More headlines: George W. Bush on Principles & Values

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)

2000: Uninvolved with racist email attack on McCain in SC

[During the S.C. primary], a nasty and malicious e-mail began to circulate. Its author was a Bob Jones University professor named Richard Hand. Hand alleged that McCain at one point had chosen to focus his life on "partying, playing, drinking, and womanizing." He said, "McCain chose to sire children without marriage," pointing out that one of McCain's children was not white. It was bigoted & nasty and sent to Hand's personal e-mail list.

It has since become an accepted myth that the Bush campaig was responsible for the e-mail attack. Some blamed me for a "Rove-orchestrated whispering campaign." But they're wrong. The Bush campaign & I had nothing to do with Hand's racially charged e-mail.

To hold him responsible, you would also have to believe that Bush, with his personal history of racial inclusion, would have sanctioned such an attack. Most South Carolina voters did not believe Bush would do such a thing. But the McCain campaign was convinced of it, and some reporters peddled the story.

Source: Courage and Consequence, by Karl Rove, p.153-154 Mar 9, 2010

2000: Won SC primary, & killed McCain's run with negatives

John McCain's victory in New Hampshire turned out to be the peak of his 2000 candidacy. Three weeks later, he and his rival locked horns again in South Carolina. This time, Bush won decisively. The defeat all but spelled the end of McCain's run for the presidency. In South Carolina, McCain was the target of a relentlessly negative, personal campaign. One reported tactic used against McCain was "push-polling" suggesting that McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child (the McCains have an adopted daughter from Bangladesh); another smear had its start in an e-mail by a Bob Jones University professor alleging that McCain had had children out of wedlock.

When it came to John McCain, the media suddenly found itself rooting for the loser. Instead of raving about the no-holds-barred brilliance of Karl Rove's S.C. campaign, which revived Bush's momentum and halted his opponent's, reporters wrote denunciations of the tactics used by the Bush campaign and its S.C. supporters.

Source: Free Ride, by David Brock and Paul Waldman, p. 71-72 Mar 25, 2008

Outperformed by Kerry in debates & campaign lost ground

As the time approached for the first debates, Bush seemed to enjoy an advantage. The first, & most widely watched, match would be exclusively on foreign policy, the president’s home turf. But Bush was off. His responses were vague & rambling. Incredibly, Kerry decisively won the foreign-policy debate, a battle in which Bush should have easily prevailed.

Bush righted himself in the 2nd debate, but the impression his first performance had left was hard to erase. Under the ground rules negotiated by Bush & Kerry’s advisors, the final debate would be about domestic issues, Kerry’s territory.

The president, stunned by his earlier debate defeats, doing his best to be dynamic & aggressive, scored points, but the focus--on education, healthcare, Medicare, & Social Security--was so skewed in Kerry’s favor that there was little he could do to prevent the Democrat from winning. Kerry, who had seemed dead as he entered the debates, acquired a new life. After the debates, the race was nip and tuck.

Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p.215 Oct 11, 2005

Kerry introduced some 300 bills and he’s passed five

BUSH: Kerry talked about the Medicare plan, has he been in the US Senate for 20 years? He has no record on reforming of health care. No record at all. He introduced some 300 bills and he’s passed five. No record of leadership. I came to Washington to solve problems. I was deeply concerned about seniors having to choose between prescription drugs and food. And so I led. And in 2006, our seniors will get a prescription drug coverage in Medicare.

KERRY: Once again, Bush is misleading America. I’ve actually passed 56 individual bills that I’ve personally written and, in addition to that, and not always under my name, there are amendments on certain bills. But more importantly, with respect to the question of no record, I helped write- I did write, I was one of the original authors of the early childhood health care and the expansion of health care that we did in the middle of the 1990s. And I’m very proud of that. So Bush’s wrong.

Source: Third Bush-Kerry debate, in Tempe AZ Oct 13, 2004

Ad: Kerry missed votes in the Senate by campaigning

AD ANNOUNCER: Leadership means choosing priorities. While campaigning, John Kerry has missed over two thirds of all votes. Missed a vote to lower health-care costs by reducing frivolous lawsuits against doctors. Missed a vote to fund our troops in combat Yet, Kerry found time to vote against the Laci Peterson law that protects pregnant women from violence. Kerry has priorities. Are they yours?

