August 9th, 2007
01:08 PM ET
16 years ago

Bush on Obama: Leave me out of it

Bush held a press conference Thursday morning.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - When it comes to anything related to the ’08 campaign fray, President Bush says just leave me out of it.

At Thursday morning’s White House news conference, Bush again declined to comment on the race – this time the criticism of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama’s Pakistan statement.

Bush said, “I suspect that over the course of the next months when I hold a press conference you'll be trying to get me to engage in presidential politics, trying to get me to opine about what candidates are saying, whether they be Republicans or Democrats. And hopefully I'll be disciplined enough not to fall prey to your questions, not to fall into that.”

Last week, the Illinois senator said he would be willing to use military force against terrorist training camps in Pakistan if Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf did not act against them.

His chief rival for the Democratic nomination, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, criticized the comments at Tuesday's AFL-CIO forum, saying presidential candidates should not "engage in hypotheticals."

"You can think big, but remember, you shouldn't always say everything you think if you are running for president, because it has consequences around the world. And we don't need that right now," Clinton said.

Meanwhile, at Camp David Monday, Mr. Bush told reporters, “I'm confident, with real, actionable intelligence, we will get the job done” and capture top al Qaeda leaders inside Pakistan. The President was then asked at Thursday’s news conference if the “we” included Pakistan’s government.

Mr. Bush responded, “To the question you asked and to my answer in Camp David, I said I'm confident that we - both the Paks and the Americans - will be able to work up a plan based upon actionable intelligence that will bring the top al Qaeda targets to justice. And I meant what I said. We spend a lot of time with the leadership in Pakistan talking about what we will do with actionable intelligence. The question was: Am I confident that they will be brought to justice? And my answer to you is: Yes, I am confident.”

- CNN Political Desk Manager Steve Brusk

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Alan, Los Angeles, CA

    Respect is earned, not blindly given. Bushie and his followers will just have to accept that I will strive to never call him "President" or even "Mr." He has definitely lowered the expectations of the Oval Office down several notches. His lack of eloquence makes him sound like a babbling buffoon next to the likes of Prime Minister Tony Blair. Ever since Bushie lied about being a bi-partisan leader and a "President" to all Americans, he lost all credibility. This of course is compounded by all of his other lies, especially the latest one about how sacrificing our civil liberties and civil rights are necessary in the war on terror.

    August 9, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Bob Montclair NJ

    It is great to read all these blogs. Wake up America! If a spineless Democrat had been elected in 2004 I would venture to say the US would have been attacked again. Muslim extremists know one thing and that is hatred and they hate America almost as much as they hate Israel.Yes President Bush has made some mistakes as have other Presidents and maybe he is not as smooth as Bill Clinton but Clinton had plenty of chances to capture or kill Bin Laden and others and failed. The difference between President Bush and the Dems is that he has the guts to go after these extremists and in the long run America will be better off for it. As he said this is a fight for a generation. Then maybe it is time for a change. Maybe if a Dem is elected in 2008 they can meet with the extremists to discuss how the problem can be resolved! Just make sure they wear a teflon collar around their necks.

    August 9, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. The president is a joke, Your back yard

    Hey Kenny from NY,
    You are absolutely right, President Shrub will be remembered by the entire world as, hands down, the WORST president of the United States EVER! And all you intellectual giants who voted for him and still sport those Bush/Chenny bumper stickers should be forced to forever leave them on, much like the orange and red license plates that DUI offenders must have. That way the rest of us will be aware that the knuckle-head in the car in front of us poses a threat not only to himself, but to all others they may come in contact with.
    Respect a liar, murderer, hypocrite, buffoon, imbecile, racist, idiot? lol Not a chance.

    August 9, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Sue, Midland, MI

    I might be inclined to call him President Bush if he had actually been elected to the office, instead of having it handed to him by the Supreme Court. He does not act like my President; he acts like a dictator.
    And I agree that next fall will see much progress in capturing Bin Laden and resolving things in Iraq. Let us pray that he hasn't bombed Iran by then!

    August 9, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  5. Lance, Los Angeles, CA.

    I've been trying and trying to think and articulate what my major problem with Hilary Clinton is... I've really struggled with this, as I think she'd be an okay president, far better than Bush anyway.

    Then, just now on the drive home, it hit me. Now I know why I don't like her nearly as much as Obama or Edwards. The reason is...exactly what I said. I think she'd be competent, she'd be okay. We'd skate through the next 8 years without attacking anyone blatantly and there'd be some incremental good done. But...THAT'S NOT WHAT WE NEED!!!

