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Bush: 'I am not going to come in second'  

2012-06-27 21:10:01|  分类: English |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Bush: 'I am not going to come in second'

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-08-26-bush-interview_x.htm
By Judy Keen and Richard Benedetto, USA TODAY
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — As President Bush prepares for the Republican convention in New York next week, he says losing the election has never crossed his mind and the Iraq war was worth putting his political future at risk.

Bush: I am not going to come in second - harmonystrategy - 做人要实际
Bush: I am not going to come in second - harmonystrategy - 做人要实际 Bush: I am not going to come in second - harmonystrategy - 做人要实际 In an interview with USA TODAY, President Bush said he believes voters won't deny him a second term even if they disagree with the war. Bush: I am not going to come in second - harmonystrategy - 做人要实际
Luke Frazza, AFP

In a 30-minute interview with USA TODAY on Thursday as he flew from his Texas ranch to a campaign rally in Las Cruces, N.M., Bush was expansive and upbeat. He said he will describe his vision for a second term in his convention speech Thursday. The convention will contrast his record and agenda with Sen. John Kerry's without trying to "bludgeon" his Democratic opponent, he said.

"The real question is who's got a vision of peace and of freedom and liberty — liberty abroad and liberty at home, liberty at home being having the tools necessary to cope with a changing world. And that's really the question," he said.

Bush said he believes voters won't deny him a second term even if they disagree with the war.

"They've seen me make decisions, they've seen me under trying times, they've seen me weep, they've seen me laugh, they've seen me hug," he said. "And they know who I am, and I believe they're comfortable with the fact that they know I'm not going to shift principles or shift positions based upon polls and focus groups."

Bush defended Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose resignation Kerry has called for in the wake of two reports this week criticizing top military commanders for abuse of prisoners in Iraq. Bush said he has discussed his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage with gay friends and said he is reviewing tapes of Kerry's past debate performances to prepare for debates this fall.

Bush sat on a gray leather seat in his office cabin of Air Force One. A flat-screen TV on the wall was dark. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani was traveling with him in the adjacent staff cabin. Bush grinned often and gestured widely, leaning forward occasionally to reinforce a point.

He had just concluded a week at his ranch, where he said he worked on his convention speech, read a biography of aviator Charles Lindbergh and, "oh yeah, got out, did a little underbrush thinning, quite a bit of fishing."

Bush was most animated when he was asked about how he would react to losing his last campaign. He was asked if he and his wife, Laura, hadn't said that they would be fine if Kerry wins. Bush interrupted sharply. "I have never said that," he insisted. In a June interview, however, Laura Bush said she has "of course" considered the possibility that there might not be a second term. "No matter what happens in the election," she said, "we'll be OK."

"I have not said that," Bush repeated, "because I am not going to come in second. We'll prevail. I don't think that way. I believe we're going to win."

Bush: I am not going to come in second - harmonystrategy - 做人要实际  'There's more work to be done' Bush: I am not going to come in second - harmonystrategy - 做人要实际 Bush: I am not going to come in second - harmonystrategy - 做人要实际
Excerpts from USA TODAY'S interview with President Bush on Thursday. Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity:
Q: What do you want the American people to take away from the convention?

A: I want them to remember we have done a lot, we've accomplished a lot. We put together a coalition, and we're battling al-Qaeda. We cut taxes to help with the recession, to recover from a recession. We passed the Medicare law, the No Child Left Behind Act, trade promotion authority. You only say you've accomplished a lot to lend credibility to the fact that you're going to accomplish more. I will remind them there's more work to be done to defeat terror, to secure the homeland and to spread freedom. I will also remind them there's more to be done to make sure that government helps citizens to be able to adjust and cope with a changing world.

Q: Should we expect you to describe new domestic policies?

A: Yes, there will be some initiatives outlined.

Q: Are you willing to share some of them?

A: No.

Q: What do you worry about when you think about a possible Kerry presidency?

A: First of all, I don't believe there's going to be a Kerry presidency. My job is to explain as clearly as I possibly can why I believe I deserve four more years and why a Bush presidency will make the world and the country a better place. And the voters need to listen to what I say and listen to what the senator says and make a choice about who has got the judgment, the experience and the vision to lead us forward.

Q: What has been the biggest disappointment of your time in the White House?

A: I think the most disappointing thing has been that Washington is a harsh environment. It's very political, and it is very much dominated by special interests, much more so than I envisioned when I went to Washington. I pledged to work to change the tone in Washington, and I'll continue to pledge to work to change the tone in Washington. You know, when I think back on it, though, we've accomplished a lot even in a divided city.

Bush: I am not going to come in second - harmonystrategy - 做人要实际
Bush: I am not going to come in second - harmonystrategy - 做人要实际

Why run again?

A new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll found a reason for Bush to be confident. It showed him leading Kerry 50%-47% among likely voters. It also showed Kerry losing gains he made after the Democratic convention on leadership qualities and national security.

Asked if his passion for this campaign matches the way he approached the hard-fought 2000 campaign, Bush said, "Absolutely."

Given the accusations, mostly from Democrats, that he needlessly put Americans' lives at risk in Iraq, and given the polarized state of politics, why put up with it all?

"That is a legitimate question," he said. "There's a lot of my friends who come and bass-fish with me. They don't say it out loud, I know they're thinking it: 'Why?' And the answer is because the stakes are high. Because there is more work to be done to make the world a freer and more peaceful place. It is essential that America lead in the 21st century in order to defeat the ideologues who use terror as a weapon, in order to secure the homeland, but also in order to spread liberty."

