August 9th, 2007
01:08 PM ET
11 years ago

Bush on Obama: Leave me out of it

Bush held a press conference Thursday morning.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - When it comes to anything related to the ’08 campaign fray, President Bush says just leave me out of it.

At Thursday morning’s White House news conference, Bush again declined to comment on the race – this time the criticism of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama’s Pakistan statement.

Bush said, “I suspect that over the course of the next months when I hold a press conference you'll be trying to get me to engage in presidential politics, trying to get me to opine about what candidates are saying, whether they be Republicans or Democrats. And hopefully I'll be disciplined enough not to fall prey to your questions, not to fall into that.”

Last week, the Illinois senator said he would be willing to use military force against terrorist training camps in Pakistan if Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf did not act against them.

His chief rival for the Democratic nomination, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, criticized the comments at Tuesday's AFL-CIO forum, saying presidential candidates should not "engage in hypotheticals."

"You can think big, but remember, you shouldn't always say everything you think if you are running for president, because it has consequences around the world. And we don't need that right now," Clinton said.

Meanwhile, at Camp David Monday, Mr. Bush told reporters, “I'm confident, with real, actionable intelligence, we will get the job done” and capture top al Qaeda leaders inside Pakistan. The President was then asked at Thursday’s news conference if the “we” included Pakistan’s government.

Mr. Bush responded, “To the question you asked and to my answer in Camp David, I said I'm confident that we - both the Paks and the Americans - will be able to work up a plan based upon actionable intelligence that will bring the top al Qaeda targets to justice. And I meant what I said. We spend a lot of time with the leadership in Pakistan talking about what we will do with actionable intelligence. The question was: Am I confident that they will be brought to justice? And my answer to you is: Yes, I am confident.”

- CNN Political Desk Manager Steve Brusk

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Lonni, Columbus, Ohio

    I agree. Have a little more respect for our President and call him by his title.

    August 9, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Chip Douglas, Chicago, Illinois

    My God he's an idiot.

    August 9, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. TC Plainfield, IL

    I'm looking forward to at least ten years-worth of blaming Bush/Cheney for everything negative that happens. I can see myself in 2013 explaining to somebody with a weathered "W" sticker on their car bumper that we are still paying the bills for the war in Iraq. I'll ask them how they feel about voting for this guy TWICE!

    August 9, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. George T Tompkins Jr., Frankfurt, Germany

    I believe that the human race has common sense to know that President Bush and his administration will have some miraculous discoveries before their term ends. Surprised, Dumbyah?

    August 9, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. McEmtol Fat, Lagos Nigeria

    Is this journalist dumb? Moreso does CNN have an agenda? i asked these questions 'cos there's absolute nothing in the content that relates to the headline.

    A reputable organisation like CNN should not stoop this low....For many of us who aren't US citizens we love CNN and constantly defend her even when allegations are made against them but in such a open glaring case like this, what do we do?

    I am not a US citizen so I have no stake in her politics. My response is purely the defense of journalism and for that matter the kind coming from CNN.

    August 9, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Dave, Philadelphia, PA

    Do you object to calling him Mr.Bush? He's lucky to get that level of courtesy. Hey Middle-America? Wake up!! He's a lying criminal and isn't even man enough to own up to any one of his misdeeds. Instead, he let's his cronies take the fall or , while he continues to take a dump, all over our Constitution.

    August 9, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Erik, Austin TX

    Rissa, "Mr." has long been an accepted title for the President. There is no disrespect in using it. If they were just calling him "George" or "that idiot at the podium," that would be disrespectful.

    This article uses "President Bush" initially, and then uses either "Bush" or "Mr. Bush" from then on. This is in line with how most publications use these honorifics, and how most have been doing it for decades. If you're trying to accuse CNN of liberal bias, this particular bit of "evidence" isn't going to cut it.

    August 9, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    The criminal nature of this administration continues to shock and awe me. I just found out that Tim Griffen, infamous vote cager and architect of Bush's 2000 Florida election caging fraud, and also Karl Rove's protege whom was under investigation by the Arkansas Attorney, only to find himself in the dude's job after he was fired, whis helping to run Fred Thompson's campaign. I guess they figure they did it twice, they can do it again to us.

    I'm so ashamed of my government. It hurts me to even see Bush's face on here.

    August 9, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. Lou, Mississippi

    stanley from pittsburgh

    Wait to the next CNN/Opinion Poll comes out. They will have Clinton beating Senator Obama and Senator Edwards by 25 points! They will have the next NH poll with her in the lead too.

    The Clinton News Network is worse than the Fox Noise Channel in its bias reporting.

    I guess the fear of God doesn't bother them.

    August 9, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Jason, Vancouver, BC

    It would be nice to see a president who says "Pakistanies" rather than Paks. Seriously, this guy went to Yale?

    August 9, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Wallace, Philly, PA

    Steve Brusk, you need to change your headline. Nowhere in this article does Bush direct his comments to Obama. Are you that desperate for readers? What a joke. I can't blame you though because Obama is the biggest star in politics. It's pretty normal for people to attack the best! It happens in Sports as well.

    August 9, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Bryan, Kennebunk, ME

    Pretty pitiful when people get excited about the President's approval rating going from 32% to 36% with a margin era of 3 +/-points. Bush has been a dismal failure and his marketing machine just knows how to instill enough fear in the people to convince a third of them that we still need to believe in his "vision" of a winnable war in Iraq.

    August 9, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Mercer, Madison, WI

    I guess the only reason Georgie has not been assassinated is that the alternative (Dick Cheney) as president is even more frightening!!

    August 9, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Mark, Sacramento, CA

    The less Devil Bush talks the better!

