A week or so after that, he proclaimed that “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” Then he said he misspoke.
That controversy hadn’t died down when he started another by using the term “anchor babies” to describe the children of immigrants — and before long he was complaining that people were misconstruing these remarks, too.
Add to this the four different answers he struggled to give during a single week this spring about whether he would have invaded Iraq, and it’s quite possible that no other person who aspires to occupy the bully pulpit has himself been bullied quite so much by the English language.
Bush comes by this naturally — congenitally, even. His brother, of course, was one of the world’s great malapropism artists during his eight years in office: “Is our children learning? . . . I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family . . . Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream . . . Make the pie higher . . . Too many OB/GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across the country.”