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. d

    Hope Mr. Bush and his cohorts all go to hell and beyond.

    December 28, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Tracy

    I have one question – what does she think should happen to the Secret Service who allowed the man to throw not one but two shoes at the President before he was stopped?

    December 28, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. Greg in Denver

    Well Laura, I don't think the Iraqi people are amused at the large numbers of innocent women and children that lost their lives because of your husband. So, you're "not amused." You should be thankful that not being amused is the worst of your problems. Because Lord knows, your husband has certainly caused a lot of problems and heartache for a lot of other people.

    December 28, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. Karen

    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.”

    Wow, the first lady is a moron as well as a murderer. I also like how later she basically says "oh tee hee it was a silly incident BUT I THINK WE SHOULD PUNISH THAT DOG DEATH PENALTY OH YES."

    December 28, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Humored in Texas

    I'm sure the family of Michael Denton Douglas wasn't "humored" when Laura killed him with her car at avery familiar interesection. Right, Laura?!

    December 28, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. Rob

    "he's a natural athlete" ????????

    December 28, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Chelle

    I see the act of an Iraqi reporter throwing shoes at President Bush as an insult to all Americans. I don't agree with much of the policies and decisions that President Bush have made. However, the fact of the matter is that we have made many sacrifices-financial, political and in blood to help build their nation. The very shoes that the reporter have even become popular. This reporter's actions are praised by the Iraqi people. How dare they insult us. We really need to get out of Iraq. The people dont want us there. Interesting how one bites the hand that feeds it.

    December 28, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. WO

    Bush came to office when world was burning before terrorists. Explosions in air, water and land around the world were becoming a culture of our world.
    Today, such explosions are reduced becuase of war Bush carried out.
    What can a president do if he/she confronted by such risk? Fight ot yield.
    Today, Russia is putting Stalin as hero

    December 28, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Godluvr

    CNN: Please stop removing my posts after they have already been read by other bloggers.

    December 28, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. Dee

    It is not surprising that some men have sold their consience to the devil. Listen to these brainles and sightless folks like Mrs. Bush and Condolessa Rice and their vague imaginations of a waisted 8 years in office. History will never, and I say never, forgive this President and his cohorts for their attrocities against mankind. It will be worthwile for them to retire in shame to a lonely island where their utopian dreams of a democratic middle-east can be realised.

    December 28, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. pro

    Unfortunately, Laura bush is shamelessly delusional like her shameless husband.

    I would like the American public to hang their old torn shoes on the each spike around the white house to give them a cold send off for the history to admire. Do not waste a good shoe he is not worth it.

    December 28, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. geen

    hey laura..yer married to the have to love him...the iraqi who threw the shoe at that moron yer married to, didn't throw it, per se, at the President of the United States...he threw it at george bush, to whom you have the misfortune of being married to...and, realizing that your thinking is necessarily skewed by being around that idiot for the greater part of your life...we show the same disrespect to leaders of other countries...president of iran came to this country couple of years ago and your moron said nothing when he was met with jeers from crowds...where was your moron's regime, then...if he isn't respected in this country, where 80% of the population anxiously anticipates and can hardly await 12:00 noon on the 20th of next month, what makes you think that any Iraqi, not just the one who threw the shoe at your moron, should thank him for killing 10's of thousands of his fellow iraqis in an illegal and continuing invasion and occupation of their country....I wish you the best Mrs. for your husband..I don't really wish him ill..I just don't care...

    December 28, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. John

    I hope Obama gives Al-Zaidi the Presidential Medal of Freedom. What better way to acknowledge a change of course away from US sponsored terrorism and toward a lawful and moral administration. Even better, when Obama awards this medal, he should also announce that he is turning Bush over to the International Criminal Court to stand trail for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    December 28, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. DE

    WOW, reading these comments it must be sad and frustrating to be such a hate filled democrat in todays society. Do you haters honestly believe ALL of the Iraqi people and the world would be better off if Saddam was still dictator of Iraq? If this is the change that was voted for , hatred and bigotry, I am ashamed not of my country, but of my fellow Americans.

    December 28, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. Ed Word

    Too bad Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the shoe thrower, wasn't a centipede. One would have met the target for sure.

    December 28, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. The Shoe Thrower

    Julie are you saying that muslims will be throwing shoes at Obama for being a muslim then leaving the faith ...Well it sounds like your a muslim since you know so much about the faith.Obama is no more a muslim than you have been nominated Secretary of State..Stop wasting your time and crawl back under that rock you crawled out from.....the next time you think about crawling out from that rock again I hope you duck because there you may see a shoe flying at you because people aren't so happy with with bitter republicans like you and by the way all muslims are not bad people no more than all americans are not as bad as you...your pathedic!

    December 28, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  17. Darrin Nielsen

    What a joke. George Bush's actions have lead to the killing of thousands of Iraqi's and Laura Bush raises a stink about this man who throws a shoe at GWB in protest for all the killing, grief and sadness he has brought to the Iraqis. Hardly a fair payback. What a distorted world view.

    December 28, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  18. bob

    Dear Laura are you and George back to smoking that funny stuff you liked so well. I think there are millions that wished they could have thrown a shoe at your husband. He is and never was my President and never represented me in the world. His fascist government should be tried in a world court for their war crimes. And for Rice and her interview just shows how stupid she is. By the way what did she or the administration ever accomplish but pain and hatred any where in the world? Rice has no winning strategy to write about. We are hated around the world because of the fascist government you people brought to Washington. GOOD RIDENCE!!

    December 28, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. Bud

    Perhaps this shoe throwing will catch on in America. It seems benign and appropriate that Bush be shoed whenever and wherever he shows his smirking face. This should be done in honor of all the brave Americans, military and innocent civilians he has murdered in Iraq and elsewhere. Getting "Shoed" is better than he deserves.

    December 28, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  20. pro

    When will the Bushes learn that they are responsible for their action here and abroad.Are the first family or first Shameless family.
    Let us hang old shoes around the whilte house to give our appreciation of the job well done.

    December 28, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. pro

    When will the Bushes learn that they are responsible for their action here and abroad.Are the first family or first Shameless family.
    Let us hang old shoes around the white house to give our appreciation of the job well done.

    December 28, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  22. Craig

    What a coincidence! We're not amused by the mess her husband left.

    December 28, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Karen - Missouri

    While Bush was not the best President, the incident shows how some in Iraq and others around the world just have a total lack of respect and only show violence as an answer. If that had happened here, the world would be calling for swift and heavy discipline. Childish behavior as far as I'm concerned. Laura Bush is right.

    December 28, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. Boston Irish

    Jason in Vegas – Just what exactly has your contribution to society been? Laura Bush has done more for society than you will ever be capable of doing. Just becaue you don't like her husband, doesn't mean you should condemn her for simply being married to him. If you were married, I wouldn't condemn your wife for your stupidity. That's not her fault. If you feel this is not newsworthy, why did you take time out from your busy day to make a comment?

    December 28, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. Chris E

    Bush will be ok

    December 28, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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