Video: Bush regrets saying “bring it on,” Abu Ghraib

posted at 8:35 pm on May 25, 2006 by Allahpundit

The press conference turned out to be livelier than expected. I’ll be adding more video to the open-thread post, but this gets its own space.

Transcript:

Reporter: Mr. President, you spoke about missteps and mistakes in Iraq. Could I ask both of you which missteps and mistakes of your own you most regret?

Bush: Sounds like kind of a familiar refrain here. Saying “bring it on.” Kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. But I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner. You know, “wanted dead or alive.” That kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted. And so I learned from that. You know, I think the biggest mistake that’s happened so far, at least from our country’s involvement in Iraq, is Abu Ghraib. We’ve been paying for that for a long period of time. Unlike Iraq, however, under Saddam, the people who committed those acts were brought to justice. They’ve been given a fair trial, been tried, and convicted.

Update: As expected, the Times and Reuters lead with Bush’s admission of mistakes. For video highlights of the other 50+ minutes of the press conference, see here.


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This video isn’t working for me…

Eric12470210 on May 25, 2006 at 8:49 PM

Well it works now. Is it just me or is Bush getting soft? The “Bring it on” and “Wanted Dead or alive” talk was one of the good things that I thought he did. I’ve always admired Bush for being able to say what he means and then follow through with it. If he is just going to go and take back every good thing he has ever said, then I think I’m going to have to point out tha Bush doesn’t seem like half the man he used to be.

Eric12470210 on May 25, 2006 at 8:53 PM

Those were my personal favorite Bush sound-bites too. What Bush had not yet realized when he said those things was that the POTUS cannot use colloquial expressions in those situations. Though I do wish that just once he would end a press conference by telling Helen Thomas “bite me.”

inmanjh on May 25, 2006 at 9:10 PM

Where has my President gone?

Enoxo on May 25, 2006 at 9:13 PM

i’ll tell you where he went… try looking underneath vicente fox’ skirt…

Asmodeus on May 25, 2006 at 9:16 PM

Am I losing sight or what?

The news is about Bush and Blair, right? A press confrence, right?

So why I saw Vincente Fox with Blair giving a news conference at the White House?

Please, anybody… help!

CatholicConservative on May 25, 2006 at 9:26 PM

I never thought Bush was tough enough, with his “Religion of Peace™ ” rhetoric, but now he is morphing into an absolute dhimmi.

What an imbecile!

Does anyone honestly believe the insurgents who have chosen to attack our forces would have thought twice if he hadn’t said “bring it on.”

This dhimmigrationist President gets more disappointing by the day.

tommy1 on May 25, 2006 at 9:34 PM

Who is George W. Bush?

CatholicConservative on May 25, 2006 at 9:43 PM

Islamic Whispering doesn’t work. Beating them with a rolled up newspaper, rubbing their nose in it and “Bringing it on” does.

Hening on May 25, 2006 at 10:16 PM

I think the President needs to see United 93 just to remind himself of the circumstances that led to this mission, which was once nearly universal in the US and the civilized world. We were once ‘at one’ and recognized the nature of the enemy. As soon as the words ‘Religion of Peace’ were uttered and internalized within the administration our response to terrorists and islamists has been muted and restrained. This caused us to outsource the hunt for the masterminds of 9/11 to tribal leaders in Afghanistan rather than ferreting out the bastards ourselves. If you want ‘evildoers’ done in, you’ve got to open a can of super evil yourselves.

Since we have lost that resolve it’s easy to ask why we are losing so many of our best and brightest in such a far away place and for what purpose? The mission was so crystal clear on 9/11 but has now degenerated into a collective navel gazing exercise. Abu Ghirab? We SHOULD be trying to humiliate our enemies and strike fear in their hearts. Dogs? Fine. Homoerotic piles of bad guys? Whatever. Not my style, but if it humiliates the enemy who won’t cooperate, escalate it to hangings. I would NEVER apologize for Abu Ghirab even if it wasn’t official policy. But our Commander in Chief has allowed us to be brow beaten into a series of unholy alliances with the likes of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt,UAE, CNN, ABC, CBS, CIA…. The moral authority we once had has been repeatedly dilluted and apologized for. No wonder the American people are losing heart.

