Bonds broke the home run record Tuesday night.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – After a couple of tries, President Bush and Barry Bonds finally connected.
White House spokesman Tony Snow told CNN the president reached Bonds by telephone about 1pm ET on Wednesday for a three-minute conversation congratulating the controversial slugger for hitting his 756th home run, smashing the Major League Baseball record previously held by Hank Aaron.
“You’ve always been a great hitter,” the president told Bonds, according to Snow. “And you broke a great record.”
The president had been struggling to reach Bonds on the West Coast since early Wednesday morning. “The president was asleep when Barry Bonds hit his home run,” Snow explained. “Barry Bonds was asleep when the president came to work today.”
During the brief conversation, the president noted he enjoyed learning that the ballplayer lifted his son, Nikolai, in the air after reaching home plate. Snow said Mr. Bush joked he and the young bat boy for the San Francisco Giants both know “what it’s like to have a famous father.”
Asked if the touchy subject of steroids came up during the conversation since Bonds has been under a cloud of suspicion for alleged use of the performance-enhancing drug, Snow said no. In his 2005 State of the Union address, the president, a former owner of the Texas Rangers, publicly called for baseball to clean up its act on the matter without singling out any particular players.
– CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry