Ridge backpedals on “pressure” claims

posted at 8:48 am on August 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Less than two weeks ago, Tom Ridge launched his memoirs with the explosive allegation that Bush administration officials had pressured him to change terror-threat levels in order to boost George Bush’s re-election chances in the final days of the 2004 election.  A day later, the New York Times pointed out that the book not only didn’t have any supporting evidence for that claim, it also had Ridge insisting that he hadn’t seen any political pressure on threat levels.  Now Ridge himself has begun to backpedal from his publicity-seeking allegations:

Former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge, speaking for the first time about accusations made in his new book, says he did not mean to suggest that other top Bush administration officials were playing politics with the nation’s security before the 2004 presidential election.

“I’m not second-guessing my colleagues,” Ridge said in an interview about The Test of Our Times, which comes out Tuesday and recounts his experiences as head of the nation’s homeland security efforts in the first several years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. …

Last week, when word got out about Ridge’s accusations, Rumsfeld’s spokesman Keith Urbahn issued a statement calling them “nonsense.”

Now, Ridge says he did not mean to suggest he was pressured to raise the threat level, and he is not accusing anyone of trying to boost Bush in the polls. “I was never pressured,” Ridge said.

Anyone interested in buying this book now?  When a politician writes his memoirs, the only quality that makes them at all interesting is honesty.  If it’s just a hagiography or a one-sided apologia, the book becomes as interesting as a press release.

Ridge blew his credibility when he allowed his publisher to make that unsupported allegation in advance of the book’s release.  He didn’t immediately note that the allegations were false; it took him twelve days to finally get around to it.  Ridge put cash ahead of his word in this case, which makes his memoirs both suspect and unappealing.  Ridge wasn’t important enough to even have celebrity interest.

It does do one thing; it finally  puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.


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Yeah, Ridge may find himself wishing he had sold as many as San Fran Nan….

anniekc on August 31, 2009 at 8:51 AM

I hope his lousy book gets cancelled and he has to refund any advance.

Ridge is a jerk.

Jerome Horwitz on August 31, 2009 at 8:51 AM

too late, he and his publisher injected their toxin into the usa so they could gin up headlines. Of course they treated a very serious issue like it was some stupid Hollywood Tell all. Do these people think this a fuc$ing game?

rob verdi on August 31, 2009 at 8:52 AM

These douchebags will say ANYTHING to try to sell a book.

uknowmorethanme on August 31, 2009 at 8:52 AM

RINOsaurus hasbeenitus!

epluribusunum on August 31, 2009 at 8:52 AM

I was not planning on buying the book before and I cannot see any reason to change that.

myrenovations on August 31, 2009 at 8:52 AM

It does do one thing; it finally puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.

That’s very optimistic.

fluffy on August 31, 2009 at 8:54 AM

Like the others, lie about Bush to get publicity and money. What a disgrace. The only book from the Bush administration I look forward to is Dick Cheney’s book.

cubachi on August 31, 2009 at 8:55 AM

It does do one thing; it finally puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.

Except that libs will keep spreading this lie anyway, just like the ones about Plame, Katrina and whatever else you can think of.

LibTired on August 31, 2009 at 8:55 AM

The Ridge To Nowhere.

Josiah on August 31, 2009 at 8:56 AM

And the GOP powers-that-be wanted this tool to be the Senate candidate in Pennsylvania?

Doughboy on August 31, 2009 at 8:59 AM

He should have stuck to the “drinking games” story…that always gets the liberals worked up…or the “he never served, he was AWOL”…liberals will fall for anything.

The Ridge To Nowhere.

Josiah on August 31, 2009 at 8:56 AM

Good one!!

right2bright on August 31, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Cheney’s book will be awesome.

So will Bush’s.

Ridge’s…..well, I will never buy it.

therightscoop on August 31, 2009 at 8:59 AM

About those 30 pieces of silver, Mr. Ridge — don’t spend it all in one place okay?

Okay little fella, now fade off into history with the rest of them.

jeff_from_mpls on August 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Lindsay Graham’s pick for PA senator. ‘Nuf said.

Fletch54 on August 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Tell a lie to sell a book that would repudiate that lie. Brilliant.

ICBM on August 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

too late, he and his publisher injected their toxin into the usa so they could gin up headlines. Of course they treated a very serious issue like it was some stupid Hollywood Tell all. Do these people think this a fuc$ing game?

rob verdi on August 31, 2009 at 8:52 AM

Doesn’t the New York Times do this daily?

Rovin on August 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

I wonder if Geraldo will sell more books than Ridge….

two bit authors.

hey, hasn’t MM been at #1 on NYT bestseller list for like 5 weeks now.

See the difference there Ridge—there’s some stuff people want to read, and then there’s stuff that just functions as a placeholder on a book shelf.

ted c on August 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Ridge lies like the typical liberal without any regards for the truth. Oops! Sorry, I forgot Ridge is a RINO and that is the same thing. His correction will never be repeated by the lemmings on the left so the ignorance of his act will always be remebered as the attack it was.

volsense on August 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Maybe he did think he was being pressured… but wasn’t…

ninjapirate on August 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Ridge the weasel is weaseling out on his former weaselings.

WEASEL!

Mojave Mark on August 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Except that libs will keep spreading this lie anyway, just like the ones about Plame, Katrina and whatever else you can think of.

LibTired on August 31, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Exactly. Has the truth ever gotten in their way before?

Well, Rathergate, but that’s about it and even that wasn’t fully flushed out, by some people, until last week.

MobileVideoEngineer on August 31, 2009 at 9:01 AM

The more these ex-admin. boobs open their mouths, the better George Bush looks.

Husker_red on August 31, 2009 at 9:01 AM

The guy is trying to sell his book. Of course he is going to hype it up. Then he is going to backpedal to keep it in the news to sell even more books. That is the way it goes. Yes it is disgraceful but the money is good when the checks are cashed.

kanda on August 31, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Next thing you know, Ridge will be writing columns in The New Majority.

BigD on August 31, 2009 at 9:01 AM

The Ridge To Nowhere.

Josiah on August 31, 2009 at 8:56 AM

Thread label winner!

Rovin on August 31, 2009 at 9:02 AM

It also puts to rest any chance he will run for public office or be appointed again.

Lonetown on August 31, 2009 at 9:02 AM

The only book from the Bush administration I look forward to is Dick Cheney’s book.

cubachi on August 31, 2009

Yea, verily!
GW’s book, not so much.

SKYFOX on August 31, 2009 at 9:05 AM

The Ridge To Nowhere.

Josiah on August 31, 2009 at 8:56 AM

“Ridge Over The River Lie”

Jeff from WI on August 31, 2009 at 9:08 AM

I thought Bob Woodward was going to put out a book soon on the obama administration. I’d buy that one for sure. Even though he’s a WaPo functionary, he’s actually a journalist

ted c on August 31, 2009 at 9:08 AM

What is the name of the book “Pants On Fire”?

Wade on August 31, 2009 at 9:08 AM

No matter now. Thanks to idiots like Chrissy Matthews who pleasured himself with this story, the lie will be repeated and repeated and accepted as fact.

RobCon on August 31, 2009 at 9:08 AM

“A Ridge Too Far”

ted c on August 31, 2009 at 9:08 AM

Maybe he did think he was being pressured… but wasn’t…

ninjapirate on August 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

This is too funny NP. Can we suppose Lee Harvey Oswald could have had the same feelings?

Rovin on August 31, 2009 at 9:09 AM

At the time the press release first hit, Daily Kos libs were calling Ridge a hero and updating his wiki entry to reflect his courage for finally exposing W. Let me go check how they’ve responded to this new(old?) information. I wouldn’t hold your breath.

LastRick on August 31, 2009 at 9:09 AM

the left: well, there goes another talking point

thebrokenrattle on August 31, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Can’t wait to see all the screaming headlines “Ridge states he was NOT PRESSURED!”

And waiting.

And waiting.

etc.

cs89 on August 31, 2009 at 9:10 AM

It does do one thing; it finally puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.

Yeah, sure it does.

/sarc

keebs on August 31, 2009 at 9:10 AM

It does do one thing; it finally puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.

Are you kidding? It’s a fact now. just try convince a Democrat otherwise.

Browncoatone on August 31, 2009 at 9:10 AM

No matter now. Thanks to idiots like Chrissy Matthews who pleasured himself with this story, the lie will be repeated and repeated and accepted as fact.

RobCon on August 31, 2009 at 9:08 AM

3 questions:

#1 What year did Chris Matthews start his/her sex change operation?

#2 How far along is it?

#3 Which gender did he/she start off as and which gender is he/she heading to?

Jeff from WI on August 31, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Even though he’s a WaPo functionary, he’s actually a journalist

ted c on August 31, 2009 at 9:08 AM

By what definition of journalist?

Wade on August 31, 2009 at 9:10 AM

does this rank up there with the Mapes story and “memogate”?

ted c on August 31, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Can’t wait to see all the screaming headlines “Ridge states he was NOT PRESSURED!”

And waiting.

