September 7th, 2007
11:29 AM ET
9 years ago

Bush on Iraq: 'We're kicking ass'

President Bush will give his progress report on Iraq next week, based on information from Gen. David Petraeus.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - When President Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq last weekend, he made clear he was pleased with what he saw.

"The security situation is changing," Bush told reporters during the visit. "There's more work to be done. But reconciliation is taking place."

But according to the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia, the president gave a more-to-the-point assessment to Australia Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile.

"We're kicking ass," Bush said to Vaile Tuesday, according the Herald, after the deputy prime minister inquired about his trip to Iraq.

On Thursday, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino would not confirm or deny the reported comment. (Related Video: Jack Cafferty reads your e-mails on Bush's blunt talk)

This isn't the first blunt comment Bush was overheard making to a world leader. At last year's G8 summit, a live microphone picked up the president telling then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair that the United Nations needs to "get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s**t."

- CNN's Elaine Quijano contributed to this report

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (712 Responses)
  1. david ellis tucson az.

    who is he kidding we are getting our collective asses kicked and they are taking names and sending the fallout here.

    September 7, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Austin, Greenville, SC

    Steve in Sumter:

    [Since 9-11 Can anyone tell me when we were attacked at home? Could it be The President is doing something right?]

    There haven't been any SUCCESSFUL attacks–but there have been plenty of alerts and near-misses. Despite the invastion of Iraq, there's still a very real possibility of a successful terrorist attack within the US.

    Which begs the question–did the invasion make us safer?

    [How about praying instead??]

    There's nothing wrong with prayer about a political issue.

    However, rational discourse and informed voters would probably be more effective. No such crisis has ever been resolved by prayer alone.

    September 7, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. a. nadler, new york, ny

    Congratulations to General Petraeus and our troops, the finest Americans for kicking a## in Iraq. Your new plan is working, keep it up!

    September 7, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. CW, Memphis, TN

    I especially enjoy the comment posted By Eric, THE Republic of Texas; September 7, 2007 12:36 pm. It is refreshing to hear someone with FACTS versus those who play along with the media. Each life is precious, but in order to correctly access the efficiency in which we are fighting this war... let us use factual statements, not opinions based on what we find in "opinionated" comments from the media. Even better, ask a soldier who is actually doing the work and not a reporter that enjoys sensationalizing their stories for higher ratings or a politician that will be asking for your vote next term.

    September 7, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq UNTIL Bush opened up the Pandora's Box with his illegal invasion despite MANY warnings to that effect. NOW we are told that "Iraq is the central front on the war on terror/Al Qaeda"! Incredible. Now we have nearly 4,000 dead US troops who were told they were exacting vengeance for 9-11....wrong! And with ONE MILLION Iraqi civilians dead, they are expected to see us as liberators imposing "benchmarks", like the Hydrocarbon Act that hands over their oil to the West for 30 years? First it was lying to us about WMDs....then it was "democracy" and blue this new excuse...people who lie habitually and avoid responsibility for their actions, while hurting others along the way, often find it all catches up with them. Impeach Bush and Cheney now BEFORE they attack Iran!

    September 7, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Paul TX

    Hey Steve Sumter SC :

    You're a boob!

    Praying? Are you kidding? Your so-called savior didn't stop the planes from hitting and killing thousands of people, what makes you think he'll stop any of this? Listen to science if you want proof as to how we got here and where we're going.

    September 7, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Pat Petersen, Sioux City, IA

    To Eric from the Republic of Texas:

    The most important nail you hit is the fact that this is an enemy that does not have an infrastructure, uniforms or identifiable targets. The bombing of the WTC was not an act of war. It was a criminal act and should have been pursued as one. We invaded Iraq for dubious and ever changing to fit the emperor's clothes reasons. The rest of what you wrote doesn't mean squat.

    September 7, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Rodney Dallas TX

    Bush is far worse than Hussein was and he was murdered for war crimes. Bush needs to be put on trial for war crimes. He lead us into a war under false pretenses. That is a crime. Thousands of innocent people have been killed because of him. The rest of the world would be wise to see that Bush is a tyrant and he must be punished according to international laws.

    September 7, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Jeff - Salinas, CA

    Dear Mr. President,

    I know it's hard work, and I deeply admire your courage for moving forward against terrorists in Iraq. While I know very little about the Iraqi culture and people, I can safely assume there are only a handful of terrorists that just happen to be of Iraqi descent. It's those terrible few that threaten Americans' freedom.

    You had the courage to enter a country to seek out and neutralize a dispicable individual, Saddam Hussein, et al. Unfortunately, many of our countrymen are extremely critical of actions; however, they have the freedom to express that criticism and they forget that freedom comes at a price.

    Mr. President, please keep in mind that the same people that critize your efforts to protect our freedom are the same people that lack the testicular fortitude to fight for freedom!

    Go kick some (terrorist) ass!

    September 7, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Claire, San Diego, Ca

    Bush must be mentally challenged. I can
    think of no other reason why he has not seen the mess he has created.My heart breaks when I think of all the useless deaths he is responsible for.
    George. it's time to put your big boy pants on and take your job seriously.Your mistakes have ruined countless lifes.