ANALYSIS: This Bush campaign ad is literally accurate, but artfully worded to avoid tipping off viewers to the real controversy over the Peterson bill Kerry opposed-the legal right to abortion. And when the ad faults Kerry for missing a vote to fund our troops, it leaves out the fact that the bill passed both houses of Congress without a single vote against it. The ad is true enough when it says Kerry has missed the great majority of Senate votes while campaigning for President. But it twists the facts in its descriptions of the bills it cites to support its argument that Kerry’s priorities are misplaced.

Source: Ad-Watch analysis by Fact Jul 12, 2004

Bush ended news conferences in Sept.; Gore now accessible

Bush [has had only one news conference] in nearly two months. Bush had almost daily news conferences through the summer, while the Bush campaign mocked Gore for going weeks at a time without submitting himself to the press gaggle. The RNC faxed reporters a running tally of the days Gore went without having a news conference. How the tables have turned. In recent weeks, Gore has been offering reporters Air Force Two “availabilities.”

The Bush campaign’s strategy shifted after Sept. 12, when reporters refused to play along with the campaign’s “theme of the day” and instead launched a barrage of questions about reports that suggested Bush suffered from dyslexia and that the campaign had subliminally slipped the word “rats” into a television ad. That was the end of all-access-all-the-time.

Bush aides insist that the cutback in news conferences reflects a setting of priorities in increasingly jam-packed days. “The press was trying to write about rats instead of the issues,” an aide said.

Source: Terry M. Neal, Washington Post, p. A18 on 2000 election Nov 2, 2000

Promised 4 reforms in Texas; delivered all 4

Q: Will you keep all these promises when you’re in office?

BUSH: [When I ran for Gvoernor of Texas] I said I’d do four things: tort reform, education reform, welfare reform and juvenile justice reform. And I won and I had the will of the people in my state behind me, and then I brought folks together to get it done. And that’s what we need, I think, in this election. To me, that’s what it’s all about. I know, [people say] “These guys will say anything to get elected.” But there’s a record. That’s what other people look at.

And one of my promises is going to be Social Security reform, and you bet we need to take a trillion dollars out of that $2.4 trillion surplus. But it’s going to require people to bring both Republicans and Democrats together to get it done. That’s what it requires. There’s a chance to get this done. There’s a bipartisan approach, but it’s been rejected. I’m going to bring them together.

Source: St. Louis debate Oct 17, 2000

Not running for president on father’s name

He believes in God, he’s grateful for love, he thinks he’s of the people and smarter than them all at once. He gushed about his wife, cheered up when talking about his daughters’ birth. The son of America’s 41st president did get a little more specific when asked by a viewer what he thought was the public’s greatest misconception about him: “Probably [that] I’m running on my daddy’s name, that, you know, if my name were George Jones, I’d be a country and western singer.”
Source: Maria L. La Ganga, LA Times Sep 20, 2000

“RATS” TV ad not an intentional subliminal message

Bush defended a Republican television commercial that, in attacking Vice President Al Gore’s plans for health care, includes a fleeting, almost undetectable image of the word “RATS.” “Conspiracy theories abound in American politics. I am convinced that this is not intentional. One frame out of 900 is hardly a conspiracy, it seems like to me. But nevertheless, in order to put people’s minds at ease, I will say loud and clear this kind of practice is not accepted.”
Source: Frank Bruni, NY Times on 2000 election Sep 13, 2000

Promises that there will be debates

While he continued to assail Gore for rejecting his offer for a different set of debates - two of them shorter and to more limited television audiences than the commission debates -Bush for the first time gave some suggestion that there was give to his position. “There will be debates. I am confident there will be debates. As to what they look like and where they are, it will be worked out in due course.”
Source: Alison Mitchell, NY Times on 2000 election Sep 7, 2000

Gore’s call for debates is about semantics, not sincerity

My opponent said he’d debate me any time, anyplace, anywhere; he went on some of the national TV shows and said, ‘If he’ll just show up I’ll debate him.’ It must all depend on what the definition of any time is. It depends on what the definition of anywhere is.. I guess it’s the same old tired double talk out of Washington, D.C.--’No controlling legal authority.’ ‘It depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.’
Source: Edwin Chen, LA Times Sep 5, 2000

