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. Tata

    "An insult among Muslims" idiot, do you think all Muslims are Arabs or Iraqis for that matter!?

    December 28, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. WM

    Linda B., Ga.: you don't know what you're talking about. all those billions of dollars have effected virtually nothing in terms of rebuilding and certainly haven't reached the little guy.

    December 28, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Sanny

    Yea! I'm sure he also liked that thousands of his countries men,
    women, and children were murdered for lies too!!
    I'd like to throw shoes at Bush to, except I would have brought
    several pairs. With two you might miss. But with several you're
    gonna get him. hehehe

    He is and was a sorry President, and person lets celebrate that his time
    is almost here and hope that Obama can clean up his mess, and
    bring back our greatness we once had in the world.
    Never forget how many of our soldiers won't be coming home to
    their families because of this Presidents madness and lies.
    How many won't be coming home the same.
    if he and his wife can't take a pair of shoes coming at him then they
    are really sad pathetic people. Look at what her husband has done.

    December 28, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  4. Scy

    And the world isn't amused by her husband the war criminal. He needs to be turned over to the Hague and tried.

    December 28, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  5. CBC

    And we are not amused by what her husband G W, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld did to our country.

    December 28, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  6. Wisest one of All

    Too bad Laura! The rest of the world including many republicans think it is hilarious! Proven Fact!

    December 28, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  7. Meh

    Tammy> HAHAHAHA He knows what he's doing? Seriously? Even his puppetmasters don't know what they're doing. Well, actually they do know exactly what they're doing...the thing is, the behind the scenes planning is a lot different than what they tell the (apparently gulliable) public.

    And for those saying that we HAVE to respect someone b/c they happen to be our president...ummm...that's the beauty of living in the US. This isn't supposed to be a Dictatorship.

    December 28, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. oldsoldierboy

    People respect Bush because of the leadership position he holds but Bush himself has no respect for the position he holds. Go figure.

    December 28, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. Gem

    Richard Rohde, what the??? Where the hell did you come from???

    I am not a Bush supporter either but I think he deserves some respect. But I cannot blame the reporter as well because of what Bush did to Iraq and Afghanistan. It was not right. Neither did he have any right to invade these countries perishing the lives of women, children and even young American soldiers.

    Nevertheless, that wasn't a proper venue neither a proper manner to impart a message to a foreign leader. Especially to a president. It may be humorous to some and Bush just laughed it off. But it isn't really fair at all.

    December 28, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. SE

    I think, if anything, President Bush may have helped us historically by pushing a lot of programs to the breaking point as well as the economy and forcing us as a country and government to re-evaluate why our fiscal decisions have given us a slight resemblance to the Weimar Republic, the Athenian state and the fall of Rome as well. History repeats itself. I don't think there's any administration that can, even in an 8 year period, fix anything. If you want to point fingers then let's blame Nixon for going off the gold standard in 1971.

    December 28, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA


    The Bush-It Administration just gets funnier and funnier.

    December 28, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. GARY

    You haters dont think about the eight yrs. he kept your -es safe. Lets see if your boy Obama can do any better.

    December 28, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. aaandres

    Obviusly she was not amused.That's because she is a lady with style.She 's got more than him.He is a clown.

    December 28, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. Left Coast Randy

    Thgis is for you Richard Rohde. If you think Obama is a "Thug", I wonder what you view is on the Bush Crime Family. Their crimes could fill a book the size of War and Peace.

    The latest crime that I am aware of is the murder of their long time Republi-con IT guy,
    Mike Connell. His was about to accept immunity for he and his wife to tell what they know. His attorneys had asked for both state and federal protection for him, which was turned down,and he cancelled two trips on his piper because it appeared tampered with. He did finally fly to Washington DC and on nthe way back his plane crashed 3 miles short of the runway and was killed. His honest testimony would have put more of the crime family behind bars for a VERY lone time. They simply killed him.

    Now those, dear Richard are "Thugs".

    December 28, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. LM75

    That guy had a good arm. He threw heat right at his head, low and inside. Nipped the corner of the plate. 2 size 10s in 4 seconds. That's chunking it.

    December 28, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. lynn

    Lara, Youre right. It was staged to manipulate these people. That's right and par for the course in this adminstration...just like that female army private lindsey and the the time the Iranian boats supposidly fired on one of our ships. Those were lies too. propaganda. manipulations. who knows what else was a complete lie. Such are the actions of the so called champions of freedom and democracy in the world.

    December 28, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  17. hilary

    Did anyone expect her to be amused?

    December 28, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  18. Messiah watch

    My son served two deployments in Falujah and was proud to do it. So "BEGONE AND 75% OF AMERICANS FINALLY AGREE", go screw your fascist self. You too CNN. The Marxist bastard that you apparently support, and to which CNN gave financial support "in kind", should screw himself also. The next four years are going to be the worst since the founding. And it can be hung around bastards like you and CNN.

    December 28, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Bradley

    I can't wait to watch the Bush family Uhaul roll out of the capital. That will be a fine day for humanity. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Laura.

    December 28, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. Hans from Jakarta

    you all idiots. the shoe-throwing is actually an act of agression and disrespectful toward all americans. this is done to your president, doesnt matter you agree with this president or not. i read some of you are actually agreeing with this, how outrageous. in some countries, this disrespectful act could lead to a war. but in US, with people who say they are proud, it is expected the shoes actually hit ? i will look for europe japan china and even russia for better examples of 'being pride to my country' thing. sic!

    December 28, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. LM75

    I believe Laura secretly thinks it was just a little bit funny. I know I couldn't stop laughing. ROFLMAO.

    December 28, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. mama12

    I'm honestly surprised someone hasn't done worse to Bush. throwing shoes is nothing. I know lots of people who want to throw shoes at him. he's horrible and deserves more jail time than this man is getting. how many more days til he leaves??? 23! yeah!

    December 28, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  23. BC in NC

    Mabye the shoe didn't fit. Sounds like he had a foot problem. Mabye an in-growing toenail. Dont everybody jump to too many conclusions.

    December 28, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. TK

    Not only did this man disrespect President Bush; he disrespected our citizens, our country and most importantly–our military heroes.

    December 28, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. Pat

    BUSH BEGONE AND 75% OF AMERICANS FINALLY AGREE! December 28th, 2008 7:54 pm ET
    I would submit that all of the young men and women that were maimed in Iraq were "not amused" at the loss of there limbs due to a war your lying husband started.
    Hey, Buddy - you can "submit" whatever you want - but all those young men and women BELIEVE in their country and want to FIGHT for it - and they were NOT looking to be "amused."

    What do YOU actually BELIEVE in - and what are YOU actually willing to FIGHT for - your right to blog crap? GOOD - you've got it. Congratulations!!!!

    YOU hide somewhere blogging your crap, while OTHERS fight for you - OK - but somewhere YOU, BUSH BE GONE will have to pay the piper!!!!!!!!! Trust me!!!!!!!!!

    YOU serve no useful purpose in the scheme of things - WHATSOEVER! None – Nada!! But enjoy your pitiful little cowardly box somewhere! Personally, I have absolutely NO respecty for you!!!!!!

    December 28, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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