And waiting.

etc.

cs89 on August 31, 2009 at 9:10 AM

crickets

Wade on August 31, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Anyone interested in buying this book now?

Consults magic 8-Ball.

“Outlook not so good”

Yakko77 on August 31, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Anyone interested in buying this book now? When a politician writes his memoirs, the only quality that makes them at all interesting is honesty. If it’s just a hagiography or a one-sided apologia, the book becomes as interesting as a press release.

Isn’t this just a continuation of the “show us the evidence” conclusion when this claim was made? No, his book should be relegated to the hate-Bush section which is so unprofitable they sell the books by the pound these days.

I’d disagree with you about memoirs. They are only interesting if the one doing the remembering has something worth writing about. Robert MacNamara had something worth recalling. Dick Cheney’s memories have potential. Hangers on in the Bush Administration like Ridge or McClellan- not so much.

highhopes on August 31, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Ridge was another east coast RINO the GOP was saying: “Keep an eye on him he may be Presidential material.”
When will the GOP get it through it’s head we HATE Rinos.

Jeff from WI on August 31, 2009 at 9:13 AM

By what definition of journalist?

Wade on August 31, 2009 at 9:10 AM

I read “Bush at War” and thought it was a great book. It was critical but factual. I have to give the guy some credibility insofar as he reports the facts and gives insightful analysis without being too subjective. If that qualifies him, then, he’s ok by me. Outside of that book, I can’t say I’ve read much by him.

ted c on August 31, 2009 at 9:13 AM

It does do one thing; it finally puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.

Come now – we all know that nothing stops a useful or reliable conspiracy theory. “Ridge is just a Bush lackey in this regard” will be the refrain from folks on the left who are comfortable with this particular theory – no amount of reason, facts, disavowal, etc will ‘put it to rest.’

Midas on August 31, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Yakko77 on August 31, 2009 at 9:12 AM

+1

ted c on August 31, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Anyone interested in buying this book now?

Consults magic 8-Ball.

“Outlook not so good”

Yakko77 on August 31, 2009 at 9:12 AM

lol

Jeff from WI on August 31, 2009 at 9:14 AM

It does do one thing; it finally puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.

Don’t count on it, Ed. The Kos Kids and their ilk will ignore his retraction, and run with the original characterization. Fake but accurate, and all that.

iurockhead on August 31, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Wan’t this guy ANOTHER clown from Pa.? What’s wrong with those people.

Jeff from WI on August 31, 2009 at 9:15 AM

Hope the fraud winds up reimbursing the publisher.

Mr. Grump on August 31, 2009 at 9:15 AM

If there is any justice, Ridge won’t sell as many books as that creep Scott McClellan did. McClellan only sold one, to his mom, and she asked for a refund.

Cicero43 on August 31, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Tom Ridge-Just another scumbag politician from Pennsylvania.

Percy_Peabody on August 31, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Makin’ a buck by appealing to the far-left wackos a la Scott McClellan just makes these men fools. They’re a bunch of chubby, pimply-faced, insecure middle school girls willing to change everything about themselves so the cool kids will like them. It was pathetic to watch then, even more so now with these grown-ass men. Their poor wives — married to little girls and all.

Rational Thought on August 31, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Ha ha ha so Ridge approves a book with the claim but then sees everybody doesn’t like hearing that (the everybody being the people who might have an inkling to buy his book, most on the right) so he backpedals on the claim and the right jumps on this as concrete proof that Bush wasn’t playing politics with the threat-o-meter.

AMAZING LOGIC

Dave Rywall on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 AM

It does do one thing; it finally puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.

No it won’t. The Left will say that someone “got” to Ridge and made him retract his statement. They do not let facts get in the way of their beliefs.

rbj on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 AM

I wait with baited breath for the retraction on Hardball.

BadgerHawk on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 AM

it finally puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.

Doubtful. The only thing it’ll really put to rest is Ridge’s future career ambitions. What Republican president is ever going to want to appoint this crass, back-stabbing liar to any post ever again?

Maybe Ridge should consider switching sides. Then again, that hasn’t been working out too well for his fellow Pennsylvanian, has it?

AZCoyote on August 31, 2009 at 9:20 AM

It does do one thing; it finally puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.

This is a pleasant fiction.

Lehosh on August 31, 2009 at 9:21 AM

The Ridge To Nowhere.

Josiah on August 31, 2009 at 8:56 AM

That was very well done. And inspiring. Thanks!