No need to excuse Cheney from energy issues

George W. Bush said he saw nothing improper with the large retirement payment that Dick Cheney’s oil company voted. “I was aware that he was going to get a retirement package, like the standard practice for CEOs when they leave major companies. I’m going to take [Cheney’s] advice on how to make our country less dependent on foreign sources of crude oil. What I want him to do is not be owning oil stocks so he benefits from decisions we make in the administration.”
Source: Ronald Brownstein, LA Times Aug 13, 2000

Bush hopes Lieberman will civilize Gore campaign

Bush expressed the hope that Lieberman will “run a positive campaign and that the vice president will use this opportunity to change his tone to that of Sen. Lieberman’s level. This selection now presents the vice president with an interesting test of whether he will continue attacking positions his running mate shares or whether he will lift up our nation by elevating the tone of his presidential campaign.”
Source: Edwin Chen & Matea Gold, LA Times Aug 9, 2000

Love and compassion are from God, not government

Earlier today, at a prayer breakfast, Bush said, “Our job as leaders-- Republicans, Democrats, nonaffiliateds-- is to rally that compassion of America, is to call upon the love that exists not because of government, that exists because of a gracious and loving God.”
Source: AP story in LA Times Aug 4, 2000

Picked Cheney as a valuable partner and fully capable

I asked Dick Cheney whether he’d be willing to join me to accomplish some great goals for our country: to save and strengthen Social Security; to improve Medicare and provide prescription drugs for the elderly; to reform our public schools; and to rebuild our military to keep the peace.

Early this morning I called and asked him to join me in renewing America’s purpose together. So I’m proud to announce that Dick Cheney, a man of great integrity, sound judgment and experience, is my choice to be the next vice president of the United States.

I have to admit something. I didn’t pick Dick Cheney because of Wyoming’s three electoral votes, although we’re going to work hard to earn them. I picked him because he is without a doubt fully capable of being the president of the United States. And I picked him because he will be a valuable partner in a Bush administration.

Source: Statement on Vice Presidential selection Jul 25, 2000

McCain didn’t change Bush’s opinions at all

Q: Has John McCain elevated your consciousness about reform? Has he changed your views?
A: No, he didn’t change my views. He made me a better candidate. He forced me to play to my strengths better. I needed to make it more clear that I not only believe in reform, I’ve got the record as a chief executive of getting reform done. There’s nothing like the humbling experience of getting whipped pretty bad to cause a man to re-evaluate. And I re-evaluated my message and how I was conducting myself as a candidate. I wasn’t doing as good a job as I could have explaining where my strength is.
Q: Is there anything McCain brought to light for you or changed your opinion on in any way?
A: No, not really. We agreed more than we disagreed. That’s the great irony. You know, primaries are struggles, arguments over shades of gray. And that’s what makes primaries difficult. In my case, I’ve known John a long time. And battling with John wasn’t all that pleasant, because I like him.
Source: Press interview in Austin, TX Mar 15, 2000

McCain rings the “iron triangle” like a dinner bell

McCAIN [to Bush]: If you’re going to allow [donors who] give a million dollars to stay in the governor’s mansion, we’ve got a continuing big problem.

BUSH: The people staying with me, these are my friends, John. These are my relatives, [yet you] somehow question my integrity. You talk a lot about the “iron triangle” and you’re ringing it like a dinner bell with all those fund-raisers.

McCAIN: George, if I’m ringing it like the dinner bell, you’ve got both feet in the trough because you’ve raised five times the amount of money in Washington [that I have].

KEYES: This whole campaign finance reform thing is just another example of the hypocrisy of these politicians. They’ve shoveled the money in their mouth, then profess to be shocked at the discovery that it’s there. Then they say we should give up our right to give money to support the causes we believe in because they don’t have the integrity to do their job. We shouldn’t give up our rights. They should give up their offices.

