December 28th, 2008
04:56 PM ET
4 years ago

Laura Bush ‘wasn’t amused’ by shoe incident

Laura Bush spoke out about the shoe incident in an interview with 'Fox News Sunday.'
Laura Bush spoke out about the shoe incident in an interview with 'Fox News Sunday.'

(CNN) - First Lady Laura Bush said that although she “wasn’t amused” when an Iraqi journalist threw shoes at her husband, she sees the incident as a sign that “Iraqis feel a lot freer to express themselves.”

Earlier this month, an Iraqi journalist threw shoes at President Bush during a news conference in Baghdad. Bush ducked, and the shoes, flung one at a time, sailed past his head.

“It was an assault. And that's what it is,” the first lady said in an interview that aired Sunday on “Fox News.”

“And the president laughed it off. He wasn't hurt. He's very quick. As you know, he's a natural athlete. And that's it. But on the other hand, it is an assault, and I think it should be treated that way,” she said.

During the incident, the shoe-thrower - identified as Muntadhar al-Zaidi – could be heard yelling in Arabic: "This is a farewell ... you dog!" Al-Zaidi is an Iraqi journalist with Egypt-based al-Baghdadia television network.

Hurling shoes at someone, or sitting so that the bottom of a shoe faces another person, is considered an insult among Muslims.

Asked if she thinks someone who attacks another person should be released, Bush said, “that’s going to be up to the Iraqis.”

“And they'll do whatever. But I know that if Saddam Hussein had been there, the man wouldn't have been released. And he probably wouldn't - you know, would have been executed.

“So it is - as bad as the incident is, in my view, it is a sign that Iraqis feel a lot freer to express themselves,” she said.

Muntadhar al-Zaidi goes on trial Wednesday (Dec. 31) on charges of assaulting a foreign leader. Conviction could mean a prison sentence of up to two years.


Filed under: George W. Bush • Laura Bush • Popular Posts
soundoff (621 Responses)
  1. blackhat

    He will be sentenced. It may be jail time or an apology or time served but he has been sentenced. The middle east Hoorays al-Zaidi well I hooray Bush, his lovely wife and family. This all comes from a media with "yo man don't touch the camera" and "we have rights you know" No country in the world will demean or dishonor their leaders or their country as the United States media does. The president represents the country... Bush went to Iraq treating it as a stable safe environment. He presented himself to their elected government, and with guts and gusto said farewell! He shines our media grovels!

    December 28, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. ET

    She is married to a war criminal who is as evil as Saddam Hussein ever was. I pray he is brought to justice some day.

    December 28, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. C'mon

    Way to rationalize the fact that your husband is hated world wide Laura....too bad he took the rest of us with him.

    December 28, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. arc, Lugano CH

    BB December 28th, 2008 10:57 am ET
    Bush deserves more prison time than that poor man is getting. We need to hold Bush and Cheney accountable.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Muntadhar al-Zaidi deserves no punishment at all. He is a hero. Bush/Cheney should be indicted and sentenced for Genocide. Bush/Cheney should be used as an example for the future prosecution of War Criminals. Bush/Cheney killed hundreds of thousands of women and children.

    December 28, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. JGBNY

    To all you BUSH Haters:

    I sincerely hope that when the next round of attacks come to the USA via these haters, you and your family are smack dab in the middle of the EXPLOSION, Maybe then some of you COMPLETE IDIOTS will realize the saftey GB brought this country for the last 7 years!!!!

    Sorry for your loss... NOT!!!!!

    December 28, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. Indiana voter

    No wonder Democrats are seen as un-patriotic. They are actually pleased that their President had something thrown at him as an insult. It just shows the left liberal idiocy that has overtaken the Democrat party, which is why until that changes, I will never consider even voting Democrat.

    December 28, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. kb

    cmon, you guys can't honestly think that even if she believes he is wrong, or that she disagrees with his policies,that she would come out and say it. most of us wouldn't talk badly about our significant other in public, and in their position she certainly would never.

    December 28, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Dee Dee McFa

    ???????????????????????????????????????????????
    Laura Bush has to be one of the most ridiculous women in politics. were burning effigees of Bush before the Iraq war. This has nothing to do with the "liberation" of Iraq on peoples moral values. A lot of Iraqis hate Bush.

    December 28, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Laura Shoes?

    December 28, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Steve

    Too bad the shoe didn't hit its target. That blankety-blanket sorry person that got appointed to the Presidency by a Republican-leaning Supreme Court is almost outta there and none too soon. If I had ever voted for him I would just keep my mouth shut rather than show what an ignorant fool I am.

    Good riddance! Eight years of our lives have been wasted due to this man's and his cronies policies.

    December 28, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Willie McGill

    Although numerous people do not agree with President Bush's policies, I certainly believe, as Commander-in Chief, possessed the rights to implement his ideology. Therefore, President Bush's life shoudl not be threatened or his freedom of speech censured. Consequently, I, Willie McGill, like Mrs. Laura Bush, am not amused by the shoe incident. Unfortunately, like the illustrious leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and former Senator Robert Kennedy, President Bush should stand steadfast to his beliefs regardless of the the opinions of the popular consensus.

    December 28, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Tim

    For al of you that have not been there, you have no clue!

