September 25th, 2007
12:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Bush's close encounter with Ahmadinejad

NEW YORK (CNN) – President Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were in the same room Tuesday at the United Nations, when Mr. Bush addressed the General Assembly.

Mr. Bush made only one direct reference to Ahmadinejad’s home country during his address, saying, “Every civilized nation also has a responsibility to stand up for the people suffering under dictatorship. In Belarus, North Korea, Syria, and Iran, brutal regimes deny their people the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration.”

First Lady Laura Bush had a closer encounter with Ahmadinejad. According to an account from the pool reporter in the room, she walked directly past him on the way to her seat, putting her right hand on his desk as she passed by. The Iranian leader appeared to glance toward Mrs. Bush as she walked past.

Ahmadinejad could not be seen wearing a translation earpiece during Mr. Bush’s speech. He did, however, wear one at other points during the Assembly’s morning session.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Anne E., SLC

    I don't blame Mr. Ahmadinejad for not wearing an earpiece during Bush's address. I don't listen to him, either.
    I am embarrassed at Scott Pelley's insolence in the "60 Minutes" interview, and I am definitely embarrassed at Lee Bollinger's "introduction," which was really a smackdown. It's too bad the parents of these two individuals didn't teach them better manners, or that they didn't conduct themselves with the professionalism expected of those who hold such positions.
    Mr. Ahmadinejad isn't a poster boy for "ideal world leader," but the person we're stuck with is no better –to his credit, Mr. Ahmadinejad is at least able to formulate a coherent sentence.
    I don't condone Mr. Ahmadinejad's actions, politics, or views on many important issues. However, if one invites someone into their home (whether literally or figuratively speaking) - one is obligated to extend basic, common courtesy to the invitee. I had such hopes that maybe by American institutions inviting dialogue with this man, a constructive means could be found to avoid what the administration seems hell bent to pursue. I should have known better.

    September 25, 2007 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    One of the White House correspondence personnel reported that Ahmadinejad wasn't in attendance at the formal dinner which Bush and others attended after the U.N. mtg. It is important to note, Ahmadinejad would not have attended if alcohol beverages were served. However, Bush will put a different spin on the reason he wasn't invited.

    September 25, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  3. the b., Omaha, NE

    if anyone is a dictator – its bush

    if anyone is a traitor to the constitution – it's bush

    if anyone is a terrorist – it's bush

    if anyone should be held accountable for this disaster called america – it's bush

    and as a far as his chick goes... she was probably just letting Ahmadinejad know that she had his pot in her purse and that he could just stop by their (the bush's hotel room later to pick it up.

    but be carefull iranian millionaire, she's a killer.

    just ask her old boyfriend... oh wait...

    September 25, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  4. tj, topeka,ks

    Calm down people... we will have another REPUBLICAN in soon enough... don`t want you to waste ALL your tirades on Bush!!!

    September 25, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. BCNU purple state, usa


    I'm with Jon, stop whining.

    add these about Bush: illegal spying on American citizens, suspension of habeas corpus, rendition and torture of prisoners of war; undermining of the Geneva Conventions,

    The government has spied on people 'illegally' ever since the technology to do so has been around. As each technological advance comes along, they get better and better at it. The program that I think you're referecing here doesn't have people sitting aorund listening to conversations, it uses computer algorithms to search for patterns in the data.

    Habeas Corpus was suspended by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. It was also suspended by Candidate Clinton's husband when he signed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act(AEDPA) of 1996.
    Yep, you read it right, Effective Death Penalty Act! Hell, we won't just torture 'em Bubba, we'll just kill 'em.

    The Geneva Conventions set rules of engagement for wartime. If nations are signatories, they abide by the rules. If your enemy is in fact not a signatory and doesn't play by the rules, you shouldn't have to either, but we being principled generally abide by them.

    How incensed do parents at Little League games get when the ref seemingly makes bad calls only on little Johnny's team, or doesn't call penalties on the other guy. Do the parents tell their kids, don't worry what the ref is doing, and that the other guys are cheating and you lost, keep your head up and be the 'better man' for it?

    September 25, 2007 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  6. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    You people aren't picking up on the fact that bush and ahmedinejad are best friends and the near miss could have been catastrophic for both of them.They both scam their respective bases by bashing the other in public,while privately their "people" are planning strategy together.Don't ever get involved with a card game on the streets of manhattan,you're all pidgeons.Those street rackets are exactly the same principle.

    September 25, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. carmen ac,nj

    I would just like to say americans, we need to look at history and remember what mistakes were made by leaders like chamberlain from
    England. If hitler had nukes we would be speaking german, thats if you are not jewish. The battlefield is Iraq for now and I hope americans realize that if we leave and don't win the battlefield will eventually be here and alot sooner that we think.
    america needs to be united not divided

    September 25, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  8. William Brock FResno, CA

    We had a very important UN meeting today and only one lower ranking US representative was there taking notes
    Where was our Secretary Of State? Don't we pay her to attend such meetings? Maybe she had a headache. I think she has a lot of them because we dont hear of much she does do.

    September 25, 2007 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  9. r. james

    Two Total Idiots....bye bye to both of them............

    September 26, 2007 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  10. David L West Warwick, Rhode Island

    Bob – Oh please. democrats still look to Clinton as the "great one" and always call him President Clinton with a certain reverence. President Bush is much more suitable. He is the president, and has been granted the title as such. We learned a little thing called respect in the military. A little decorum is in order when addressing or speaking about the man.

    September 26, 2007 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  11. no_man_is_an_island, Pittsburgh, PA

    No, every civilized nation has a responsibility to its own people. It is up to the people in these dictatorships to throw off their shackles. Or not. The US was not founded to be the policeman of the world, nor should any other nation take on that role. It is better to be a beacon of light and freedom than to be a hammer, ramming a form of government down the throats of those who don't want it.

    September 26, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  12. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Absolutely brilliant, Stephen of Naples, Florida. The Democrats who worship the Clintons should get the sand out of their brains. (How many of them have even HEARD of Ruby Ridge, for cryin' out loud, let alone know that a 14-YEAR OLD BOY was shot and killed by government agents there?) The Clintons are in it for the power, not for any love of "democracy," the Republic, you or me, or individual liberty. They are no different from the Bushes. Through their quasi-legal activities, they have made it to the Country Club where they can peer down their noses at us like the rest of the elitists. We the people need to reclaim our country, but we won't do it if we keep on waiting for fuzzy feelings from our so-called leaders.

    September 26, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Big Ben Rock Hill SC

    It is a sad commentary on the U.S. when so much of the world regards our president in the same manner as we look upon Iran’s President Ahmadinejad.

    September 26, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Pickles, Monaca, PA

    Oh, it is so mature of these world leaders to act like high schoolers. "I'm mad and I'm not talking to you." We must accept the fact that Ahmadinejad is the elected leader of his nation and, in diplomatic circles, at least, treat him with respect and dignity.

    Oh, by the way, it's good of Bush to praise the rights enshrined in the "Universal Declaration," but we in America have our OWN documents enshrining individual liberty. It would be nice for Bush to recognize that, even in the halls of the UN. Of course, for those one-worlders who think we should all gather together under one flag, the Universal Declaration is all they need, isn't it?

    September 26, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
1 2