"Today, because America and our coalition helped to end the violent regime of Saddam Hussein, and because we're helping to raise a peaceful democracy in its place, the American people are safer. (Applause.)" Remarks by the President on the War on Terror, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The speech. Analysis.
"We're still not safe," said Bush, who was spending the weekend at his family's oceanfront compound in Maine to attend the wedding of his nephew, George P. Bush, the son of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Wait a sec... I thought only Democrats had ritzy oceanfront family compounds.
I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign-policy matters with war on my mind. Again, I wish it wasn't true, but it is true." President Bush, “Meet The Press With Tim Russert” The Oval Office, February 7, 2004
Bush: 'I Want to Be the Peace President'
Tue Jul 20, 4:37 PM ET - CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Reuters) - After launching two wars, President Bush said on Tuesday, "I want to be the peace president," and took swipes at his Democratic rivals for being lawyers and weak on defense.
With polls showing public support for the war in Iraq in decline, the Republican president cast himself as a reluctant warrior as he campaigned in the battleground state of Iowa against Democrat John Kerry and his running mate, former trial lawyer [and current Senator? Former Presidential rival? Damn liberal media...] John Edwards. Bush lost the state in 2000 by only a few thousand votes.
"The enemy declared war on us," he told a re-election rally. "Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president."
Now, in fairness to Bush, he did "reluctantly" claim the mantle of 'War President' both times. Even when bragging about it on MTP, he "wishes it wasn't true." Of course we all know he thanks Karl Rove for the War strategy every night, and this is all they have to run on. But alternately trumpeting yourself as the 'War' or 'Peace' President based on polls or the news from Iraq is a pretty dubious. And then, in the same speech, he goes back to this well again...
Despite a surge in attacks in Iraq and U.S. warnings that al Qaeda is plotting another major strike, Bush said U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had already made America safer, and that his re-election would let him finish the job.
"For a while we were marching to war. Now we're marching to peace. ... America is a safer place. Four more years and America will be safe and the world will be more peaceful," Bush said.
Well, give it a couple weeks, because we're not safe anymore, and he's the "War President" again.