December 28th, 2008
04:56 PM ET
8 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. A Sharma

    Is she amused by 100s of 1000s of people her husband killed? Who cares about her amusement.

    December 28, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |

    Ms. BUSH, I don't think you were watching it from the angle that the rest of us were.....I WAS AMUSED!!!! I wish he had thrown a pair of cowboy boots tho, they're "Bush-seeker" again, "DO LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON YOUR WAY OUT"

    December 28, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. The Shoe Thrower

    Julie you are so stupid to continue to say that Obama is a muslim but since you seem to know so much about the faith and say that once you join your not allowed to leave..... are you a muslim?I hear a little anger and bitterness in your comments or is it that your another bitter republican crawling back out from under your rock.Get a life lady Obama is no more a muslim than you were just nominated secretary of state ...have a good life and don't forget to duck when thinking about crawling out from that rock again or you might see a shoe flying at you...your so pathedic

    December 28, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. arc, Lugano CH

    Lauren December 28th, 2008 4:00 pm ET
    Let me ask you this question.
    Would you admire an American reporter who did the same to a visiting leader from another country here?
    So hypothetically, Americans should respect a Foreign Head of State who would hold a press conference to boast of the success of his invasion of the United States; and the murder of three quarters of a million American women and children?

    December 28, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Chuck

    Wow, where is Laura's head. I think I would have probably just said, "no comment" if I were her and a reporter asked me to comment.

    The left and the right should be at it. Can't this man just step down now. He is a total embarrasment. Was never qualified in the first place and now the entire world suffers. Hi unemployment, a screwed up economy. Prison would be too good for this man and his administration.

    December 28, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. rob

    To bad he hadn't thrown a live grenade.

    December 28, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    As for Laura Bush and her defense of W...You poor lady. To have to be beholden to that person and defend his persona because some one threw a shoe at his worthless self, you have my condolances. I personally thought it was a real hoot and LMAO every time I seen the scene replayed and replayed on the news.

    Yes I agree it is sad that the President of this United States is thought of so badly by people in a country (that we invaded) that the citizens of that country wanted to give our President a most vile of insults.

    But, what the hey, if he was in his own country and certain people could get to him, I would say he would get a lot more then two shoes thrown (or aimed) at him.

    SO Laura, chin up lady, you'll be out of the White House soon and you can go EVERYWHERE without W, he can stay at his little house on the prarie and chat with his friends from the oil companys, and you can live in big D without him... Won't that be wonderful.
    I know you can hardly wait....

    December 28, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. steve

    bush should be in jail for treason and for war crimes.Getting a shoe thrown at him is nothing. He is a smug murderer. I would throw the book at thim. He and cheney are war criminals!

    December 28, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. SP

    Mrs. Bush, I am so sorry you are so uptight. Lighten up. He threw shoes, how many people have you hit with our car in your lifetime? At least this Iraqi missed, can you say the same?

    December 28, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. j

    The shoe-thrower is being tortured, you can count on that.

    December 28, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. catmom

    Southern, if Republicans had not spent the past eight years covering for Bush perhaps he would have been prosecuted. Talk about gutless, liars and accomplices, that would be the Republican congress. They have spent the past eight years covering for Bush and his administration and Pelosi and Reid knew they had absolutely no chance of bringing this administration up on charges.

    December 28, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Percival

    Lauren: WE didn't vote for that dolt Bush. YOU did! The the fault of all of the misery these last 8 years actually rests with the "YOUs"! Bush is not representative of anyone but red>necks and the hopelessly ignorant. Considering what he has done to the Iraqi people, he deserves a lot worse than some shoe leather launched at his head.

    December 28, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. shoeman

    I wish someone would throw a shoe at Cheney too.

    December 28, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. John

    Bush was like a duck at the carnival. Great move by the journalist.

    December 28, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. Dave

    Hey Lauren, if Hitler came here, we sure would throw SOMETHING at him!!!! We invaded their country and had thousands of his countrymen(and women) killed! This is not "social hour"!

    Bruce...same to you. Of the five you named, only one has invaded Iraq!!

    Richard Rhode....take a pill.

    December 28, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. Warren Pryor

    The incident with the Iraqi journalist was the only bright spot in 8 years of George Bushmoron. The man is national hero to all americans and Iraqis.

    December 28, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Gerald Ward

    He truly is a murdering dog and I hope that death strikes his family in 2009. So happy new year!

    December 28, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Jules

    We will start thanking Bush in exactly the same way that the Iraqi's greeted us as liberators.

    December 28, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |


    December 28, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. LAPerez

    I would certainly throw more than a shoe to all those brain dead that only know to repeat how much they dislike this president. I am certain he will be judged well 10 years down the road.

    December 28, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. PhilT

    @Sammy: You said – "It was downright insulting. I was utterly shocked."

    What is downright insulting to me and a majority of Americans is the legacy George W. Bush and his administration is leaving behind. The country is in ruins under his watch.

    I am utterly shocked, and hope they will not get away with it.

    December 28, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. dan mckeown

    i laughed and laughed after hearing this. "as you know he's a natural athlete" Hilarious. The egotism that has surrounded Bush at every waking moment is responsible for convincing him that his foolish tendencies are somehow majestic.

    December 28, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  23. JB

    As I said before all you far left loonies who think the shoe throwing incident was good or funny. You reap what you sow. Shoe throwing and denegrating the president is now on the table for ALL presidents including Obama. You are bringing politics to a lower level, and righties have the right to denegrate the president the way you do.

    December 28, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Shake The Baby!

    Laura may not be amused by the shoe-throwing incident, but the rest of the world sure was.

    Laura, George, Dick, and all of the rest of the Bush administration need to come out from their cozy protective shells every now and then see how their decisions have affected the whole world. The need to understand the lives they have taken and the lives they have ruined.

    They live in this fantasy world where their decisions have no consequences and their lies sound believable.

    Wake up, Laura. Your husband is a moron, few respect him, and even fewer like him.

    Free al-Zaidi and even give the guy a medal. He deserves it. He gave Bush the most visible and most deserved insult ever. It was just as deserved as the guy in New Orleans telling Cheney what he could do with himself. Nobody was hurt and the guy said something that needed to be said or Bush would continue to live in his little plastic bubble of self-delusion.

    December 28, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. Jim

    You left hand lunitics only know how to attack. Let's hope you get your wishes when the "bomb" is dropped in this globe. Oh that's right the "Magic" man will save planet earth.

    December 28, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
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