Source: GOP debate in Los Angeles Mar 2, 2000

Endorsements are based on leadership, not insider status

Q: You say that you’re the reformer, you’re the outsider, yet, 38 senators support you, 175 congressmen, and 26 governors. That’s not establishment? A: Well, let’s start with the governors, those who know me best support me. I work with the governors. They know me well. They know I can lead. They’ve stood up and said we know the man’s record, we know his capacity to bring people together. We know his record of reform in the state of Texas that’s had great results and we want him to be the leader.
And you mentioned the US senators - they took a look and decided that I ought to be the leader. They’re looking for a fresh voice from outside. They want somebody to provide leadership and that’s why they supported me. You know, I got defined early on as the insider and I kept telling people my zip code is Austin, Texas. That’s where I made my stake. That’s where I’ve developed my reputation and that’s where those results are coming from.
Source: GOP Debate on the Larry King Show Feb 15, 2000

Pledges to return honor to office of the Presidency

Bush leaned more heavily on morality, focusing on Clinton’s moral failings. “The current president pledged the most ethical administration in American history. As it turned out, he fell 41 presidents short. Bush poked fun at the testimony Clinton gave to the grand jury investigating his affair with Monica Lewinsky. ”I will return the highest standards of honor to the highest office in the land,“ Bush said. ”This is my pledge. And it does not depend on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.“
Source: New York Times, p.A20, on 2000 election Feb 3, 2000

Conservative values: Tax cuts; school choice; workfare

BAUER [to Bush]: You won’t agree to a pro-life running mate. You won’t agree to put pro-life judges on the court. Your China policy puts trade ahead of national security & human rights. Why should GOP conservatives believe that you will defend conservative values?

BUSH: I fought for and signed the two largest tax cuts in my state’s history. I fought for charter schools and public school choice. I reformed welfare by insisting upon work. I fought for tort reform. I’ve got a record of accomplishment.

BAUER: Governor, you left off every values issue at stake, the sanctity of life, maintaining marriage as being between a man and a woman, preserving religious liberty so we can hang up the Ten Commandments again.

BUSH: I’m against same-sex marriage. I signed a parental notification law. Republicans need to elect somebody who has gotten results, tangible results that people can see, that people can put their arms around and say this man’s a leader.

Source: (Cross-ref from Bauer) Republican Debate in Durham, NH Jan 6, 2000

Focus on human problems, not just economy

Bush said that the Republican Party had put too much emphasis on economic wealth and too little on social problems. “Too often, my party has focused on the national economy, to the exclusion of all else. Of course we want vigor and growth in our economy, but there are human problems that persist in the shadow of affluence. And the strongest arguments for conservative ideals - for responsibility and accountability and tradition - is that they lead to greater justice, less suffering, more opportunity.”
Source: New York Times, p. A1, on 2000 election Oct 6, 1999

Keys to American prosperity

America must seize this moment. America must lead. Because America’s greatest export to the world is, and always will be, freedom.
Source: Candidacy Announcement speech, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Jun 12, 1999

I trust the people, and Al Gore trusts Washington

Bush has settled at last on a core message that resonates with a populist theme: “I trust the people, and Al Gore trusts Washington.”

In the most striking example of attempted political pick-pocketing, Bush is arguing that the last eight years of prosperity have nothing to do with the Clinton-Gore administration. “Our economy is strong today not because of Al Gore,” he says. “Our economy is strong today because we’re a land of dreamers and doers.”

Bush is, in effect, taking President Reagan’s classic reelection argument, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” and standing it on its side. He is acknowledging that the average American is better off today than four or eight years ago, and offering in its place his populist-tinged theme of trust. The polls show the public doesn’t want a tax cut, he says, but he believes it’s the right thing to do - that the surplus is the people’s money, and he’s going to give some of it back to the people.

Source: Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor Oct 31, 2000

Calling everything “Risky Scheme” is politics of roadblocks

Every one of the proposals I’ve talked about tonight, my opponent has called a “risky scheme,” over and over again. It is the sum of his message -- the politics of the roadblock, the philosophy of the stop sign.

If my opponent had been there at the moon launch, it would have been a “risky rocket scheme.” If he’d been there when Edison was testing the light bulb, it would have been a “risky anti-candle scheme.” And if he’d been there when the Internet was invented, well..