    September 7, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. Dave, Miramar Beach Fl

    Hey Eric from Texas,

    You forgot one stat my friend. How about Bosnian War in 1995 which Clinton won. The US only lost 1 GI during the whole war. Either Clinton knows how to run a war better or GW is just plain stupid.

    At lease Reagan( who gave arms and money to both Bin ladin, and Hussien during the 80's)had the common sense to pull all the forces out of Lebanon, after Terrorist Killed 256 Marines. No one told Reagan that he was a cut and runner.
    Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.Iraq War is Bush's war. Bush wanted to get Hussein because Saddam tried to kill G H Bush. Thanks to Bill Clinton, G H Bush is alive.We went in there because the have WMD. Big Lie! Pakistan, North Korea have nukes, North Korea stated before we went into Iraq, that they can strike California. What did we do to those Countries? Bush sends them money.
    Bush is America's first dictator, and I can not wait until 2009, when Bush and Cheney will be spending time in Jail where they belong

    September 7, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. E. Jones, Traverse City, MI

    Well the eagle's been flyin' slow and the flag's been flyin' low
    And a lot of people sayin' America's been fixin' to fall.

    Well speaking just for me, and some people from Tenneseee, we got a thing or two to tell you all.

    This lady may have stumbled, but she ain't never fell.
    And if Iraq don't believe it, they can all go straight to hell.

    From the sound up in Long Island, out to San Francisco Bay, and ev'rything in between that is our home.

    We may have done a little bit of fightin' amongst ourselves, but you outside people best leave us alone.

    'Cause we'll all stick together, and you can take that to the bank,
    that's the cowboys and the hippies and the rebels and the Yanks.

    You just go and lay your hand on a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and I think you're gonna finally understand.

    And you never did think that it ever would happen again, in America, did you?

    You never did think that we'd ever get together again. Well, we damn sure fooled you.

    We're walkin' real proud and we're talkin' real loud again, in America.

    You never did think that it ever would happen again.

    by Charlie Daniels, Tennessee, USA

    September 7, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Barry, Vancouver, BC, Canada

    My deepest sympathies go to the American people....and my best wishes and hopes for a safe return to your brave men and women at arms serving their COUNTRY.

    The only battle GWB is fighting is the one against reality....and apparently he is losing that one as well......

    September 7, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Joe Lyncha

    I believe if we American's would stick behind our president instead of looking for reasons to dislike him, in some cases ( just to get elected) The whole world would be in better shape and Yes dem's I believe the war would be over.

    September 7, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Eric, all those figures are just adding apples and oranges; those wars were unrelated to our present dilemma. It's rather insulting to those who died at Ardennes to drag their bodies in to support your political position, but I actually appreciate your effort to define exactly what the hell ass-kicking means (like Art, I can't define it but I know it when I see it). But you spoil it by adding all this black-helicopters, liberal-foamy, oh noes the arabs are coming stuff! Most 'liberals' are no more terrorist-coddling weirdos than you are a Klan member; I'm pretty much a moderate. I agree with poor old Jimmy Carter that a loss of confidence in our government is to blame for a lot of our problems. Elect better people is all I can say, and quit calling your neighbors monsters.

    September 7, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Ed

    Dear CNN,

    I would just like you to know the things that are being posted on your CNN Political Ticker. According to your posting policy...

    CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity.

    Bush is far worse than Hussein was and he was murdered for war crimes. Bush needs to be put on trial for war crimes. He lead us into a war under false pretenses. That is a crime. Thousands of innocent people have been killed because of him. The rest of the world would be wise to see that Bush is a tyrant and he must be punished according to international laws.
    Posted By Rodney Dallas TX : September 7, 2007 2:13 pm

    We sure are.We’re responsible for the death of more than 600,000 dead Iraqi’s so far.Heck,most of them are women and children.If you really step it up George,you can kill enough of them so that there won’t be any more Iraqi’s left after we kill the present generation. If you try EXTRA HARD you can still catch Adolph Hitler for second place on the all-time list of mass murderers.However,you’d have to go nuclear to catch Stalin but I wouldn’t put it past you.
    Posted By Jeff Old Bridge,NJ : September 7, 2007 12:14 pm

    I would like to state that this is unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, and obscene. Not to mention disgusting, horrible, unAmerican and completely moronic. I hope you post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity this sort of rubbish from sickos like Rodney From Texas and Jeff from Old Bridge,NJ. Apparently you find these sorts of statements not worthy of keeping off your website.

    Ed Gruberman

    September 7, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Greg, Houston

    Another tough talking chicken hawk. Good at shooting off at their mouth when others are spilling their blood or making any type of sacrifice, Something he was not willing to do.

    September 7, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. shabootie

    wonder if he uses "bust a cap" or "the cabbage patch" in his oh so hip ways to communicate?

    what an idiot. please sir, just go away.

    September 7, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. Linda - Albany, NY

    "I will forward any statement of yours or anyone else specifically threatening a violent act against the President of the United States. Free speech is a fine. Threats are not.