A Ridge Too Far

Loxodonta on August 31, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Ridge of Sighs

ICBM on August 31, 2009 at 9:23 AM

If a lie like this makes you want to buy this book, then books requiring crayons may be more of what you need to buy.

volsense on August 31, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Ridge blew his credibility when he allowed his publisher to make that unsupported allegation in advance of the book’s release.

Understatement of the day so far.

SouthernGent on August 31, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Now, Ridge says he did not mean to suggest he was pressured to raise the threat level, and he is not accusing anyone of trying to boost Bush in the polls. “I was never pressured,” Ridge said.

You got Tom in the cross hair, Ed.

Ridge blew his credibility when he allowed his publisher to make that unsupported allegation in advance of the book’s release. He didn’t immediately note that the allegations were false; it took him twelve days to finally get around to it. Ridge put cash ahead of his word in this case, which makes his memoirs both suspect and unappealing.

Tom Ridge did feel pressured BY HIS PUBLISHER.

Traitor, by any other name, is just as fair. THIS is what helped to initiate the ill omened Department of Homeland Security. I wouldn’t touch Ridge’s book with a ten foot pole.

maverick muse on August 31, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Dave Rywall on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 AM

And Dave proves my point.

rbj on August 31, 2009 at 9:24 AM

Well, if nothing else, it’s going to be interesting to see how Ridge explains the backpeddle when he’s on Fox with Hannity tonight (i.e. — if he’s backing off this even before the Hannity interview, where the heck is he going to be by the time the questions are over?)

jon1979 on August 31, 2009 at 9:24 AM

Red Ridge Rising

maverick muse on August 31, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Unaccpetable. I’m not Bush/Cheney apologist but to lie to sell a crappy book noone would buy anyway is pathetic.

therightwinger on August 31, 2009 at 9:25 AM

where the heck is he going to be by the time the questions are over?)

jon1979 on August 31, 2009 at 9:24 AM

Floating down the river Denial. “I never said that.”

maverick muse on August 31, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Of course, even in the excerpts released by his publisher Ridge never claimed that he was pressured to raise the terror alert.

On one occasion – right before the election and after Bin Laden has released a tape – Rumsfeld and Ashcroft wanted the level raised and Ridge “wondered” whether politics were influencing their beliefs. “Wondered.”

No pressure, no intimidation, no manipulation at all. The alert level wasn’t raised.

Some pressure.

SteveMG on August 31, 2009 at 9:29 AM

*sigh*

This is why politicians should never write books.

Now this lie is already part of the liberal catechism about the Bush Administration. Nothing Ridge says now will change it, they will simply brush it off as the Bush “thugs” getting to Ridge and forcing him to recant. Wait and and see how many trolls and lefty bloggers start reciting the talking point “we know they pressured Tom Ridge to issue false terror alerts right before the election.”

rockmom on August 31, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Ha ha ha so Ridge approves a book with the claim but then sees everybody doesn’t like hearing that (the everybody being the people who might have an inkling to buy his book, most on the right) so he backpedals on the claim and the right jumps on this as concrete proof that Bush wasn’t playing politics with the threat-o-meter.

AMAZING LOGIC

Dave Rywall on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 AM

AMAZING RUN-ON

LibTired on August 31, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Do these people think this a fuc$ing game?

rob verdi on August 31, 2009 at 8:52 AM

Was that a rhetorical question??

MarkTheGreat on August 31, 2009 at 9:30 AM

This guy needs to slink away quietly into the shadows. He has no credibility. If the RINO wing thinks they can push his type on us, they are wrong. He is pro-abortion and I personally would not vote for him ever.

TXMomof3 on August 31, 2009 at 9:31 AM

Maybe Ridge should consider switching sides. Then again, that hasn’t been working out too well for his fellow Pennsylvanian, has it?

AZCoyote on August 31, 2009 at 9:20 AM

And Ridge was the aspiring candidate supported by the likes of the GOP Senators Club, Cornyn spokesman, to campaign against his fellow Pennsylvanian RINO returned home to graze as the Ass-Donkey. The people rejected Ruffles Have Ridges and told that Washingtonian GOP Club what for.

maverick muse on August 31, 2009 at 9:31 AM

Get back in your hole ridge,nobody cares!

ohiobabe on August 31, 2009 at 9:31 AM

I feel certain Mrs. Malkin’s number one spot isn’t in jeopardy from Gov. Ridge.

I hope there are video clips of Gov. Ridge’s appearances on different venues so that we can compare and contrast his treatment of his book. I hope he didn’t write this book because he is having financial difficulties.

Cindy Munford on August 31, 2009 at 9:31 AM

I wonder if Geraldo will sell more books than Ridge….

ted c on August 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Safe bet that more people have heard of Geraldo.