Source: Speech to Republican National Convention Aug 3, 2000

Compassionate conservatism is the new politics

“I want the elderly here in this audience to hear me loud and clear. They’re going to run TV ads and radio ads and they’re going to say that George W. Bush and his allies are going to take away your checks.. Put that out of your mind. That’s the old politics. We have the right platform, we’ve got a philosophy that is conservative and a philosophy that is compassionate. Our message is give us a chance to make sure the American dream touches every willing heart.”
Source: Jul 29, 2000

Texas re-election based on “compassionate conservatism”

[On the day of the gubernatorial re-election:] Tonight’s resounding victory says my compassionate conservative philosophy is making Texas a better place. But today’s election says something more. It says that a leader who is compassionate and conservative can erase the gender gap, open the Republican Party to new faces and new voices, and win without sacrificing our principles.
Source: “A Charge to Keep”, p.224 Dec 9, 1999

Philosophy of governing

I don’t run polls to tell me what to think. I make decisions based on a conservative philosophy that is engrained in my heart. Trust local people to make right choices about their schools and cities. Understand that private property is the backbone of capitalism. Fight for American interests and American workers in the world. Know the importance of family and the need for personal responsibility. These are principles from which I will not vary.
Source: Candidacy Announcement speech, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Jun 12, 1999

Oil-town upbringing bred ‘compassionate conservatism’

Bush’s campaign describes Midland [Texas, where Bush was raised,] as the incubator of Bush’s egalitarianism, his belief in personal responsibility, and his philosophy of ‘compassionate conservatism.’ Bush says, “the slogan of Midland was, ‘The Sky’s the Limit.’ That meant for everybody, not just a few.” The experience, he says, deepened his belief in the importance of optimism and the goals of “limited government, open markets, free and fair trade, and tax policy that encourages productivity.”
Source: US News & World Report, pp. 18-19 Jun 7, 1999

Our guiding philosophy: Individual rights & responsibilties

Throughout the ages, individuals, more than armies or nations or politics, have shaped the course of events. Every triumphant achievement, every great decision. in the final analysis came about because of the acts of individuals. Our Constitution rights are rights which belong to and are exercised by individuals. That idea is the guiding philosophy of our nation. But implicit in those rights is responsibility-to respect the rights of others, to treat our fellow man the way we want to be treated.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

De-emphasize economics; focus on compassion

Government can’t solve all our problems. Economic growth can’t solve all our problems. In fact, we’re now putting too much hope in economics, just as we once put too much hope in government. Reducing problems to economics is simply materialism. The real answer is found in the hearts of decent, caring people who have heard the call to love their neighbors as they would like to be loved themselves. We must rally the armies of compassion that are in every community.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

No regrets for spontaneous personality

Asked about how he would have done things in his past differently, both in personal matters and professional matters:“I’m not one of these people that kind of gets stuck in the past. I’m always moving forward. I think one of the things you’ll find about me is I’m a person who’s fairly spontaneous, and I don’t brood and I don’t get stuck. So I don’t know. I can’t think of anything I’d do differently.”
Source: Nicholas D. Kristof, NY Times, on 2000 election Jul 29, 2000

Presidency of whole nation is his charge to keep

I have faith that with God’s help we as a nation will move forward together as one nation, indivisible. And together we will create and America that is open, so every citizen has access to the American dream; an America that is educated, so every child has the keys to realize that dream; and an America that is united in our diversity and our shared American values that are larger than race or party.

I was not elected to serve one party, but to serve one nation.

The president of the United States is the president of every single American, of every race and every background.

Whether you voted for me or not, I will do my best to serve your interests and I will work to earn your respect.

I will be guided by President Jefferson’s sense of purpose, to stand for principle, to be reasonable in manner, and above all, to do great good for the cause of freedom and harmony.

The presidency is more than an honor. It is more than an office. It is a charge to keep, and I will give it my all.

Source: Acceptance speech in Austin TX Dec 13, 2000

Together, we can unite and accomplish goals

Source: Acceptance speech in Austin TX Dec 13, 2000

With 50-50 Senate, challenge is to rise above partisanship

Q: Now that the Supreme Court has had its hearing, how do you feel your prospects stand?

A: We’ll wait and see what they say at the Supreme Court and in all these different courts. Dick and I felt like we’ve won the first election three times, and we’re confident that when it’s all said and done that he and I will be honored to be the president and V.P. That’s why we’re in the process of preparing to assume the offices to which we feel like we’ve been elected.

Q: With a 50-50 Senate, how do you see getting an agenda forward, should you become president?

