George Bush 9/11 Speech Analysis
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Remarks by President George W. Bush on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11
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They're making choices. I also want to push back a little bit on blaming the political nature of this on Kamala Harris. She does not deserve that. She was talking about vaccines. SIMPSON: And since that time, your party continues to push the fact that folks should not be wearing masks, that folks should be pushing back against this. So, the politicization of this is way more in the Republican camp than it could ever be from one comment that Kamala Harris made last year. On the other hand, the Supreme Court has upheld vaccine mandates in the past.
That is going to be upheld, no question legally. The precedent going back more than a hundred years. The question is whether OSHA has the authority to do this under their emergency powers. That is much different. Now, there's a whole legal weirdness to this where it's going to skip a district court that we're used to going to. It's going to go straight to the circuits. I think this will look a lot like Obamacare in terms of what it's going to do on the Republican side. Everyone is going to be able to move behind this not on the substance. People are going to be for vaccines, for vaccine mandates even if a company does it themselves, but they're going to be against OSHA doing it, the Biden administration doing it.
I think something the Biden administration politically did here incorrectly was wait. I think there's a lot of why didn't this happen three months ago if it was so important? Either you didn't think you had the legal authority or you didn't think it actually was an emergency. They simply tried to persuade. And the numbers change when 98 percent of the people in ICUs are unvaccinated, when people who are having heart attacks are dying because they can't get treated, they say, we have to move.
Companies were making decisions as well. If we look at the history of this country, it was corporate America that forced America to do the civil rights movement because, you know why? Because government was moving too slow. And so, there are too many people in this country who are stuck on stupid, who don't want to own up to what's going on right now, and when you have plus people -- thousands of people who have died, 41 million who have gotten COVID and we're having problems in children now dying, somebody has to lead.
Now, Republican governors want to stand out there and say this is wrong. Fine, DeSantis, you've got to run for re-election. Governor Greg Abbott, in my home state, who is embarrassing us with his decisions, he has to run for re-election. Let's then see what happens whether these people stay in. But if we keep seeing folks die, I dare say, leaders lead, and the rest of the folks who want to fight this, they can just simply fight it if they want to in the courts, but too many people are dying in America.
Murthy was lamenting, turning on each other over the vaccines. I had a -- I had a -- I had a -- the head of the Black Morticians ph on my show, funeral home directors have died from this. Pastors are dying. This is real, and at some point, leaders need to stand up and say, enough is enough. Congress changes the low, Roland. I understand that everybody wants -- and we had this conversation last week on a different topic. The law is the law and OSHA He affirmatively said, I don't have the legal authority to do mandates. Now he's changed his mind. He was trying to resist it as long as he possibly could. What he also said in an answer, I don't have the legal authority to do this. But acting lawlessly and unconstitutionally, that's a risk in and of itself to undermine the rule of law.
Like, you all allowed Donald Trump to get away with literal murder. He stretched the bounds of the law constantly CHRISTIE: Look, Yvette, you don't mind about the rule of law being violated now, but when the rule of law is violated for something that you -- for something -- for something that you Can they reach a deal? What are the consequences if they don't? That's next. Do you acknowledge that the public now has some doubts about the president's handling of the virus? I'll also note that, in all of these polls, support for the president's handling of coronavirus continues to be the majority of the American public.
How deep is the hole and what does it mean for his packed fall agenda? After holding steady for the first six months of his presidency, Joe Biden's approval rating has fallen quickly. The questions are, why the drop now, and will it bounce back? One obvious cause could be the U. Biden's approval rating was 50 percent in the FiveThirtyEight average on August 15th, the day that the Taliban reached Kabul. It has since fallen by around five points to 45 percent. But Americans usually have a limited attention span for foreign policy, and most voters did think the decision to withdraw was the right one, even though they didn't like the execution.
So Biden's numbers could bounce back once the news cycle moves on. But it's possible the reason is something else, the delta variant. If you look closely, Biden's numbers had already begun to decline in July as the number of U. COVID cases increased sixfold over the course of the month. If Biden's approval rating is tied to COVID, well, it's tough to predict the next turn in the pandemic, although the models tracked by the CDC do think the current wave is near its peak. But keep in mind, this is all pretty normal once a president exits from his honeymoon period. From Truman through Trump, the median president lost five points off their approval rating in the first year in office, and then another seven points in the second year.
To be honest, I could really go either way with this one. Schumer says it's "full speed ahead" in the Senate. It can't pass the Senate without your vote. So where do things stand right now? No one is talking about inflation or debt, and we should have that as part of the discussion, and then the geopolitical, what's going on around the world and what type of challenges we may face. So the unknown is there, and we don't know what that's going to -- going to partake. What we do know is that, basically, the need for this, the emergency to do something in the next week is not there. There's no one going to be left behind for the rest of this year and most of next year. Is that what you're talking about, with the president's The one we have in front of us right now that's already passed in a bipartisan way with 19 Republicans, George, is the hardcore infrastructure, the roads, the bridges, Internet, water, sewer, all the things that have been neglected for the last 30 years.