    If you or anyone else would like to post a threat against the President – go right ahead. I'll be watching."

    Posted By James W, Fairfield, CA

    Ah yes....we all know the limitations the Bush Administration has placed on our right to the so-called "free speech."

    It's a good thing we have baby-sitters such as yourself, Mr. Fairfield. God knows we haven't brains to think for ourselves and need to be shut-up. (insert heavy sarcasm here – something you did not catch onto in Mrs. America's post) But then again, what else can be expected from the PC-minded.

    However, truth be told, if anyone needs to watch what they say, it's Mr. Bush himself.

    Now, take your soap box and play with the rest of the kiddies.

    September 7, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. M G Coleman

    I am beyond tired of those who continue to politicize this war and resort to name calling (left-wing liberal vs. right wing "conservative) and the so-called republicans who continue to accuse the left-wingers as those who are "invested in defeat". Just because someone advocates peace or is against doesn't mean they want our troops to be defeated or that they do not support the troops or are any less patriotic than those who support the war and, therefore "support the troops".

    As for our president's comments, so, he believes the surge is working so therefore we're kicking ass. It was a comment overheard in a private conversation. One may not agree with his assessment, but to criticize him for speaking plainly is again unproductive. Bush has given plenty of cause and reason to be criticized. Going into war is one thing, but not having any kind of plan or strategy for "Victory", or assuming that only "kicking ass" was all that was needed is gravely and deadly naive. Our troops are doing the best they can with the few resources they have with an *enemy* not easily identifiable. Both democrats and republicans, left wingers and right wingers, pro-war and anti-war persons can best serve by making sure our government gives our troops what they need to succeed and come home! And please, let's stop all this silly talk and name calling. Real people are dying.

    MGC – Monterey

    September 7, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. J Jessee, Stanhope, NJ

    Is this another Bush "Bring em on!" moment?

    September 7, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I have forwarded a copy of your message to the FBI's Western Regional Office in SF (which I understand is not too far from Menlo Park). Threatening the President of the United States is no light offense.

    I hope you are given the chance to explain yourself to the authorities. You reek of home-grown terrorist ideals mirroring Timothy McVeigh.

    Posted By James W Fairfield, Ca : September 6, 2007 7:35 pm

    Is this guy for real?? You sir are a whacko and I'm sure when the FBI got your email they thought the same thing. Now leave the nice FBI agents alone- they have real work to do.

    September 7, 2007 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Mr. L, Chicago

    Hey Ed – thanks for doing such a public service. Also, maybe check your dictionary for the term 'libel.' Well-plead, truthful facts and accompanying opinions that are not represented as facts do not constitute libel.
    Just because the mainstream press has seemingly forgotten how to come down hard on an Executive Branch in error in the post-9/11 world, + this govt despises free expression when it doesn't perpetuate their own agenda, that does not mean the Americans don't still have the right to express outrage at an inept administration. Were you the kid that always told the teacher in middle school? get a life.

    Also, to the guy who said the war would be over if Americans (blindly) supported the President. I think it's more likely the war would be over if Bush supported the American people. The majority dont want us there...and that includes many of the troops. Jesus H. C., take your blinders off.

    September 7, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. LB, Franklin Lakes, NJ

    Why do you righties keep bringing up Bill Clinton Is that the best you got? He lied about an affair. Ooooh. How many people died from that one? Bush's lies caused tens of thousands of deaths if not more, the destruction of our constitutional rights, torture, the politization of our Justice Department, I could go on and on.

    And by the way for all you Clinton haters, Bill bombed terroist training camps in the Sudan, driving Bin Laden into Afghanistan where the Taliban are making a comeback. His security people warned the Bush people about Osama but like you, they hated anything Clinton. So at our peril, Condi and company ignored the warnings.
    If you're still ignorant enough to support this war in Iraq where the 9/11 terrorists ain't, that's up to you. But if all you can come up with is Clinton's affair, stop watching Fox news and reading Rupert Murdock's newspapers and try finding the facts.

    September 7, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Doc, Montello, Nevada

    I find it comically stupid that no one commenting here has been to Iraq, yet everyone thinks they have much better knowledge on it than someone who deals with inside information of it daily and has been there multiple times. And at the same time you all chastise Bush for saying something as uncouth as "ass", yet applaud Obama's wife for talking about smelling bad because it makes the Obamas seem "real". I guess I should expect nothing less.

    Posted By Andrew, Washington DC : September 7, 2007 1:22 pm

    Sorry Andrew, at least one of us has been there. I lived there for a number of years among he people a long time ago and speak the language. While I found the Iraquis to be delightful people on an individual basis, it was rare to find 2 of them who could agree on anything. The hatred between the sects is very real, and will be just as real 1,000 years from now, assuming one of them isn't wiped out first. Finally, the Arab, and especially the Iraqi mind, does not deal well with responsibility. Take all of the above into account and the notion of a democracy in Iraq is a joke. The country will be unstable (read civil war) until another big mean SOB like Hussein comes along and rules by brute force, regardless of what you think we can do. You people in Washington think you know everything. You don't know nuthin' as the present situation clearly shows.

    September 7, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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