A: Part of our job is to make it clear that our agenda is good for America. This isn’t a Republican agenda; it’s not a Democrat agenda; it’s an agenda that addresses the problems that we now face. This election and the fact that it is so close and drawn out [means we] require a group of citizens that rise above partisanship to do what’s right for the country, more so than ever in recent modern history. And I look forward to the challenge.

Source: Bush news conference Dec 4, 2000

Declares victory; names transition team

Secretary Cheney and I are honored and humbled to have won the state of Florida, which gives us the needed electoral votes to win the election. We will therefore undertake the responsibility of preparing to serve as America’s next president and vice president.

All of us in this election fought for our views. Now we must live up to our principles. We must show our commitment to the common good, which is bigger than any person or any party. We cannot change yesterday, but we share a responsibility for tomorrow.

Time runs short, and we have a lot of work to do. So tonight I’m naming Dick Cheney to chair our transition effort. I’ve asked him to work with President Clinton’s administration to open a transition office in Washington. And we look forward to a constructive working relationship throughout this transition.

The end of an election is the beginning of a new day. Together we can make this a positive day of hope and opportunity for all of us who are blessed to be Americans.

Source: Bush speech following Florida certification Nov 26, 2000

Election principles: be fair, accurate, & conclusive

Source: Statement by Gov. Bush on Florida recount Nov 15, 2000

Bush campaign opposes multiple recounts

The vote in Florida has been counted and then recounted. Governor Bush was the winner of the vote. He was also the winner of the recount. Based on these results, we urged the Gore campaign to accept the finality of the election, ubject only to the counting of the overseas absentee ballots in accordance with law. We will...vigorously oppose the Gore campaign’s efforts to keep recounting until it likes the result.
Source: Statement by Bush campaign official James A. Baker Nov 11, 2000

American elections are based on ‘one person, one vote’

Florida has established procedures to design, approve, publish and, protest ballots before the election. The ballot was designed by a Democratic elections supervisor. She approved it. The Democratic Party did not question it. The overwhelming majority of voters who used the ballot understood it and cast valid votes. Our lawyers have confirmed the legality of this ballot. The Gore campaign has also tried to make a lot of the fact that double marked ballots are not counted. A key principle in America is one person, one vote. If we have ballots with two votes, of course we cannot count them or guess about them. No jurisdiction in the United States would accept such a ballot as a valid vote. These ballots must be disregarded.
Source: Statement by Bush campaign official James A. Baker Nov 10, 2000

Gore should accept that the people elected Bush in Florida

The vote count from Tuesday’s election in Florida shows that Governor Bush and Secretary Cheney won the state of Florida, giving them enough electoral college votes to become the President-elect and Vice President-elect of the United States. We expect the automatic recount that is now underway in Florida will confirm these results. We also expect that once this recount is complete, the Vice President will respect the will of the people of Florida.
Source: Statement by Bush’s campaign manager, Karen Hughes Nov 8, 2000

End irresponsibility like ‘No controlling legal authority’

Q: What kind of character should a president have?

BUSH: I think the thing that discouraged me about the vice president was uttering those famous words, “no controlling legal authority.” I felt like that there needed to be a better sense of responsibility of what was going on in the White House.

It’s time for a fresh start after a season of cynicism. And so, I don’t know the man well, but I’ve been disappointed about how and his administration has conducted the fund-raising affairs. You know, going to a Buddhist temple and then claiming it wasn’t a fund-raiser is just not my view of responsibility. We need to say that each of us need to be responsible for what we do. And people in the highest office of the land must be responsible for decisions they make in life. That’s the way I’ve conducted myself as governor of Texas. And that’s the way I’ll conduct myself as president of the United States.

Source: Presidential debate, Boston MA Oct 3, 2000

Good advisers better than knowing everything

Bush has frequently curled his lip at the mention of Ivy League types who tote mental suitcases jammed with facts and figures, readily conceded his limited appetite for long policy briefings or memos, and deflected questions about gaps in his experience with a sunny pledge to assemble and rely on the keenest, most scrupulous advisers he can find.

He did it again on Friday. In response to a question from a Saudi Arabian journalist about international affairs, Bush did not claim to be well read on the subject or well along the road to erudition (although, in fact, he has slogged through thick tomes on Russia and the Balkans in recent months). Instead, Bush suggested that raw knowledge was overrated.

