MR. McCLELLAN: Good afternoon. Hope everybody had a good July 4th weekend. And with that, I will go straight to your questions today. Helen.
Q Does the President feel that he had enough information about weapons to take this nation to war?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you heard directly from the President earlier today in the Oval Office, following his meeting with Prime Minister Oddsson. The President talked about how Saddam Hussein was a threat. It was a threat that was real –
Q – was a threat how?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we have learned since going into Iraq and removing that regime from power that the regime certainly had the intent and capability when it comes to weapons of mass destruction –
Q What do you mean by intent?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the Iraq Survey Group, that was previously headed by David Kay and is now headed by Charles Duelfer, has looked into the issues and showed that Saddam Hussein was in serious and clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441. That resolution, you’ll recall, called for serious consequences if Saddam Hussein –
Q It didn’t call for war.
MR. McCLELLAN: It gave him one final opportunity to comply, or face serious consequences if he continued to defy the international community. And the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.
Q Do you know how vague you sound on that?
I’d really like to see Helen and GWB in a one-on-one. Live. Now that would be entertainment.
Q Can I follow in that vein? Has the President ever had a word with the Vice President about his use of profanity in the United States Senate?
MR. McCLELLAN: Ed, I’ve previously discussed this issue. This issue came up while we were, I believe, in Ireland, and I addressed it at that point. And that’s where it stands.
Q So the answer is, no, the President has not –
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the President has regular conversations with the Vice President.
Q But about that issue?
I can see it now:
Rove: #&!#dammit Dick! Can’t you keep your %#%*ing mouth shut when the @$%^@&ing cameras are rolling?
Cheney: Well s^%t - it just freakin’ popped out
Rove: Well from this %$#@ing point on, keep your mouth shut - they’ve already got enough f&^$ing ammo to f$#@&ing sink us
Cheney: He deserved it!
Bush: F@&%ing A!
Q Scott, does the White House have any comment about the incident between Mexican army soldiers and Marines during the burial ceremony of Juan Lopez, who was killed in Iraq?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that Ambassador Garza made some remarks, put out a statement regarding that incident, and he talked about how the family had requested that he be buried in his town of birth with full military honors. And I would leave it where Ambassador Garza stated it.
Q And you have nothing to add?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he’s the Ambassador for us in Mexico, and he has commented on that very matter.
Q Do you think this will affect the relation between Mexico and the U.S.?
MR. McCLELLAN: We have good relations with Mexico, and the President certainly views President Fox as a friend. But this particular incident, I would refer you to Ambassador Garza over the weekend.
Do you see a pattern here? The White House will not answer questions, it will not vocalize a stand on anything. It’s always “you’ll have to talk to those guys”.
Q So let me see if I’ve got this straight. The President will continue to talk about the issues and the record. And the RNC and the campaign will continue to put out statements about Kerry’s disingenuousness and liberal tendencies?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think that –
Q You’ll have sort of a two-track thing going here, right?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t – I don’t think I agree with your characterization. I think that it’s, like I said, perfectly legitimate to point out the differences and to discuss the record. And that’s what campaigns are about. The voters deserve to know what the choices are, and they deserve to have an honest discussion of the differences and an honest discussion of the records.
Q What about the rhetoric? What about the rhetoric and the changing of the tone?
MR. McCLELLAN: I just don’t agree with the way you characterized – the way you characterize it.
Q But the moment you called a person disingenuous, Scott, you’re no longer talking about the record. You’re talking about their personality, aren’t you, when you call him, disingenuous?
MR. McCLELLAN: As I said –
Q That’s a personal –
MR. McCLELLAN: As I said, James, we’ve been through this issue. I think I’ve addressed it. The President is going to continue to focus on the issues and the differences and the choices that voters face. And he’ll continue to talk about his vision and his leadership for the future of America.
Here it is again. Prediction: As the campaign winds up to feverish levels in the next few months, the official White House line will be “you’ll have to talk to the RNC about that.” The administration will disassociate itself from the actual campaign and the nastiness of it all.
It doesn’t matter that the President is the head of the Republican Party, just as it doesn’t matter that the President is the Commander In Chief.
"You'll have to talk to the Pentagon about that" = "You'll have to talk to the RNC about that".
Bush&Co seem quite happy to deflect any and all possible criticism to others. This is but a small view into their personalities.
The rabid right always make the point that Bush is a “man of character and vision”. That he is “steadfast and unwavering”. Integrity is a word I often here in association with that little bastard. But they’re wrong. Deadly wrong. A man of character and integrity would answer the questions in a straight forward manner. He would accept the responsibilty of his subordinate’s actions - not deflect, dissemble and act (it is an act isn’t it?) stupidly.