He went out and sold this thing. We all got behind him. We had a bipartisan deal. And I think it's the greatest thing that we could do. That's the one that has the urgent -- and emergency that we have. Let's get that one done. It's sitting over in the House right now. And, next of all, it's only run out for 10 years, OK? So if -- some of the things we know will never go off. So don't you be -- you should be more accurate what the real number is going to be. I'm just saying right now, George, we're at No one's even talking.
People are talking to me in West Virginia about the price of gas, the price of everything they buy, including their groceries, how it's affecting them. So I think we need to see what we're doing right now and the effects we're having. No one is saying they're losing their benefits, because they're going to extend up through next year. Why are we rushing for this one week? Why do we have to have everything done in one week? I have never seen us, in the legislation -- I never thought the purposes of our -- the progress that we make in legislation was basically hold one hostage over the other.
You have a bipartisan bill in the most toxic atmosphere that we have ever had politically. The president has pushed on this. And he says, we're going to do this bipartisan. It's in the House right now. We could pass that one, and we can still go on to reconciliation. We can debate it. We can discuss it. We can have hearings on it, make sure, whatever we do, we do it and do it right and don't put more out there that's not needed, or basically put ourselves further in debt. We can have those discussions. But why would you hold something that's as needed as this, as far as the hard infrastructure, that's been basically neglected for 30 years, and just sit back and say, well, we can't do that? If you don't need bridges fixed or roads fixed in your state, I do in West Virginia.
I need Internet in West Virginia. I got water and sewage problems. I have got all the problems that we have addressed in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. And that's the one that has the emergency. How long should the pause last? And what's the most you would accept in a final reconciliation bill? Shouldn't we -- first of all, the reason we're on reconciliation -- and I voted to go on reconciliation because I believed that the tax codes were weighted to the high-end wealthy.
I believe it was weighted unfairly about the working people. And I thought we needed to make some adjustments. But I'm not going to make adjustments on how much I want to spend. I'm going to make the tax adjustments on what I think keeps us competitive, looking at the global rates, looking at things that we're doing, making sure the wealthy are paying, making sure all corporations are paying something to have the privilege of doing business in America.
I think all that needs to be done. And we ought to see what kind of money that spins off and then basically match that up with the highest priorities and needs we have. That's all I have asked for. And we haven't had that -- we haven't had an honest debate. And I think we can do other things with that. So I held my ground and we did not go back to D. So instead we landed at Barksdale Air Force Base. We took all of the stragglers off and the visitors, the members of Congress and the staffers that were not critical.
There was a debate about taking press. We just decided to take one representative of the print, television, radio and photographer. But we did not take a bigger press crew with us. And it was during that trip where we had the most substantive conversations, of which you were part of many of them, about what to anticipate and what to do. And with regard to communications on Air Force One, the Communications on Air Force One was pretty good, but it was not up to the expectations that we had, nor was it up to the needs that we had at the time. So there was some frustration and that's one reason we were looking to go to Offutt where we would know that we would have really, really good communications back to Washington, D. But Air Force One was certainly not very good.
I don't think that it compromised our ability to help the president meet his responsibilities. But we did make it very difficult for other people on Air Force One to talk back to people in Washington, D. You remember how he shut off the basically didn't let anyone call Air Force One. I think you were allowed to call and you did. And I know you talked with George Tenet and others, but we tried to keep the communications really down on Air Force One to make sure that the president could have ample bandwidth, if you will, in his communications with that he needed to do.
It was on that flight from Barksdale to Offutt that the president asked to see me and you were in the room. Do you remember what that conversation was like? The president was really eager to find out who did this. We all suspected and I think he was looking for confirmation. And I remember him being pretty frank with you: 'Who did this? What are they saying? But you were confirming our, at least my, expectations. And I think the president's expectations. And I think you were helping him really wrestle with the unique challenge of having a non-state actor involved in creating a climate for a war when all of our rules are about state actors.
And so this was a very different kind of a challenge for a president. In fact, comparing it to December 7th, That was a state actor. That was an act of war. This was an act of war by non-state actors, a terrorist group empowered by state actors who gave them permission to plan and execute and contrive. And I also think the president was wrestling with that, and you kind of helped him understand the nature of the challenge. And you were there, too. I don't know if you remember that, but you had talked earlier about continuing threats.
And in that briefing, I showed him a piece of intelligence that was provided to us by some European counterparts of ours that said that what just happened was the first of two waves of attacks on the United States. And I was sitting there thinking, 'Oh, my God, the president just went through the worst attack in the history of the country and here his intelligence briefer, me, is telling him that that another one might be coming.