“I don’t think you can expect any president to know all things about all subjects,” he said, adding that one of the roles of a leader was “to surround himself with excellent folks” and “to be able to listen and to be able to delegate.”

Source: Frank Bruni, New York Times on 2000 election Jun 3, 2000

Most critical: trust his judgement; not the status quo

    What’s critical to my election is a lot of things:
  1. that people trust my judgment.
  2. that people hear the call for reform.
  3. that people know that I can renew what I call the spirit of America.
  4. that people are comfortable with the types of people that I’ll bring into my administration.
  5. whether people are happy or not with the status quo.
I readily concede that if people want four more years of Clinton-Gore, I’ve got a tough road. I do. I know what my position is. I’m the outsider, and I’m the challenger. I’m coming from outside Washington, and I’m the challenger candidate. People say, well, he doesn’t have enough experience. As if being the governor of the second biggest state and having served as a CEO in the private sector isn’t experience. It’s a Washington mentality. And I’m going to have to battle it. I’m fully aware of the odds I’m going to face.
Source: Press interview in Austin, TX Mar 15, 2000

Children looking at White House should feel proud

Everywhere I go in America -- everywhere I’ve gone on this fantastic journey so far -- people walk up to me with pictures of their children and say, ‘Governor, I want my child to look at the White House and to be proud of what he or she sees.’ I believe it’s important for Americans to have confidence in their leadership. I think it’s really important for moms and dads to be able to point to the White House and say, ‘That person has brought honor and dignity to the office.’
Source: NH TV ad, “Pictures” Nov 21, 1999

Pres. should uphold honor & dignity; act independently

Bush promises [in every speech] that if he is elected president, “I will not use my office as a mirror for public opinion.” He talks about replacing the ethic of “if it feels good, do it” with “the responsibility era.” Bush says that if elected, “I will swear to not only uphold the laws of the land, I will swear to uphold the honor and the dignity of the office to which I have been elected.” “Those are principles that were a part of my soul prior to running and are a part of my soul now,” Bush said.
Source: Frank Bruni, Nov 1, 1999

“Bully Pulpit” should spur societal change

Bush said he would use the White House as a bully pulpit to raise educational standards and spur innovation, cut taxes to ensure economic growth and “certainly hope” to reform Social Security and Medicare without cutting benefits.
Source: Dan Balz, The Washington Post on 2000 election Apr 25, 1999

Bush cultivates a religious language acceptable to most

“Demanding love” and “severe mercy” are the terms Bush used in his signature speech defining compassionate conservatism last July. It’s a strict theology expressed in the language of love, and it is Bush’s way of speaking to the political center. His facility with the idiom gave him a useful passport into the world of politically active evangelicals. At the same time, its emphasis on personal sincerity gave him a way to duck divisive issues. The aim is to be a Christian that anyone can relate to.
Source: Hanna Rosin, Washington Post on 2000 election Jul 24, 2000

Bush came through for Religious right in Texas

Chuck Anderson, executive director of Texas Christian Coalition, which represents about 200,000 people, said Mr. Bush delivered on the organization’s three most important concerns during the 1999 legislative session: a parental notification law for minors seeking abortions; passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; and tax cuts.
Source: Jim Yardley, NY Times on 2000 election Apr 16, 2000

Talk at Bob Jones was a missed opportunity to speak out

Q: Were you aware of the anti-Catholic reputation of Bob Jones University when you went to speak there? A: I followed a long tradition of both Republican and Democrat candidates that went there to lay out their vision. Ronald Reagan went to Bob Jones, my dad went to Bob Jones, a Democrat governor the week before. I talked about bringing people together so America can achieve its greatnessI regret I did not speak out against that school’s anti-Catholic bias. I missed an opportunity. I make no excuses.
Source: GOP debate in Los Angeles Mar 2, 2000

Regrets not criticizing Bob Jones U.’s racial divisiveness

A few weeks ago I visited Bob Jones University. Some have taken-and mistaken-this visit as a sign that I approve of the anti-Catholic and racially divisive views associated with that school. Such opinions are personally offensive to me, and I want to erase any doubts about my views and values. On reflection, I should have been more clear in disassociating myself from anti-Catholic sentiments and racial prejudice. It was a missed opportunity, causing needless offense, which I deeply regret.
Source: Letter to Cardinal O’Connor of New York Feb 25, 2000