Here’s the problem with tonights event. Rather than apologizing for ‘Bring it On’, it should have been reiterated. Rather than lamenting ‘Dead or Alive’ he should have announced that the bounty has been increased. As for Abu Ghirab, let it die.

However, both Bush and Blair were quite emphatic that the mission is showing increasing signs of success and their logic in trying to establish a democracy in that hell hole is definitely our best option. They just needed to do this dog and pony show once a quarter since its inception.

pistolero on May 25, 2006 at 10:31 PM

I heard my President say he had learned some lessons about expressing himself in a more sophisticated manner and I heard him say possibly his comments were misinterpreted in some parts of the world … if anyone can show me where he said he did not mean what he said, I say to them BRING IT ON!

DJ Dubya on May 25, 2006 at 10:36 PM

I heard my President say he had learned some lessons about expressing himself in a more sophisticated manner and I heard him say possibly his comments were misinterpreted in some parts of the world … if anyone can show me where he said he did not mean what he said, I say to them BRING IT ON!

DJ Dubya on May 25, 2006 at 10:36 PM

———————————————————–
This is a special message from the President of the United States, Mr. George W. Bush:

“My fellow Americas, Ok, let me make myself clear so that it would not be confusion as to what I said earlier concerning the “bring it on” comment I made few years ago and the “bring it on” comment I refer to today.”

“First of all, the “bring it on” comment of few years ago is old, I said it few years ago while I was under the influence of “Mission Accomplished,” but the liberal media keeps on “bring it on” over and over again.”

“Laura told me last night that “bring it on” is not a correct english expression, and that “bring THEM on” is more accurate. So to all those liberal weasels and to the insurgents, I got something for you: “Bring Them On!”

“I hope I made myself clear. May God continues to bless America and Dick Cheney.”

CatholicConservative on May 25, 2006 at 10:55 PM

Saying “bring it on.” Kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. But I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner. You know, “wanted dead or alive.” That kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted.

————————————–

Wow! We’re going up against people who want to destroy by any means possible and it’s scandalous to “talk tough” about them.

I’m getting mighty fed up with everyone else in the world being able to say whatever they please without worrying about how we interpret it while Americans have to psychoanalyze everthing that is said so as to be “sensitive.”

Please, let this be the last Bush in the White House.

Paul Atreides on May 25, 2006 at 11:08 PM

Please, let this be the last Bush in the White House.

Paul Atreides on May 25, 2006 at 11:08 PM

———————————————————-

I hope my governor, Jeb Bush, take the “Commissionner of Baseball” job.

Maybe working with steroids will keep him busy from thinking about running as President.

I’m sick and tired of the Clinton and the Bush families.

CatholicConservative on May 25, 2006 at 11:38 PM

>>I’m sick and tired of the Clinton and the Bush families.

CatholicConservative on May 25, 2006 at 11:38 PM

easy87us on May 25, 2006 at 11:45 PM

I’m sick and tired of the Clinton and the Bush families.

—————————————

Since Bubba has become the new member of the family it’s really a distinction without a difference. If we are so cursed as to get a President Hillary, watch the entire Bush family fight to be the first one to plant a big wet kiss on her butt, all in the name of the “New Tone.”

I just hope that McPain doesn’t get the nomination.

Paul Atreides on May 25, 2006 at 11:48 PM

Expresssing regret over saying “Let’s roll” or words to that effect remind me of what a State Assemblymen once said to me about his gun control bills:

“I was pro-gun a lot longer than I’ve been anti-gun.”

So politic. Like Bob Dole, in a question of whether he wears boxers or briefs “Depends”.