MarkTheGreat on August 31, 2009 at 9:32 AM

so he backpedals on the claim and the right jumps on this as concrete proof that Bush wasn’t playing politics with the threat-o-meter.

Because nowhere in the book does he claim that Bush “played politics” with the alerts.

In fact, from what I’ve read, he states emphatically in the book several times that politics weren’t played.

“Wondering” if the request was driven by politics is not proof that it was.

You know all this but don’t care.

Just make it up.

SteveMG on August 31, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Dave Rywall on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 AM

As usual, you have as much supporting evidence of your claims as Ridge’s publisher did of their claim. Nothing at all.

Except of course for your typical circular logic, magical thinking, paranoia, contempt for the truth, and anti-American vindictiveness.

Loxodonta on August 31, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Dave Rywall on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Still a dumbass, I see.

Fletch54 on August 31, 2009 at 9:34 AM

“Still a dumbass, I see.”

Willing slaves always are.

ebrown2 on August 31, 2009 at 9:38 AM

AMAZING LOGIC

Dave Rywall on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Kinda like Canada claiming their government health care program is “healthy”—-right Dave?

Rovin on August 31, 2009 at 9:38 AM

cry me a ridger?

NY Conservative on August 31, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Because nowhere in the book does he claim that Bush “played politics” with the alerts.

In fact, from what I’ve read, he states emphatically in the book several times that politics weren’t played.

“Wondering” if the request was driven by politics is not proof that it was.

You know all this but don’t care.

Just make it up.

SteveMG on August 31, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Yeah, it’s like talking to drywall.

Wait…

MobileVideoEngineer on August 31, 2009 at 9:39 AM

It does do one thing; it finally puts to rest the conspiracy theories about the threat levels and political manipulation.
That’s very optimistic.

fluffy on August 31, 2009 at 8:54 AM

Agreed. Many on the Left will believe ANY (vast-right-wing) conspiracy theory about the Bush Administration, regardless of whether it’s later retracted by its perpetrator. How many people still believe that Bush’s people somehow pre-rigged the World Trade Center with explosives that thousands of escapees from 9/11/2001 somehow failed to notice? After Scott “Stutter” McClellan had been viciously attacked while he was Press Secretary, how many of the same press hailed him as a hero when he turned on his employer?

Ridge was right about one thing–we need duct tape to protect this country. Over his mouth.

Steve Z on August 31, 2009 at 9:40 AM

On one occasion – right before the election and after Bin Laden has released a tape – Rumsfeld and Ashcroft wanted the level raised and Ridge “wondered” whether politics were influencing their beliefs. “Wondered.”

No pressure, no intimidation, no manipulation at all. The alert level wasn’t raised.

Some pressure.

SteveMG on August 31, 2009 at 9:29 AM

Given the circumstances, and the system to alert the public that the administration had put in place, they would have been remiss to NOT have deliberated the alert level as things occurred, particularly as bin Laden reiterated threats.

Enemies of the state now run the state. Where’s the DHS alert? Targeting conservative and responsible tax paying citizens. Releasing GITMO detainee to return to kill American troops in Afghanistan. Importing Islamofascist professor banned from Holland, removed from his university posts. GWBush and TonyBlair had him banned as well; Obama and Gordon Brown have removed the ban and Obama is inviting him into the USA enabling him to teach at our universities. Closing GITMO and importing all of these world’s most sinister terrorists into our stateside overcrowded, rioting prison system that judges are ordering to release prior to parole protocol 20+% of felon inmates.

maverick muse on August 31, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Fast Times at Ridgemont Lie…….

(sorry, it’s the best I could do!)

atlgal on August 31, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Fast Times at Ridgemont Lie…….

(sorry, it’s the best I could do!)

atlgal on August 31, 2009 at 9:45 AM

lol

Jeff from WI on August 31, 2009 at 9:46 AM

I wait with baited breath for the retraction on Hardball.

BadgerHawk on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 AM

On Hardball, he might tease Matthews into tingly-leg syndrome. But Hannity will probably have LOTS of fun with him…

Steve Z on August 31, 2009 at 9:46 AM

There are orders for Ridge’s book. He needs two dozen copis for family and friends.

Jeff from WI on August 31, 2009 at 9:48 AM

copies

Jeff from WI on August 31, 2009 at 9:48 AM

These gutless RINOs must go.

rplat on August 31, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Tom McClellan Ridge

Vashta.Nerada on August 31, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Ruffles Have Ridges
Betcha can’t eat just one.

maverick muse on August 31, 2009 at 9:49 AM

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