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. Cindy Nelson

    The shoe incident was hysterical. I laughed and laughed when I saw that. I'm glad it happened. It amused me.

    December 28, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. S

    "As you know he's a natural athelete." Sure, if dodging the press is a sport!

    December 28, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. To Julie

    Keep at it,bloggers…. they aren't smart, he deserved it….. but it will be your guy in the White House soon, and when Muslims find out the Obama is no longer one of them, they will be throwing more than shoes. It is not allowed to "leave the faith."

    YOU ARE VERY IGNORANT PERSON!!!

    December 28, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. C Spurgeon

    Go away Bushies. Fade into the Texas sun and please stay off the airwaves. Stay home, spend your money and don't think about what you have done to this country....Your husband was a puppet on someones payroll and history will say he was one of the worst...

    December 28, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Proud American

    So what Mrs. Bush is saying is her husband is no better than Saddam. Didn't George have Saddam executed for nothing along with thousand men and women U.S. servicemen? This is getting weird. I now wonder if she's related to Richard Rohde's she's starting to sound like a idiot.

    December 28, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Beverly in NC

    I think every American family who lost a soldier in the Bush/Cheney Iraq War Lie or who had a soldier come home maimed or mentally damaged should go throw their soldier's boots on the Bush front lawn at the their new home in Dallas.
    Bush and Cheney are war criminals and deserve much worse than having shoes thrown at them. They should be tried at the International World Court at the Hague, found guilty of war crimes against Iraq and sent to prison for the rest of their lives. They lied to the UN. They lied to Congress.They lied to the American people.
    They broke the law by igorning the law on torture set forth by the Geneva Convention.
    They should be tried, sent to jail, and lose be fined for every dead Iraqi and every dead American and Coalition soldier such that they are bankrupted and lose all government benefits and pensions.
    Bush and Cheney are a disgrace to this nation and have destroyed our economy, our government trust, violated our Constitution, committed crimes against humanity by torture, and lied to the world whenever it suited their interests. They are international criminals and deserve no mercy, no pardons, and should live the rest of their lives in poverty in jail.

    December 28, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. JIM...TX

    Hell...the Crawford Clown was lucky it was just a shoe!

    December 28, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. arc, Lugano CH

    Julie. December 28th, 2008 4:16 pm ET
    ...and when Muslims find out the Obama is no longer one of them, they will be throwing more than shoes. It is not allowed to "leave the faith."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    May God Bless Conservatives for such accurate and truthful insight...

    December 28, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Victor in RI (don't be W'd)

    She married W, why would we value her opinion?

    December 28, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. cherie

    Laura Bush must be on too high a dose of her Rx... her hubby is the WORST president EVER!!!! She must be blinded by love, or anti-depressants... pull your head out of the sand and take a look at the country, pre and post Bush: the economy, our standing in the world, the mess in Iraq, the deaths and loss....it goes on and on.
    The self righteousness of this administration as they plea for kind thoughts after they reeked havoc in our country is hilarious... but not really because the situation is a disaster and now comes the clean up phase.

    December 28, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Bill

    Your husband is well shall we say "below average" but I still like you.

    December 28, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. ken

    so she DOES speak. she DOES have a thought on something.

    December 28, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Jean from Belgium

    Bush, rice, rumfeld, cheney are the risee of the world. And they pulled the whole world in their selfkeeping interest..... oil...
    Why are we confronted with all those non-interesting-stories.Please: take care?
    As long you occupied a village, a country a.s.o; you never are welcome
    and you have to leave one day in despair.. p.e: Vietnam.
    But lives are taken just for an idea?
    Every one have to solve his/hers own problem. Otherwise you are always will be disappointed!

    December 28, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. Hawkeye

    If only that reporter had feet more like Shaquille O'Neal, instead of a meager size 10. Then maybe he might have clipped GWB in his fat skull.

    December 28, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Only 24 days left

    Maybe Laura should have reigned in that idiot of a husband before he destroyed Iraq. History will show just how badly Bush and his administration has damaged not only Iraq, but the US and its image abroad as well. I look forward to the day that Bush, Cheney and the rest of the Bush administration war criminals are on trial at the Hague.

    Rooms should be reserved at Guantanamo for these criminals, and since water boarding is not torture, it should be part of their daily routine.

    December 28, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. sick n tired

    Lucky it wasn't more than shoes! Count you're blessings Laura!

    December 28, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. Mobi

    Its very obvious most of the people commenting on this incident here are completely missing the point and the fact that most Americans and people around the world dint see this an insult on both the Iraqi people and the American people which of course those two presidents represents only shows how warped and lethargic our collective senses has become.

    The shoe wasn't thrown at Bush but to Americans..and Iraq's as well..Simple

    December 28, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Doug

    What else did we expect her to say? She knows the truth - as we all do. Goodbye Dog!

    December 28, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. chattenx

    Dear MrsLaura Bush: The shoe incident in Iraq might not have amused you. It did not amuse me either. I still feel it was the height of idiocy for Pre. Bush to visit that country; what did he think? He would get a hero's welcome for "liberating" them? It boils down to this. It was Aa showoff visit by a lame duck pesident who caused the invasion, occupation, death and torture of Iraqi people including our soldiers,all in the name of democracy. He sould be punished a lot more severely than by a shoe beating

    December 28, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. Dave

    Guess we're still "Greeted" as liberators!!!!

    December 28, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. isabelle

    -Dear Americans,
    I dont know why you never stop criticizing Pres.G.W.Bush ...you should be thankful that your country within eight years under his leadership has been quick and responded to the terrorist attack and has kept the nation safe?...as the president of the most powerful nation in the world ...he should be respected....he care for all people in America.....pls respect him and stop blaming and criticizing him.The History Will Judge And Will See Later.

    December 28, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. FreeNLovIt

    Thank God for the Freedom Shoe. In heaven, when W stands next to Mother Theresa, we know who truly served with grace and honor and showed the love of God.

    December 28, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. Sherrol in Canada

    Please release post by Sherrol in Canada @1:21pm

    December 28, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. Sanny

    Bush is the problem along with all is cronies.
    Killing innocent people and your own military is the cowards way.
    Bush is nothing but a coward and a liar.
    January 20th can't come soon enough.
    I am one American who would like to see them all in prison for life.
    They deserve no better.
    Cowards and Liars all of them.
    Lets not forget Murderers too!!!!

    December 28, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. lynn

    Mrs Bush, you were not amused? It was not done for your amusement. It showed how they are experiencing more freedom? I think it showed deep frustration and anger.

    December 28, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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