May 29th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Blitzer: Why did McClellan revive the cocaine controversy?


WASHINGTON (CNN) - There are many stunning allegations in Scott McClellan’s new book on his years in the White House. But his decision to bring up President George W. Bush’s alleged cocaine use as a young man was perhaps most surprising. Why revive an allegation that has long been dormant?

McClellan recalls a phone conversation he overheard Bush having when he was still Governor of Texas and running for president some eight years ago.

“The media won’t let go of these ridiculous cocaine rumors,” he quotes Bush as having said in that conversation with a political supporter. “You know, the truth is I honestly don’t remember whether I tried it or not. We had some pretty wild parties back in the day, and I just don’t remember.”

McClellan says the comments “struck me” and “stayed with me to this day – not for what it revealed or concealed about the young George W. Bush, but for what it said about Bush as an older man and political leader, especially as revealed through my later experiences working for him.”

McClellan adds: “I remember thinking to myself, How can that be? How can someone simply not remember whether or not they used an illegal substance like cocaine? It didn’t make a lot of sense.”

When I interview the former White House press secretary Friday in The Situation Room, I will ask him why he decided to revive this issue now.

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Newly Independent

    I would like to hear more about George W. Bush's alcoholism and womanizing history.

    I wanted to hear about it eight years ago. We didn't get the truth then.

    I am hopine McClellan won't have to take too much misery for his book. He didn't tell the truth soon enough, but at least it is out now.

    May 29, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. kel

    i think book should have came out when Bush ran for the second time and it would done alot more damage then but i now everyone will now the truth about Bush

    May 29, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. Gilbert, Los Angeles

    WE need to Pray for all.
    EVERYONE needs to be honest and tell the TRUTH

    "The Truth will set you FREE"
    Yes, I am a Republican who believes in Conservative Moral-Values.

    Yes, Our Country is in bad shape, gas prices, food prices, housing.
    We are in the LAST days.

    May 29, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. Frosty


    Well said! You are a smart guy. Wolf on the other hand, is a proven moronic Hillary Clinton supporter. I'm glad CNN is giving a show to that middle eastern fellow (GPS) to infuse some intelligence into this idiotic group (Dobb, Campbell, Wolf), of course, Anderson Cooper is an exception with some journalistic integrity.

    Los Angeles, CA.

    May 29, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Ralph

    Because it goes to character. Like everything else we knew about Bush that the book is now confirming.

    May 29, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Conscience at some point got to him.
    Also, he does need to sell some books since his reputation is so tarnished that he won't be able to cash in on a cushy job like most other political appointees do after they leave their position.

    May 29, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  7. Ellen Joy

    Firstly, I would have preferred you came out with this book many years ago........................much could have been different as a result of it. Now, are you willing to, under oath, and the penalty of perjury, speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the allegations you make regarding the President and his administration, past and present?
    The President and those other officials that you name, though nearing the end of their terms in office, if what you say is true, have committed IMPEACHABLE offenses..........and should be held accountable.
    I FOR ONE, DO NOT WANT ONE MORE DOLLAR OF MY TAXES GOING TO PERPETUATE OR SUPPORT THOSE WHO HAVE TAKEN US INTO WAR UNJUSTIFIABLY. Those responsible should be held accountable and should also lose their pensions/yhealth care, and Secret Service support.

    May 29, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  8. Newly Independent

    Texas high court rules the FLDS children are now free to be raped again and again back home at the ranch.

    So much for democracy in the United States of America.

    Of course CNN will not allow my comment on the political sites.

    Or anywhere else.

    CNN, you are not doing a great job helping to protect these kids. You are more interested in Bush's problems as a young man.

    May 29, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. Lyle C Holmes

    If McClellan revived the cocaine question, it was probably in reference to Obama, not Bush.

    May 29, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. kenny - West virginia

    this guy is gonna make lots of money....i am so jealous

    May 29, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. CeeJay

    Remember, McClellan didn't write much of the book. He gave that duty to the publisher and just put his name on it at the end. That is why the book so closely fits the liberal dogma. Scott is just cashing in like most other people are doing. He sold his soul, but now he doesn't have work another day in his life. Good for him.

    May 29, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. Ellen Joy

    Since you delayed in coming out with your book until we have lost over 4000 Americans in Iraq and countless innocent should donate all the profits from this book to help sustain those soldiers coming home with PTSD..................................


    Some may call you a coward since you didn't have the balls to go public without first having some monetary incentive for yourself. You may be considered unethical yourself for this obvious perception by the American people. Most reasonable people would come to this conclusion. What do you have to say in this regard?

    May 29, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. DJ, LA, CA

    McClellan says the comments “struck me” and “stayed with me to this day – not for what it revealed or concealed about the young George W. Bush, but for what it said about Bush as an older man and political leader, especially as revealed through my later experiences working for him.”

    Obama accepted responsibility, acknowledged his mistakes when he was younger, applied himself and graduated from Harvard Law School thanks to a scholarship.

    Whereas to Scott's point...Bush skirted the question altogether and if not lied. Wild parties or not, you know whether or not cocaine was used.

    May 29, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. Col. Sanders


    May 29, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  15. La Raza

    John "insane" McCain is our version of Baghdad Bob. Remember him? I think that I'll puke if I hear McCain utter "the surge is working/we are winning in Iraq" again. Oh yeah "my friends." LOL.

    May 29, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. Indiana Bob

    The better question is about Obama's admitted use of cocaine. Why is that not an issue? Instead, anyone that brings it up is chastised. It is not exactly a party drug encountered by casual users. You would have to be deeper into drugs to start taking cocaine. And we want this man for president??

    May 29, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Chip in Puerto Rico

    Because it is relevant to the serious issues we are facing in Puerto Rico today.

    May 29, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. kb

    Let all who voted for Bushcheiney raise their share the blame of a lousy 8 years, period.

    May 29, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. PF Harlock

    So, Mr. Blitzer, you're going to ask Mr. McClellan that question, despite the fact that his answer to it is in this very article.

    What transparent sensationalism.

    How about using the time more responsibly to explore the numerous substantive and relevant issues relating to the executive branch which have been brought up in Mr. McClellan's book.

    May 29, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. Mevalrie

    Does it really matter? He ran the country for two four year terms.....hmm that explain our current state of affairs. Not sure why it was revived, but after November it don't matter none. The damage was already done.

    May 29, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  21. Conservative Buyer- CA

    It is not so hard to understand that McClellan's tell all book would also include his intimate conversations with GWBush.

    It's just a stir because the President is a dope head and when he says GWBush can't remember or recall just sounds pathetic. Either he's really that dumb and brain dead or he's so sinister to believe in his own lies.

    May 29, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. Frank, Atlanta, GA

    Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase:

    BLOW IT OUT YOUR NOSE BUSH !!!!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. Extinct

    So Georgy was a Coc-Head. Does anybody even care? If he can't remember it, why should we be reminded.

    May 29, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. Neutral

    Obambi also use cocaine, we ain't gonna elect another Bush in the Whitehouse, a democrat this time. If the Dems are stupid enough of course people like Nancy Pelosi will push for Obambi. We'd be putting McCain in the Whitehouse.

    May 29, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. David D Kollie

    Everything has time. Time to reveal the truth. Time to hide the truth. Time to lie. Time not to lie. I trusted Bush when he said that the war Iraq was about WMD. But when the story was changed to giving freedom to the people of Iraq from a dictator, I questioned myself who is the Dictator. THE ONE WHO SAY, "I AM THE DECIDER." or who.
    McClellan just revealed the truth.

    May 29, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
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