Pass me the waffles. More waffles please.

atbay on May 26, 2006 at 4:53 AM

Who was that man? The guy is morphing before our eyes.
Tomorrow he will wake up and see a giant cockroach in the mirror.

lizzee on May 26, 2006 at 8:04 AM

Pathetic. I’m ashamed of him. Kerry could not have been worse.

John McCauley on May 26, 2006 at 8:38 AM

The truth is out: Bush’s faux conservatism is revealed for those who haven’t seen it already. Our last hope is the House of Representatives, and that’s a slim hope at that.

God help America.

dman on May 26, 2006 at 8:45 AM

REMEMBER BUSH PROPOSED THE AMNESTY BILL! IT IS HIS IDEA!

HE LED VICENTE FOX RUNS AROUND OUR COUNTRY LIKE IT IS PART OF MEXICO and allows him to freely interfere with our internal policies!

*&^^%%$#^&*(!!!!!!

Easy87us

easy87us on May 26, 2006 at 9:24 AM

Atbay,
Dole was not flip flopping, he was really wearing Depends at the time…

Well, I am pretty much disgusted at all politicians. From city dog catcher all the way to President.

The politicians only care about being elected. Thats it. Their only purpose is winning elections, and that is all they care about.
These politicos think they are royalty. Their daddy, brother, uncle etc were politicians so they become politicians also.
Politician should be a calling, not a job, not a career, and not a welfare program so worthless people like the Kennedies, Clintons, Bushes etc etc can fall back on when they fail in the real world.

BTW, heres a good consevative comic. It sums up the politicians quite nicels.

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/

Wyrd on May 26, 2006 at 9:24 AM

With his “Bring it on” and “Dead or Alive,” Bush lived up to the real cowboy image with which the small-minded media thought they were denigrating him. I was proud-as-hell to finally have a real cowboy in the White House, one that will demolish a couple of shepherds every morning before breakfast. But with this whiney, wimpy, apologist attitude he’s bought into, it’s pretty clear he’s moving his ranch from Crawford to Brokeback Mountain.

JodyBlonde on May 26, 2006 at 5:10 PM

Mr. President, with the betrayal of the American people this week, the “bring it on” remark is the LEAST of your worries!

dman on May 26, 2006 at 7:18 PM

To Karl Rove: It’s illegal immigration, stupid.

dman on May 26, 2006 at 7:21 PM

Wow! This is a very tough thread indeed.. I honestly think that this question was put up to him in a rehearsed scenerio and he thought about it quite a bit and had an answer (his answer to the question was way to quick). I also think that many of his advisors told him where they thought he might have made mistakes.I have no problem with anyone admitting what they thought might have been a mistake. For myself “Bring it on” and “Dead or alive” sits just fine! Remember he has been our guy for the past six years; we have been with him in the highs and the lows.Let’s not all dogpile on him now.

NEMETI IN SYRACUSE on May 26, 2006 at 9:18 PM

Nothing wrong with saying “Bring it On”, provided you bomb the enemy into the stone age!!

:)

VonHelton on May 27, 2006 at 10:06 AM

Talking tough and delivering is a question of style. Talking tough and not delivering is foolish.

Guess where Dubya falls in this equation. What a clown.

honora on May 29, 2006 at 11:36 AM

When President Bush said, “Bring it on”, we were a country united in outrage against an attack on the symbols of strength of this country (economics, defense, government)and there were cheering muslims shooting rifles in the streets of thier countries.

Today, it is hard to take such a stand with a media which only shows celebrating muslims when our troops make a mistake, but not the other 90% of times they celebrated thier liberation. MSM, Democrats, RINOS, and our educational systms have become treasonous. How can you talk tough as a president when your country is 40% treasonous and the rest are sitting silently by?

Action people, we need an action plan to take care of the traitors first.

CountryDoc on May 29, 2006 at 9:02 PM