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Bush Speaks On Iraq, Economy and Gay Marriage; NYT Describes Performance as "Vague and Sometimes Nearly Incoherent"

July 31, 2003
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In his first press conference since before the invasion of Iraq, President George Bush yesterday vowed that weapons of mass destruction would still be found in Iraq.

He backed his controversial tax cuts despite the worsening economy.

He said he took responsibility for including a false claim about Iraq’s weapons program in the State of the Union.

He defended National Security Advisor Condelliza Rice.

He denied repeatedly that he oversold the case of war against Iraq.

And he announced White House lawyers were actively looking for a way to bar same sex couples from being allowed to get married.

It was only the ninth press conference of Bush’s term. By comparison, Bill Clinton had held 33 by this stage of his presidency, and Bush’s father 61.

A New York Times editorial described Bush’s responses on Iraq and the economy to be "vague and sometimes nearly incoherent" and said that he issued a series of "rambling non-answers." The Times points out that this may be part of a strategy. The editorial reads "The president and his advisers obviously still believe that the constant repetition of several simplistic points will hypnotize the American people into forgetting the original question."

Finally the editorial points out Bush was concise on one matter, campaign fundraising. When asked how he could spend a record $170 million in the Republican campaign without any opponents, Bush simply said, "Just watch me."

  • President George W. Bush, speaking at a White House press conference on July 30th, 2003.

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