palestinian state in the forseeable future, and is the US still giving humanitarian aid to the Palestinians?
And on Lebanon, the Hezbullah leader says that there are some UN-mediated talks on the way to possibly free those two Israeli soldiers. Is the US involved in this at all?
Tony, I wanna take you back to your Lebanon statement here. You said that there was mounting evidence that the Syrian and Iranian governments, and Hezbullah and their allies, are trying to topple, uh, the government, but the rest of the statement doesn't describe what that evidence is, the only thing that it goes on to describe is an effort to stop formal approval of the statute on the international tribunal, which is quite different than trying to topple the government.
I can understand that [i.e, that some information is "classified" for a reason], but at the same time, uh, you're making a very serious charge that two governments are seeking to overturn, uh, the government of a neighbor, and it would seem to me that that would require some characterization of the evidence in declassified form. Can you tell us any about it?
Paula [Hereafter to be referred to as "mullet girl"] CruickshankâCommerce Clearinghouse, Inc.
Umm, I have a question on higher education policy. [talkback] No, this is related to your brouhaha, please. Isn't the actual issue here that higher educationâaccess to higher educationâis really becoming more unreachable for middle and low-income students, and because of that, many of them feel they have no other way of attaining an education, job training, access to education, [..] unless they, unless they go into the military? (DNC talking point #13514214)
A follow-up, please? The college board put out a study last week, and in that study, it says that the costâthe rising cost of tuition, is making it virtually impossible for many low- and middle-income students to either start college, or if they're enrolled in college, they either can't go 4 years, they fought for two years, they just [snidely] can't go. Now, this whole issue about this [unintelligible] statement, of making an effort to [lead us more? pell grants?], isn't this really the issue? If you're not smart enough to get a merit scholarship, and you can't afford to go to college like your wealthier counterparts, then what other options do we have for education?
[Shameless editorial statement: COLLEGES ARE RUN BY DEMOCRATS. (a) If you have a problem with how expensive it is, bring it up with them, and (b) ever hear of "affirmative action," mullet girl? That seems to be a "third" option that you appear to have overlooked in your baseless pandering to the DNC...]
David GregoryâNBC News
I'm trying to go back to this point, because you made two separate charges in this briefing, one is that Democrats don't have a plan for Iraq, and then you said a moment ago that they don't have a plan for victory. So, if the [snidely] standard is a plan for victory, nearly every public measurement of, uh, every measurement of public opinion in this country [ed: which one? canada? -wink-] indicates that the public doesn't believe that the President has a plan for victory. And the reality is, whether it's partition, whether it's phased troop withdrawal, or troop withdrawal begins by the end of this year, this is a, an either strategic or tactical suggestion based on how you defined those and we don't have to define those here, but it's about salvaging the poooolicy. So, so, what I'm getting at, is how can you have it both ways? [interrupts,] You say that's not a plan, it clearly is a plan [ed: maybe inside of David Gregory's pants it is...], insofar as it is a suggestion about how you either change tactically or strategically.
But in, but in point of fact, one of the leading Democratic proposals relies upon measurements of political progress on the ground, which, [snidely] incidentally, is very close to what this Administration's policy is, which is, benchmarks by the al-Malaki [sp?] government. What is the difference?
[stammering] Uh, uh, therefore do you stand by the idea that they don't have a plan? Do you think that's really fair, substantive...?
Yeah, back to the Kerry thing, when the President said in Georgia that, uh, that he said that the members of the United States military are "plenty smart," that was after Kerry came out and said he wasn't talking about the United States Military in his remarks. Doesn't that have to mean that the President believes that Kerry is [incredulous] lying when he ... but, but he has to be interpreting in a way in that Kerry has clearly said that he did not mean it, he has to be saying that Kerry is lying!
Well, he seems very clear that the, uh that the Vice President in his prepared remarks say that Cheney took a swipe at the U.S. Military, Kerry again [crosstalk] uh, that Kerry took a swipe at the U.S. Military, uh, he clearly has said that, I mean, I mean, that both of them must be thinking that he's lying, basically calling him a liar by ...
Uh, two questions on Iraq. Has the decision about whether to possibly add 100,000 Iraqi troops to the rolls over there [calmed to the President's level?] so, or not? What does he, how important does he think that is?
Will it be higher than 100,000?
The second question is, how much does Maliki's decision to take over these checkpoints, you know, raise the question of whether he is, whether he is or is not cracking down on these sectarian militias that your own commanders have said are the major problem?
[Victoria JonesâTalk Radio News Service]
Tony, i have two. First one is, uh, what is the status of the kidnapped American soldier?
And, the second one is on the Kerry thing. In the event that he apologizes, will the President give the command as head of the Republican party for the attack dogs to be called off?
[responding to mention of Harold Ford, Jr.â] What about the Republican attack dogs?
What do you think? Do you think Republicans will accept his apology?
Tony, in the days leading up to this election, many people likining it to a football gameâpressure's on, and both sides are crackingâlast week, Vice President, this week, Senator Kerry. What are the stakes?
Let's talk beyond, uh, dealing together. Let's talk about the state of the Republican party. How tight is the Republican party, leading into this?
Will cool heads prevail, leading up to... Will cool heads prevail, no more controversies you think?
Two questions, [crosstalk] the President, uh first question, the President has expressed reservations about human egg farming, and cloning human embryos for research. What is his opinion of the Missouri plan to allow these procedures through the State Constitutional amendment?
Um, yesterday, you told us you would be speaking at the Michael Steele, a U.S. Senate candidate
campaign in Maryland, which I subsequently learned is tonight at 6 PM, quote, "somewhere in Potomac," with no address available because it is hard to the media this and the last week of the campaign, and my question, why are you, as a [snidely] wonderfully available and receptive [woman's laughter in bg] presidential press secretary participating in this censored from all media event in one of the 13 original states which voted for freedom of the press? [hmm in background] [ed.: someone pee in your cocktail, Les? Just because you are too lazy to call Vice-Governor Steele's office to find the address doesn't mean it's censored...]
Can I follow up on that please, just for one second? Um, you are going to be at the Steele fundraiser tonight, and apparently, it is closed to the press because of the campaign's decisison and the people at the house, but if you could tell us then, what message do you bring to people like that, people at these fundraisers, and also, will you talk about John Kerry tonight?
Can you touch on what was discussed or accomplished in the meeting between President Bush and Secretary Rice [unintelligible]?