Thursday, May 25, 2006

In a Stunning Admission, Bush Regrets Saying "Bring It On"

A jaw-dropping moment occurred in Bush and Blair's Thursday presser: Bush said he regretted saying "bring it on" (precise wording in 2003 was "bring 'em on") and "wanted dead or alive." He admitted he should have been more sophisticated in his use of language.

The significance of this shouldn't go unnoticed. Bush has now admitted what the progressive blog community has said all along: Bush's tough talk was wrongheaded and cost lives.

While contrition may be a media policy that works with our lapdog press (and judging from CNN's first blush of commentary, it seems to be getting the desired result), America must now ask what this admission means. Does Bush take responsibility for the deaths generated by his admitted mistake? Does he accept the logical conclusion that his bluster resulted in the killing and maiming of hundreds if not thousands of US troops?

Don't wait for the media to acknowledge the gravity of this admission. Watch it slip by. It's too frightening a thought for them that Bush was dead wrong and the netroots right. It will be spun as a positive for Bush - as a CNN reporter just said, "a Texan regretting his swagger."

Yet again, it's up to the bloggers to bring the truth to light.

UPDATE: Initial wire stories make no mention of Bush's shocker: AP, Reuters.

UPDATE 2: According to some accounts, this picture of Bush during the press conference was taken immediately after his mea culpa. (From the Left Coaster via C&L)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tweety Matthews (on his knees, of course) was fawning all over Bush's admission of error.

But it took David Gregory and--of all people!--Jughead Scarborough to remind Tweety that this admission was (a) totally scripted and (b) an apology only for ill-chosen words rather than for the actual colossally mistaken deeds he's guilty of.

You're right on the money, Peter: the press is always so EAGER to find the slightest excuse to perpetuate these positive republican narratives.

And no one to my knowledge has sufficiently explained why. Even when he's at 30%


5/25/2006 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you watched the telecast, you must have seen, as I did, that he was not contrite. The statement was said in an arrogant,self-serving manner.

I readily admit that nothing he might have said would sway me much.

5/25/2006 9:19 PM  
Blogger Shell5960v said...

And remember -- he said people in "certain parts of the world" didn't like this language? Was AMERICA one of those parts of the world?

5/26/2006 12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the RW blogs (dont worry I have since showered)about an 2 hours after the press conference..

not one word of the Bush Shocker....not one word...I guess they are awaitng instruction on how to react form Rove or Rush

I went to LGF, Malkin, Ace HQ, Hugh Hewitt, Redstate, Powerline....nothing...

meanwhile it was on Kos, Huff,

5/26/2006 12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That wasn't an admission as much as a calculated and rehearsed answer to the question he failed to answer two years ago.

This man is incapable of truly accepting fault either because he is incapable of introspection and self-analysis or he plainly thinks doing so would be a sign of weakness (I suspect both).You could see in his body language and delivery that hehad rehearsed it and it wasn't spontaneous or sincere.

After six years during which we have had the Katrina debacle and the botched and ill-conceived Iraq invasion, among many other blunders and transgressions, Bush's acceptance of these very,very stupid remarks, which you quote, as his main regret is a major insult.

It was a focus group-tested
concoction developed by his handlers which will surely backfire. Many of the commentators were on to it.

5/26/2006 1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big deal..W regrets using inartful language..whoop di do..he still didn't admit to any big mistakes, and he sure didn't look very contrite..he looked like he was having his teeth pulled, wasn't looking into the camera, was grimacing, looking up at the ceiling..fidgeting..clearly uncomfortable..his big admission was baloney, and i was blown away that chris matthews got so excited by bush's admission..thankfully, keith olbermann was on hand to debunk the admission, and even joe scarborough was unimpressed by the obviously rehearsed "admission"..there was absolutely nothing heartfelt or contrite in bush's demeanor, he never offered any explanation as to why Abu Ghraib was a mistake, no mention of Guantanamo, no mention of torture, no mention of those elusive WMD's either..leave it to george w. bush to reflect long, deep & hard to discover that he's guilty of inartful language, and only inartful language..can't we have a "survivor" tribal council & banish him from the island already? peace, amdew1

5/26/2006 1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, Bush did not "finally" admit anything at this press conference. Back in January of 2005, Bush announced to several members of the press that he regretted saying "Bring 'em on" and "Wanted, dead or alive". I read about it all over the net at the time. A simple google search will turn up plenty of reports of it from last year.

Second, he was asked about any mistakes he made "personally" and his carefully scripted response about Abu Ghraib was NOT an admission of any mistake he "personally" made. In fact, he appeared to be passing the buck of blame for Abu Ghraib to "the country" because his answer was that it was a mistake "that happened" while "the country was involved in Iraq".

Shameful attmept by the Bush-loving/lazy media to make his response to the question appear as though he was "finally" admitting something painful and therefore engender cuddly feelings for the po' feller.

