On Fire

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Dec 19, 2005 8:18 AM

If you're not watching Bush's press conference right now, you should be. Dude's on fire.

I predict many grumpy, chastened reporters will use the words 'defensive' and 'combative,' in their leads, but he's just telling it like it is.

One reporter tried to get him to talk about bringing troop levels down in Iraq and give specific numbers and timetables.

Bush: "I will not be drawn into giving artificial timetables and talking about troop numbers. Nice try, though. Your try is over."

UPDATE: BDP live-blogged the presser, here.

This was a good exchange:

10th question: What limits are there on powers of President during war, and if war will last for decades will we continue to see "unchecked" power? (Loaded question if I ever heard one)

Answer: Thankfully Bush calls him on editorial "unchecked power" phrase. Says we consult with Congress, and again says it's his job to protect Americans. Smacks this clown down pretty good. You're implying dictatorship and I reject that. Doesn't let the idiot out of it and ask a follow-up to such a blatantly kook question)

And then there was the reporter who essentially asked, "A lot of people still think you're racist, Mr. President. You're totally racist, right?"

Answer: I get angry when people say "Bush doesn't care about blacks". Says he needs to communicate better. Also says everyone would better off with "ownership" - cites Social Security Accounts. (He really should be talking here about school choice.) Cites stat that more blacks own homes.

UPDATE 2: Transcript and video, here.