    August 9, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. R\eg; Louisville, KY

    With or without President Bush's comments, his administration's performance is center stage in the 2008 elections. There is no doubt in any objective observation an aggressive and stubborn, self-indulgent sociopathic effort has been perpetrated for the benefit of a few and with the bold deceptions and excessive costs consistently passed to the many. For the last six plus years the Bush administration, with the full support of the Republican party, has been constant in everything proposed/done to be pursuing a private agenda for the benefit of Special Interests and a select few while giving the average American only the subterfuge, apathy and drastic costs. Today all politicians are challenged with the need for great financial support, which simply encourages the opportunity for 'big money' to buy their way in. The Democrats have their faults and short commings but the wealthy and powerful have obviously had their way with the Republicans and President Bush, likely have plans to continue and it is just really scary to think how far it can go with 'more of the same'.

    August 9, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Brian,Calgary,Alberta

    If you knew what Bush was going to do would you have voted for him and would we be in this mess?No way!We need to know what the candidates will do to resolve the destructive issues before us before we vote,not after we vote.

    August 9, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. Eric, Wash. DC

    Why "Bush on Obama" and not "Bush on Election" or "Bush on 2008" or "Bush on Candidates?" Any of those three would be more accurate headlines.

    August 9, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Jay, Charlotte NC

    Uhhhh... where does Bush say towards Obama "Leave me out of it?" Steve Brusk said leave me out of it, not Bush. CNN really is trying to force people to think that Obama's statement about Pakistan was wrong and Hillary was right.

    August 9, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Dave, Ontario

    Bush was very clear in not singling out any one candidate," .... trying to get me to opine about what candidates are saying, whether they be Republicans or Democrats". But CNN puts it as "Bush on Obama". Of course it is not yellow journalism, its just journalism with an agenda!

    August 9, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    Good Lord! You people do whine a bit about titles, Mr. vs. Pres. I can call him Mr. as I never voted for the dimwit (ie. "he ain't my president"). And to those that need to whine about CNN being so pro-Clinton. Sheesh! Just because she is riding high in the polls and looking like she is going to possibly be our next president, I think they might be thinking about comparing her stand against Bush's. We are in a political race people. When Obama puts his foot in his mouth.. it's news. If she does.. it's news.
    The only thing I dislike lately about CNN is that they "softball" the news. Too much fluff and not enough news. If you want to whine about political influence in the news then turn on FOX. They have the GOP market cornered.

    Telling it like I see it,

    August 9, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Craig, Indianapolis IN

    So, just to be clear: Clinton, Bush and Obama are all in agreement over Obama's comments with regard to Pakistan. The only differences being Clinton says to think it but not say it, and Bush agrees but says it won't happen.

    sounds like voters only have once choice if they want someone who is both honest and not diluted.

    why is Obama taking so much heat on this again?

    August 9, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Kenny NY, NY


    Wrote, "I can call him Mr. as I never voted for the dimwit (ie. “he ain’t my president)"

    You can disparage President Bush, ridicule him, etc. It will not change the fact that he is a two-term President of the United States. His name will be remembered throughout the ages of history and all that you can muster in this life – your rants and insignificant blog will fade into oblivion.

    Please continue your barking as a dog to it's Master.

    August 9, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Carsten Hansen, Seattle WA

    Unbelievable... How many times has "W" said "We will get the job done" during his presidency??? And how many things has he actually finished? Does he really think that we are so ignorant that we will just keep believing his confident statements?

    August 9, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Erik

    CNN will probally take this down but the reason why Clinton is getting all of the media’s attention and slants is because they (the media) are first and foremost a business. True reporting does not exist anymore. Only pun dents, party hype men and stockholders control the press. In the 90’s Bill Clinton passed bills that gave media corporations more opportunities to improve their profits by allowing them to buy up more media outlets. This was great for business but bad for free press. In the 80's the media stopped investigative reporting and allowed the political parties to dictate and manipulate the stories presented to the public. There are some good reporters left in some media outlets but they are hampered down and sometimes silenced by the financial/business needs of their news organizations. Bill Moyers did a report on how the media helped to sell the Iraq war for Bush and the republicans. In the end it all comes down to money and profits. With 24-hour news stations competing with each other they all have to by law, improve ratings and profits for their shareholders. This is why we have sensational news.

    The news organizations:

    1. Owe the Clinton's for improving their profits and business opportunities in the 90’s. That is one of the reasons why they favor her in coverage.

    2. People in the political world make money off each other. Reporters pun dents and politicians all need something to write about in their books. The Clinton's make a great news story good or bad.

    3. Some women in the media (rightly so because of their struggles) are sympathetic to Hillary’s as a presidential candidate. Sometimes it clouds their criticism of her.

    3. Obama represents moving against the establishment. If he wins what does that say to all of the baby boomers in charge. It says a trend could start and they could be next to be voted out or lose their jobs to a younger, idealistic, honest upstart. Example: Look at how Clinton (some might say) Dodd and Bidden have been in office for years but do not have the same numbers of Obama a new comer to the scene.

    Personally I believe Obama represents transparency, honesty and hope for all. For me Hillary does not represent change but the establishment. In America it seems the establishment views the world as winners, losers and ill-fated dreamers. I am a strong Obama supporter but I fear a lot of American's want to be told what to think say and do. We are a country of conformist. I'll support Obama to the end but fear it is only an ill-fated dream. May god bless America, people around the world and hope for the future.

    August 9, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. NS, New York

    For goodness sakes, read a style guide! The customary usage is to write "President [name]" on initial mention, and "Mr. [name]" or "the President" afterwards- just like CNN did. There is absolutely nothing disrespectful about the practice- it was used for President Clinton, for President Bush's father, for President Reagan, and on back.

    This recent epidemic of CNN-bashers whining about it only shows their ignorance.

    August 9, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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