Government should not block faith-based programs

It seemed to me that a government that truly wants to help people should welcome the active involvement of people of faith, not throw up roadblocks or stifle their efforts with bureaucratic red tape.. I assembled a task force to recommend ways that churches and synagogues and mosques and other faith-based or private institutions could work with government to help people in need without violating the important principle of separation of church and state, compromising the religious nature of their mission, or being shackled by government intrusion. I believe in the power of faith to change lives.
Source: “A Charge to Keep”, p.213-215 Dec 9, 1999

A fan of Bork despite not slouching toward Gomorrah

“Too often,” Gov. Bush declared on Oct. 5, “on social issues, my party has painted an image of America slouching toward Gomorrah.” Judge Robert H. Bork’s book, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, depicts a “corrupted” America resmbling the biblical city of sin. Bork is the right’s hero-martyr who [in 1987] was kept from a Supreme Court seat that would have led to overturning Roe v. Wade. Bush has written a “private” letter of apology to Bork, which he said describes himself as “a fan” of the judge.
Source: Robert Novack, Creators Syndicate Oct 14, 1999

No Gomorrah in America; no disdain of government

Too often, my party has focused on the national economy, to the exclusion of all else, speaking a sterile language of rates and numbers, CBO and GNP. Too often, on social issues, my party has painted an image of America slouching toward Gomorrah. Too often, my party has confused the need for limited government with disdain for government itself.
Source: New York Times, p. A14, on 2000 election Oct 6, 1999

Church-based charity assures nobody is left behind

“I want the American dream to touch every willing heart,” Bush declared to a mostly black congregation at a Baptist church. “As we head into the 21st century, we don’t want anybody to be left out, and nobody should be left behind. It’s a huge challenge to this country’s good heart.”

“The great promise of America exists in churches like this,” Bush said. “Government can hand out money. But what it cannot do is put hope in our hearts and a sense of purpose in our lives.”

Source: New York Times, p. A18, on 2000 election Oct 5, 1999

A “call to conscience” for personal responsibility

Bush issued today what he said was ‘a call to conscience.’ [Bush seeks to] “usher in an era of personal responsibility, an era in which every person understands that they are responsible for the decisions they make in life,” Bush said. “Today Americans are rich in possessions. We also must be rich in our ideals,” he said. “There must be a purpose to our prosperity.” Bush added that Americans are relearning that public interest depends on pride and that standards and commitments produce integrity.
Source: Katherine Vogt, Associated Press Sep 6, 1999

Charitable Choice has churches mentoring weflare clients

“Charitable Choice” applies when states enter contracts with faith-based organizations to deliver services to persons receiving federal welfare benefits. Under Bush, Texas leads the nation in aggressively implementing Charitable Choice. Last year, the Dept. of Human Services and Lutheran Social Services of the South, one the nation’s larger faith-based social service organizations, announced a partnership to recruit volunteers from area Lutheran churches to serve as mentors to former welfare clients.
Source: “Faith in Action” Jun 12, 1999

Support faith which nurtures our values

When people turned away from God [we] lost touch with the bedrock values of our faith -- not the values of one denomination or religion over another, but values which have stood the test of time. I am not suggesting that the state begin delving into the affairs of the church. I am suggesting that we recognize and nurture institutions that traditionally -- and more effectively -- have provided help to the poor and needy, and have nurtured our values: charities, churches, synagogues and neighborhoods.
Source: “Renewal of Spirit” Conf.,Schreiner College Apr 10, 1996

Only faith and God can overcome social ills

To fundamentally change our culture we need a spiritual renewal. Government can hand out money,but it cannot put hope in our hearts or a sense of purpose in our lives..Only faith can do that. In the final analysis, there is no overcoming anything without faith-be it drugs or alcohol or poverty.. We must turn back to God and look to Him for help. Our country was founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic. The central nature of our faith was summed up simply and eloquently in four words: one nation, under God.
Source: “Renewal of Spirit” Conf.,Schreiner College Apr 10, 1996

Other candidates on Principles & Values: George W. Bush on other issues:
Former Presidents/Veeps:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
V.P.Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Religious Leaders:
New Testament
Old Testament
Pope Francis

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Joe Scarborough
Gov.Jesse Ventura
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
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