"I know what needs to be done, I see clearly where we need to go, and I want to spend four years leading toward that goal. And I believe the American people will give me that opportunity," he said.

The most disappointing thing about his first four years in office has been his inability to change the "harsh environment" in Washington, Bush said. Asked if his style and his policies, particularly the war with Iraq, contributed to the divisive atmosphere, Bush said, "Let's speak about war in Iraq. No question that it's a hard issue, because war is ugly. War is the most difficult decision a president can make, and I understand why people are upset about the decision to go to war.

"I believe the decision to go to war was the right decision, particularly after September the 11th. And in this great country people are entitled to express their concerns, and I fully understand that."

Voters and Iraq

The 1,000th U.S. fatality in Iraq will occur soon, and he hesitated before answering a question about how that toll will affect the campaign. "The president has to make hard decisions," he said. "My job is to confront problems, not pass them on. And the American people have seen me make the hardest of decisions. That's just going to have to be a part of their decision-making process."

He paused again. "We all mourn the deaths," he said. "I believe these are historic times. I believe the world as we know it will change with the march of liberty. We have seen these kind of times in the past. We have seen a former enemy of America, Japan, become an ally in peace. ... I believe we're seeing the same type of moment in history."

Bush said his convention speech will include some new proposals, but he wouldn't preview them.

"The speech will focus on moving forward, what needs to be done in order for America to be a hopeful place, what needs to be done to spread the peace," he said. "That's what I think a convention speech ought to be: vision and how to achieve the vision, and that's what the people will hear."

Unlike last month's Democratic convention in Boston, Bush said, the GOP convention will include criticism of his opponent. "Of course there will be some, you know, contrasts, but it will be done in a way that makes the point as opposed to a way that tries to bludgeon my opponent," he said.

In the interview, Bush declined every opening to take shots at Kerry. He deflected a question about what he would most worry about in a Kerry presidency with a quick retort: "I don't believe there's going to be a Kerry presidency."

Kerry will be criticized

But his political advisers say sharp contrasts with Kerry will be drawn in New York, and at campaign rallies in New Mexico on Thursday, Bush criticized his rival. "We have a difference of opinion on the enemy. It seems my opponent said that going to war with the terrorists is actually improving their recruitment efforts. That logic is upside-down," he said.

Bush was eager to talk about TV ads sponsored by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an independent group with links to his campaign, that say Kerry doesn't deserve the decorations he won in Vietnam. Bush lumped them together with Democratic groups' ads calling Bush a liar. All those supposedly independent ads should be illegal, he said. In fact, he said, he and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, a Kerry friend who is popular among independent voters, are talking about taking legal action to force the Federal Election Commission to ban the groups' activities.

Still, he said, the campaign "really doesn't seem that ugly to me."

Although his aides complain about Democratic criticism, Bush said he pays no attention to attacks and doesn't take them personally.

"It may come as a shock to you, but I don't spend a lot of time agonizing over what others say about me. I've been through politics before. I've been through a national campaign before. I've run for governor in a very tough state. I'm used to politics and I just simply do not take it personally."

Bush's first campaign for governor of Texas, in 1994 against incumbent Ann Richards, was bitter and contentious. She referred to him as "shrub."

One reason he doesn't take biting campaign rhetoric to heart, Bush said, is that he barely knows Kerry, even though they were students at Yale University at the same time. "I really don't know him hardly at all. He was two years ahead of me in college, and I frankly don't remember having any conversations," Bush said.

"The only time I can really remember shaking his hand was after one of my speeches" to a joint session of Congress, Bush said.

Kerry recalls things differently. Kerry spokesman David Wade said the two met at Yale. They also met in New Hampshire during the 2000 primary-election campaign, Wade said, when they were speaking in the same town. "They had a friendly conversation," he said. And, in 2001, they met at a bill-signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. Kerry has a photo of that encounter.

Bush also said:

? He stands by Rumsfeld despite the two reports released this week criticizing the Pentagon's management of Iraqi prisons. "Secretary Rumsfeld has done a really good job. I'm proud of his service for the country. He has been a valuable member of my national security team and I'm proud to have him by my side," Bush said.

"In terms of the reports ... we need to look very carefully at the recommendations and implement them, which the secretary is more than willing to do."

? He's studying "the style and substance" Kerry demonstrated in previous debates. "He is an excellent debater. He obviously knows his subject matters," he said. Bush has not yet agreed to the three presidential debates that have been proposed. On Thursday, Kerry suggested weekly debates.

? Vice President Cheney's comment this week that he believes states should be allowed to decide whether to recognize same-sex marriages hasn't damaged their relationship. Cheney, whose daughter Mary is gay, does not support Bush's push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Bush said he has not discussed the amendment with Mary Cheney, but "of course I've heard from people that are my friends who are gay. ... I will encourage a debate in a way that doesn't divide people into camps and doesn't disparage anybody."

Bush said he believes his accomplishments — including tax cuts, the No Child Left Behind education law, the prescription drug benefit added to Medicare, the war on terrorism and even the war with Iraq — should convince voters that he deserves four more years.

"The decisions we have made and the sacrifices Americans have made will make the world a more peaceful place," he said. "Peace is something I long for, peace is something every mom and dad in America want for their children. ... We've accomplished a lot but there is more to do."

Contributing: Jill Lawrence and Martin Kasindorf

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