Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

O'Reilly-Bush Interview - Part III

Reported by Marie Therese - September 30, 2004 -

Here's the final installment of the three-part interview between Bill O'Reilly and President George W. Bush, originally taped September 22, 2004. After reading it, you can grade the President's performance (and O'Reilly's) at BillOReilly.com.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST:  One of the big propaganda things against you is the classroom in Florida after 9/11 when Andrew Card came in and whispered in your ear.  

BUSH: Yeah.

O'Reilly: Let's clear this up once and for all. What were you thinking?

BUSH: I was thinking America was under attack, I was collecting my thoughts, and I wasn't about to panic a bunch of kids. And the program was winding down, I waited for the end of the program, I excused myself and I went to action. And what the American people will judge me on is whether or not I handled that crisis, in a way that lets them know that, that I'll lead in this war on terror, that's what they need to look at, and I think they are looking at it that way.

O'Reilly: We've got about four minutes to go, and I've got two more questions. We talked about this last time, I don't know whether you remember, but the last time we talked, I asked you what you thought Jesus would think about capital punishment.

BUSH: I remember.  

O'Reilly: That was one of the discussions that we had. 

BUSH: Yeah.  

O'Reilly: This time I want to ask you, why do you think some people get upset when you mention your faith vis-ŕ-vis your job?  

BUSH: I really mention my faith vis-ŕ-vis my life, and I don't know. -- I don't know why people get upset with that. People, -- I'm asked a question, -- what does faith mean to me, it means strength and calm in the face of the storm. I mean, I do rely on prayer, and I am empowered by the fact, I'm empowered by the fact that people pray for me. -- I'm sustained by that, not empowered --  I'm sustained by that, is a better word. I don't know why people object to somebody who is, -- when asked --  says religion's important.  

O'Reilly: Is it important in your decision-making?  

BUSH: It's an important part of my life. I don't see how you can divorce religion and how you live your life. I mean -- I, they're -- if faith is an important part of your life it's ingrained in your soul, and ingrained in your being. And I make decisions based upon what's best for this country. And I pray for wisdom, I pray for strength, I pray for others who are in harm's way. I pray for the soldiers, I pray for their families. And I make decisions -- I make decisions about earthly matters, I make decisions about how to get out of recession, or how to improve education, or how to spread the peace-- and that's what I believe we're doing is spreading the peace.  

O'Reilly: OK. What don't Americans know about you? You've been written about, debated, you're in the news every day, what don't we know about you?

BUSH: That's a tough question to answer, because I'm not exactly sure…  

O'Reilly: What do you want…  

BUSH: If Americans…  

O'Reilly: What do you want…  

BUSH: Really think about me.  

O'Reilly: Oh, they do.  

BUSH: No, I know they're thinking about me…  

O'Reilly: Yeah.  

BUSH: I'm just trying to get a sense for-- well I hope they know I've got a great sense of humor and laugh-- I hope they know that I'm totally dedicated to my family, that I love my wife and my daughters are just -- mean more to me than anything. I hope they know that I weep when they weep, and I laugh when they laugh, that I take great joy in, you know…  

O'Reilly: You love the job?  

BUSH: I do, I really enjoy it a lot.  

O'Reilly: Because when you were first running, you weren't -- didn't  know -- whether you were going to love it.  

BUSH: Well you didn't know, you don't know till you've had it, and I do love the job, I love it enough to ask for four more years. Now, this has been a tough three and a half years. And it's --  I believe because we've done hard work in these three and a half years -- this world is getting better. In my convention speech, I said, we climbed a mountain and now we see the valley below. I really believe that. I believe that peace is coming, and I believe that we're more free. I believe we've done our duty to our  children and our grandchildren to fight these ideologues of hate and to spread freedom and peace at the same time. I believe what these kids are seeing on their TV screens now in Iraq and Afghanistan will make their life better when Iraq becomes free. And it's becoming free.  

O'Reilly: So you are indeed a true believer.  

BUSH: I'm a believer. I'm a believer in the power of liberty to transform societies, and I believe we have a duty, I believe we have a duty to spread liberty so that our children and grandchildren can grow up in peace.  

O'Reilly: Mr. President, thanks very much, we really appreciate you talking to us.  

BUSH: Thank you sir.