There not only was nothing new that he "finally" admitted about a mistake he personally made with regard to the Iraq War at this press conference, but he even went so far as to pass the buck of responsibility to "the country" for the outrage of Abu Ghraib.

- David B.

5/26/2006 2:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

were these apologies "sincere"? they seemed genuinely sincere insofar as bush seemed genuinely embarassed, like a child who's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and stares at his feet while mumbling out an apology.

whether or not the embarassment was genuine seems secondary to the terrifying reality that our president has the mentality of an 8 year old.

unsurprisingly, the only moment that seemed truly and transparently dishonest was the statement that those responsible for abu ghraib were brought to justice. it was painfully obvious from the video that bush was under no illusions as far as that lie was concerned.

5/26/2006 5:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This isnt even the first time Bush said that perhaps he shouldnt have said that. He just went a little bit further.

"One of the things I've learned is that sometimes words have consequences you don't intend to mean," he responded, leaning back in his chair in the Roosevelt Room. "The classic example was `bring 'em on.'" - Jan 2005

This is Bush's focus group reviewed rehearsed answer to the question of any regrets not a real answer.

5/26/2006 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real big revelation is in: He admitted he should have been more sophisticated...

He has admitted that he is and has acted as a child and needs to grow up. And he did it with daddy Blair standing by.

5/26/2006 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jes mo' shuckin' and jivin'......

5/26/2006 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Mr Dauo thinks the progressive community has merely been saying that Bush has used the "wrong language" then I must no longer be a progressive for this suggests that the war from its conception was unchallenged and a morally and legally acceptable premise. I don't believe Mr Dauo really believes this. I feel he has simply himself made a misstatement perhaps out of a sense of validation.

5/26/2006 9:44 AM  
Blogger Left I on the News said...

As stupid as the comment was, the claim that it was responsible for hundreds or thousands of American deaths is off-base. The resistance in Iraq isn’t resisting George Bush’s inane remarks. They are resisting the American occupation of their country.

5/26/2006 10:07 AM  
Blogger Peter Daou said...

Anonymous at 9:44am said: "If Mr Daou thinks the progressive community has merely been saying that Bush has used the "wrong language" then I must no longer be a progressive for this suggests that the war from its conception was unchallenged and a morally and legally acceptable premise."

I'm not sure what you're referring to and how you've extrapolated anything about "the war from its conception was unchallenged and a morally and legally acceptable premise." Here's what I said: "Bush's tough talk was wrongheaded and cost lives."

5/26/2006 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't really see what harm was done by Bush's tough talk, especially the "dead or alive" and "bring 'em on" comments. Sure, they look STUPID now, since we can't seem to catch bin Laden or manage the insurgents. But had Bush talked less picturesquely and done everything else as he did, we would be in just as bad a spot today as we are.

5/26/2006 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought when he said.

"Watching Innocent people die on TV everyday will get to you" or something like that. But he was drunk, so I don't think he really meant it.

5/26/2006 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe he actually regrets saying those things.

What he regrets is the reaction they caused.


5/26/2006 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think Bush regrets his adolescent language? just wait until the Haditha atrocity finally hits mainstream news. It's still fairly quiet. I can't wait to see what he and the other shrubs do and say in the face of Haditha.

No doubt they'll do what they've always done. Blame it on the democrats.

5/26/2006 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He doesn't regret saying those things. He regrets that he has to apologize for them. And it's all a fricken' game to him anyway, as evidenced by his grand smirk at the press corps while this supposedly serious self-reflection was taking place.

Check out this photo of it . . .

5/26/2006 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone mentioned watching the conference vs. listening or reading a transcript. From the very beginning of this presidency, there has been a radical disjunction between what he says and what you can read on his face if you pay attention to affect (emotion). Time and time again, the affect belies what he says and is even very inappropriate (like those oddly-timed smiles, or the eyes that stay angry and cold when he's trying to be funny). To be contrite is something very different from saying words that can be considered contrite--and the MSM has fallen for it over and over. Look how the sainted NYT even said the presidency had turned some kind of corner. It's revolting.

5/27/2006 7:39 AM  
Blogger Fuzzflash said...

If he's so sorry about his behaviour in the rush to war in Iraq, then let the coward tell it to Cindy Sheehan face to face on primetime.
Catch his aftermath smirk shot on Huffy. Not much regret on display there.

5/27/2006 8:00 AM  
Blogger John K. Fitzpatrick said...


AKA - things not to write

"cost lives"

This a a terrible phrase.
Just about any other verb would be better. Channeling Lakoff, "cost" evokes a frame that, I bet when think about it, you don't really like either.

- John (ala a whiteboard forum I started in a meat-space newsroom years ago)

5/27/2006 7:26 PM  

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