Did I hear this wrong? If I heard right, at one point Bush says that he looks forward to the election because it will give him the chance to show the American people that he has a (secret? at least currently undefined…) plan to win the War on Terror.
UPDATE1: Here's the text of this part from the AP transcript: “I don't intend to lose my job. Because I'm going to tell the American people I have a plan to win the war on terror.”
Then a few minutes later, Bush notes that people sometimes ask if you can win the War on Terror, and says that of course it's not a war that has an end.
The two statements are of course completely consistent, but it's rare to have a politician speak so frankly about his plan to lie to the public.
I must have heard it wrong. Maybe the second one was that you can win? (Although in fact it is very very hard to win a 'war' against an 'ism'. It can be done — see e.g. 'Communism' — but it takes generations.)
Update2 I heard it wrong, although in context I also heard it right: “We are in a long war. The war on terror is not going to end immediately. This is a war against people who have no guilt in killing innocent people. That's what they're willing to do. They kill on a moment's notice, because they're trying to shake our will, they're trying to create fear, they're trying to affect people's behaviors. And we're simply not going to let them do that.
“And my fear, of course, is that this will go on for a while, and therefore, it's incumbent upon us to learn from lessons or mistakes, and leave behind a better foundation for presidents to deal with the threats we face. This is the war that other presidents will be facing as we head into the 21st century.
“One of the interesting things people ask me, now that we're asking questions, is, can you ever win the war on terror? Of course you can.”
So, the War on Terror will go on through multiple presidencies, but has an end somewhere.
One thing I know I heard right — no apologies, no suggestions that any mistakes were made. Colors nailed to mast.
To be updated as necessary once the transcript is fully online.
I think he also referred to Rumsfeld as the Secretary of State… And what about that “North Korea leader?”
My favorite line was “a free Iraq is going to be a major blow to terrorism.” If that’s true, it’s only to the extent that a free Iraq might be a blow to the previously non-existent terrorism which grew out of our occupation there (e.g. from Ansar al-Islam). If Bush reduces the deficit by $100 B next year, it’s like boasting “I reduced the deficit by $100 B!” Addressing a problem you created yourself is not what normal people call progress.