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Neil Cavuto Interviews George Bush. Hail to the Chief and Never Mind the Lies

Reported by Melanie - June 8, 2005

In case you hadn't heard, George Bush granted an "exclusive" interview today to Fox's Neil Cavuto, host of Your World w/Neil Cavuto. When Fox played Hail to the Chief (think about that for a second) at the beginning of the show (and later, after a commercial break), I knew, well, I knew the interview was going to be just that, a hail to the chief.

Cavuto opened by asking Bush what he thought about John Kerry releasing a transcript of his Yale grades, and about the fact that Bush actually got better grades there. Bush giggled and said he likes to lower expectations, but that his "view is that the campaign's over."

Cavuto moved on to the arrest of the California father and son who are suspected of Al Qaeda ties. Bush said "our FBI and Homeland Security people are working hand and glove to protect America on a daily basis." (Comment: Yesterday a panel organized by some 9/11 Commission members heard testimony which directly contradicts that statement. Too bad Cavuto doesn't spend more time in a newsroom. Intelligence Changes Thwarted by Confusion, Experts Say.) Bush went on to say that we need to "bust up" the terror networks and continue the "spread of freedom" in order to keep America safe. He said "we're doing a better job of sharing intelligence now between the CIA and the FBI as a result of the Patriot Act." Again, that was contradicted yesterday.

Bush said we have a "lotta really good people" spending "a lotta time on potential terror cells," and that we'll "follow up" any wrongdoing, while "by the way, honoring the civil liberties of those to whom we follow-up. In other words, we're just not gonna pick up the telephone and listen to somebody without a court order." (Comment: Oh yeah? America for Sale.) To that Cavuto dutifully replied: "I understand sir."

Next Cavuto wondered what Bush thought of President Carter's call to close the prisons at Guantanamo Bay. Bush said, "Well, I first of all want to assure the American people that these prisoners are being treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions." (Comment: An out-and-out lie: Cleared Guantanamo Detainees Still in Jail.) Bush said, "Any time there's an allegation of abuse, we investigate. That's what transparent societies do. We've got a press corps that's constantly asking tough questions about prisoner treatment, for example...and that's what open societies do." (Comment: Hey Bush, can we talk? I have a few things to say about whether or not the press corp asks "tough questions.") Bush said we "don't want to let somebody out that comes back and harms us," and that "we treat these prisoners in accordance with international standards."

Cavuto next turned to the economy, saying "we're still doing very, very well," (According to who? GM to Layoff 25,000, Close Plants. United Gets OK To Ditch Pensions. No Healthcare for You! Companies are Slashing Retiree Medical Benefits. Here's What you can do About it.) but did Bush think he was getting a "bum rap" in the media about it. (Comment: Do a Google search. The economy isn't "doing very, very well." White House Predicts Slower Growth, and Higher Inflation.) Bush said there are some "troubling signs in the economy," and those "troubling signs" are that his energy bill hasn't yet passed Congress. He said he came up "with a strategy" for dealing with our energy dependence but it's been "stuck" in Congress for four years, and "in a certain body in Congress a minority can block anything." He said his energy bill "will put America on the course of using technology to diversity [sic] away from the hydrocarbon world in which we live." (Comment: I am not very informed about the "energy bill," but I do remember the l970's when my parents installed solar panels on their house and there was a lot of talk about conservation. I don't know why Congress has to pass Bush's "pro-energy-industry bill" in order for that conversation to begin again.)

Bush said we are working on "soy-diesel," and "bio-diesel" fuels and that we "need to have more clean nuclear power" (Comment: What do we do with the waste George?) and that we need "clean coal technology to continue to be developed." (Comment: Hmmm. Bush's EPA recently weakened the standards for mercury emissions from coal-fired plants. Mercury is Rising. Today, the New York Times reported that a Bush Aide Softened Greenhouse Gas Links to Global Warming.
Too bad Cavuto didn't ask about that.)

Cavuto next moved to Social Security and he asked Bush why it doesn't "seem to be getting any traction." Bush said Congress thinks "it may be a tough vote," but that it's a "huge problem," and it's a "system literally headed to bankruptcy." (Comment: Apparently Cavuto hasn't brushed up on the facts because he didn't challenge this assertion, which is a lie.) Cavuto wondered whether the public is "distracted" by things like the Michael Jackson trial. Bush said he didn't know but that his "job is to lead," and that he doesn't worry about the "second guessing, and focus groups." (Comment: I don't believe that for one second.) He said that if he didn't take on the problem of Social Security he couldn't "live with myself." He said, "It takes work." Back to the Jackson trial again, Cavuto said it has "gripped the nation for the past four and a half, five months," and "do you think the focus on Michael Jackson has hurt you?" (Comment: I say it's our useless media that's been "gripped" by the Michael Jackson trial, not us.)

Bush said he had no idea but he knows what his job is. Social Security is "a serious problem," and "those of us" who've been elected "have a duty to solve problems." Cavuto wondered whether it would cost "your party" next year, and Bush said, "It'll cost our party if we don't deal with Social Security."

On to China. Bush said we have a "complex relationship" with but "so far" he trusts them. He said we would defend Taiwan if China attacked it.

Cavuto asked if the US is considering asking the UN for sanctions against North Korea and Bush said, "That's an option down the road." He said, "its on the table."

Asked whether or not he thinks there's a "real estate bubble," Bush said he didn't know but that there are "more minorities owning homes than ever before," and that Alan Greenspan, someone Cavuto calls Darth Vader, has done a "heck of a good job." Bush said home ownership is a "really important part of America." He said, "We encourage ownership" because an "ownership society is an optimistic society." He said when somebody owns their own house it "provides security of a home, it's an asset that they can call their own." Bush said health savings accounts are "something you can carry with you," and when you have a "personal savings account" as part of a "retirement system, it's your assets," and "we want more people owning something."

Finally, Cavuto asked Bush whether Laura Bush would consider running for president. Bush said, "She's not gonna run for president."

Comment: (l) The word "Iraq" was never mentioned. (2) Does Cavuto seriously mean to say that the Michael Jackson trial has diverted our attention away from Bush, and that's why his poll numbers are so low and why most people oppose his Social Security "plan"? I think so. Too bad Cavuto isn't a part of that "tough" press corps Bush fantasized about.

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