    December 28, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Susan Nandwa

    Laura, l thought wise women advice their husbands? Where were you when he did all this evil. Your time is over and even if you sleep in villa's the trueth is , the blood of all the people he has killed will be on your head. The bible says children will be punished from the sins of their parents. Your daughters will pay all this sins or even your grand children. Bush has turned this world into ahorrible place to live. In your bedroom alone with Bush, why didnt you have mother's love and cry to him, please dont go to war? To me, you had achance to stop him but you chose not to. You failed mothers and children. May God help us to forgive you and your bully husband.

    December 28, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. Dtoigo

    Too bad one of those shoes didn't hit it's target. Maybe it would have finally knocked some sense into him and some religious bigotry out of him. al-Zaidi should be hailed as a world hero.

    December 28, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Will18E

    Laura Bush well, as the world knows; Those who cannot teach, become school administrators. And those who cannot teach or administrate, are delegated to simply reading to children in the school library, while being supervised by a Librarian.
    To bad President Bush was not smart enough when the first shoe flew in and kept his head down longer. I guess Bush did not have enough time to calculate the math.

    December 28, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Mr.Davidson

    Also during Saddam no weapons ,no armies ,no terrorists ,no public suicide bombings,no priceless antiquities vandalized and lost forever. despite the Republican guard which kept the peace ,yes there was peace in Iraq increasing developement of infrastructure by multinational corporations safety on the streets restaurants and hotels for Americans and europeans,vast wealth among the sects loyal to Saddam, much like today where one faction controls all much like the US of the last 8 yrs.Little history helps laura.

    December 28, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. kb

    i feel bad for her, she seems like a really good person who just so happens to be married to a Bush, for whatever reason

    December 28, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Barry Ohman

    Well Mrs. Bush is as delusional as her husband President George Walker Bush who is perhaps the most hated man in the world after his stupidity of a war in Iraq based on lies. She lives in her Bubble World thinking that her George has done such a great job, while she better wake up as he is the laziest, dumbest, most ignorant and most pathetic President to have ever served the United States.

    He deserved to have the shoe thrown at him and to bad it wouldn't have been a size 14 Work Boot and would have hit him in the head, it maybe would have brought him around to the reality of the incident. President George Walker Bush is not only hated by 75% of Americans but more than likely 85% of the rest of the world.

    January 20, 2009 can't come fast enough and maybe dear George and his lying Administration will eventually be tried for War Crimes for their starting of an illegal War in Iraq based on lies.

    December 28, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. Jen

    Who among us would not like to hurl a shoe at Bush? To bad that Bush did not step in and ask that this guy get a fair trial. Instead he has been beaten, forced to write fake apology letters, and will probably do a considerable amount of jail time. I thought we were in Iraq to indoctrinate them to becoming more like us... It seems as though torturing this guy would bring the self rightous religious right out to stand up for his rights.

    December 28, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Sean

    Should Laura Bush also not be amused about an economic disaster on her watch? Should Laura Bush not be amused Louisiana still has not recovered from the Insurance schemes of Katrina? Should Laura Bush not be amused health care is up 400% during their campaign? Should Laura Bush no be amused The US Captiol system is now owned by the Federal Reserve? Should Laura Bush not be amused Oil hyper spiked for 6 years compared to the 4 months in the 70's while her husband had the executive order to change it? Should Laura Bush not be amused the largest corruption ever to be witnessed in mans history took place in their cabinet?

    Really now Laura Bush, should you have not been amused about a lot over the last 8 years? Just say good bye to the White House and be more concerned your husband is probably going to jail.

    This issue is not over. Bush's executive powers are over baby, we are all waiting for the law suits to begin. Don't leave America because we have some not so amusing questions we would like to ask soon.

    Don't be Amused Laura Bush, The Yankee's Lawyers are coming, and The People's Amusement is just about to begin!

    Let me speak out of turn here and say what Laura Bush was experiencing folks was really what various animals such as a Chip may be perceiving in experiencing amusement, this is simply a case of Laura exhibiting anthropomorphism. Let us all take a more scientific approach while we detail her disdainment (a new Bushie word).

    December 28, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. FREEMAN

    Mrs. Bush is right. It was disrespectful of the journalist to do what he did. But at the same time W deserved it. I wouldn't want W to be seriously hurt but it would have been nice if one of those shoes had hit home.

    December 28, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Impeach George W. Bush

    Bush should be charged with the war crimes. He deserves no sympathy.

    December 28, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Texas Teacher

    Godluvr.... if it had been an insult to all Americans, the perp would have thrown his shoes at the American Flag. No, this man was showing complete disdain for George Bush! Pure and simple. The fact that he is being reviled as a terrorist does not change the fact that he could have thrown a pipe bomb! Instead he did the most disrespectful thing for his culture. Simply a show of disdain for the man responsible for the horrindous loss of life in his country.

    If they had harbored Osama bin Laden, I'm sure they could have handled the war better, perhaps, I don't know. But taking out Saddam Hussein (no matter how horrible the man was) instead of going after bin Laden, must be the ultimate horror we could have demonstrated against his country and people.

    What price democracy? How sad for the whole world. And Osama bin Laden is still at large in Afganstan where he has been all along... if there really is such a person. Which I have covered extensively in other article comments. :(

    December 28, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. Eric

    the ultimate injustice in this situation is that this man whom had the amazing courage to stand up to a dictator and murderer will probably spend a substantial amount of time in prison, while George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, etc. will never spend even a day in prison for the heinous crimes they committed. But hey, let's send this guy (Bush) off with a presidential library, lifetime pension, and lifetime health insurance coverage. What a joke!

    December 28, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Victor in RI (don't be W'd)

    True Bob in CA! We've all been W'd (screwed by incompetence)!

    December 28, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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