    Our next president must be a visionary. We need a leader in the truest sense of the word. I think Hilary would be very content with all the extra power her branch of goverment would have been left by the Bush administration.

    Instead of reversing 8 years of damage, I think she'd be perfectly happy to keep the status quo and keep things like the patriot act and the overall "war on terror" humming along nicely for her benefit. That wouldn't serve the country well. We need somebody to come in with an almighty bulldozer and overhaul the system.

    Our literal survival is as stake in this next election. We are facing global warming, healthcare that's a joke, a world that shows us no compassion and a lot of hate. We have a culture of greed and instant gratification. I don't honestly believe that Hilary Clinton has the sheer vision and courage to make the kind of major changes that need to happen. Even if she logically sees what needs to be done, even if she can talk about it, she can't inspire others to pull it off. I don't believe she'll unite the congress much less the states. I don't believe she'll overcome her lobbist buddies to give us all equal and fair healthcare... she couldn't do it before, why now?

    I DO believe that Barrack Obama or John Edwards could do those things, especially Obama. I think he represents the kind of visionary leader that the country craves and so badly needs.

    Hilary is old school politics, corporate interests, and in general a blase candidate that seems content to rest on her laurels and her reputation.

    She scares me, because I find her uninspiring and I want to be inspired, I want to be told that Americans can sacrifice with the best, take our knocks and handle the truth. She feels like my babysitter instead of my president. Obama or Edwards feel like they understand the vibe of the country.

    I cried when I heard Obama speak during Kerry's convention, because he was so right, there are no blue or red states, we're all The UNITED STATES. I crave simple truths, even if they hurt. I want to sacrifice to make the world better and to unsure that my children's children still live in a free country. I don't want the country I love to be known as an imperial empire, a dictatorial regime bringing democracy on the backs of missles and bullets.

    I want the world to know the good people I know. I want the sort of knowledge, class and courage that the best politicians in history have given this country. It's time for another Abe Lincoln, another JFK, because only a leader that can harness the belief currently lying dormant in this country can pull us safely into the future. I never, ever want to be known as the generation that lost our freedoms to fear and lost our world to neglect and greed. Hilary can't inspire that. She just can't.

    The worst thing that can happen to the next presidential election is that it’s close. If it’s close, the Republicans can use caging, intimidation and voter apathy to steal it yet again. If it’s Hilary, it’s gonna be close, and I’m scared.

    I do, however, believe that Barrack Obama can inspire what needs to be done. He can not only inspire it, he can pull it off. He can do it. He can bring a million people to the polls that have never even bothered to vote before. They may steal 100,000 votes, but can they stop the other 900,000?

    Give him a chance. He and Edwards together would make a great ticket. The Clintons had their chance, lets not live in the past, lets figure out what will make the future.

    Obama/Edwards in '08.

    August 9, 2007 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  6. Markj, Dublin, ROI

    Unusually astute answer from Dubya, shows he can let the stupid cowboy facade slip now and again!
    "Paks" has been used quite a lot as shorthand for Pakistanis. It doesnt have the same meaning in the US as "Paki" in the UK. Its rather like using "Brit" in Northern Ireland...its a derogatory term among the Nationalist community, but the rest of the world uses it as slang...
    No need for the Democrats to wet themselves over it!

    August 10, 2007 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  7. Michael, Charleston, South Carolina

    Wigmor, you said "Britons of South Asian descent." That's a contradiction. Britons are the English, Welsh, Scottish and North Irish. Asian people are not British. They may assimilate to the culture somewhat, but that's a different story. More accurately, you should say "South Asian people living in Britian." Britons are Britons and Asians are Asians; let's not confuse this matter.

    August 10, 2007 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. Carl, Dallas, Texas

    There is no way we are going into northwest Pakistan.

    That area has been home to a few million people spread out over various tribes and towns.

    The only time military troops were even there, there was a british expedition in which only ONE troop member of several thousand came back alive.

    You could hide Rhode Island there and no one would find it...

    As for the whole presidential name...

    You may totally disagree with President Bush, but he is the president still.

    I'm not the biggest fan of Senator Clinton, but she has earned her title by winning an election and trying to do her job... so I would address her as Senator Clinton if I ever met her.

    August 10, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    Bingo Phil R!

    I would not put it past this evil administration to do just that. Anything to retain control and crush American freedoms.

    I won't share what else I think has been staged, planned, and executed by these people.

    August 10, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    "Actionable Intelligence"? What Funk and Bushwack did he dig that one out of ?

    He just keeps gettin funnier!

    August 11, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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