It was unbelievably sobering and it really put us on heightened alert. We truly didn't know where the next attack would come from. And there was some fear that it could be on the West Coast. There was concerns about crop dusters being used. So we truly were led to believe, credibly, I believe, that there were likely other attacks that had been planned and they could be executed. It was planned outside of the country, but it was clearly executed entirely in the United States.
So this was all in the United States and we were all worried that there could be another attack. I remember particularly thinking about Los Angeles in the West Coast. So they were like a jack in the box going up and down. And the president said 'This is uncomfortable for them and it's uncomfortable for me. Let's go to another room. The communications was outstanding and the whole team was there. And the president turned around to me and said near the end of the meeting, he said, 'All right, can we go back to Washington, D.
I checked with the Secret Service. The Secret Service was reluctant but acquiesced. But the Air Force was comfortable that we'd be safe and could go forward. So I came back to the president, I said, 'We can go back to D. It was a sobering ride back to D. But yes, we went back to D. MICHAEL MORELL: So his speech to the nation that evening, he, I've always thought, walked this remarkable balance between showing strength to our attackers, but also consoling the nation and making it clear that we were going to avenge this and we weren't going to let it happen again. It was a remarkable speech. And I'm sure you had a hand in it. I remember one of the things he said when he was in Sarasota and addressed the public before he left, he made one comment that said, 'The resolve of our great nation is being tested and it will pass the test.
And then he taped remarks and in Barksdale that were recorded that said that 'We would pass this test. But when we landed back in Washington, D. I'm sure you remember that. And then we looked out and you could see the smoke billowing out of the Pentagon. And the president turned to me and said, 'That's the face of war in the 21st century. Then the plane lands and we get off, we get on the helicopter to come back to the White House.
And Marine One lifts off and usually it lifts off and goes up to about 2, feet and direct flight to the Washington Monument and then lands on the South Lawn of the White House. This time we went and flew up at treetop level, zigzagging back and forth in case there were Stinger missiles. And then when we went down to the Potomac River and flew right up, just above the river and popped up behind the Lincoln Memorial and went down to the Washington Monument, hung a left and landed on the South Lawn. It was a very different arrival on the South Lawn. We then went into the Oval Office. The rug had been rolled up, klieg lights had been put in there, and a camera was there because the president was going to address the nation. And we went into the dining room off the Oval Office.
And that's where the president worked on his speech. And he practiced it a few times, made a few edits. And ayes, we worked on it together as there were probably five of us with him working on the speech. He felt very comfortable with it. And then he addressed the public. And it was a it was a remarkably efficient speech. It did not go on very long and I want to say I was about at night. And he said, I'm trying to remember what he said, but he talked about how everybody in America was affected by what happened that day. And it's going to unite us. And we will we will never forget this day. And he basically warned other countries, you know, you're either with us or against us.
And so it was both a unifying speech, it was a call to arms speech, and it was one that basically commanded us to step up our game. And I do remember him saying, 'None of us will forget this day. I didn't get home until at night, and I remember after he gave that address, he gave the address at and we were finished with the Oval Office routine, probably nine o'clock, and we went down to the bunker underneath the White House and had a national security meeting with the team. And among the team members, there were superstars like Norman Mineta and Dick Cheney, and it was just a very good meeting and sobering meeting. And then I remember the meeting ended and I went back to my office to do some work.
I hadn't been in the office, obviously, the whole day, and I had a lot of work piled up on the desk. I am sitting there going through paperwork and it's probably ish at night. And a Secret Service agent comes into my office and literally lifts me out of a chair and starts running with me. And we go down to the bunker deep under the White House and I'm in the bunker and down comes the first lady. Down comes the president. They're both wearing their robes and got slippers on and carrying pets. And I remember Laura did not have her contacts IN. And so anyway, the president and the first lady go to a little room in the bunker with a nice bed in it, and I get assigned a steel cot.
And the big door slams shut in and we're safely in the bunker and the Secret Service says a plane had entered the airspace around D. And then not very many minutes later, probably 10 minutes later, the Secret Service came. We got it all clear. It was one of ours. Its responder was not working. And, 'Mr. President, you can go back up to bed. So the first lady and the president went up to bed.
And I remember going back to my office and collecting my paperwork and then going home, arriving or 12ish. If anything, Bush is contrite for not working hard enough to rebuild Afghanistan. Bush concludes by lauding Obama for his recommitment to Afghanistan and calling for resilience. It would also endanger our security…To forget that lesson would be a dreadful mistake. Paul D. Miller is a professor of the practice of international affairs at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
He served as director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the U. National Security Council staff from through Beijing has its eyes set on using Afghanistan as a strategic corridor once U. Shadow Government A front-row seat to the Republicans' debate over foreign policy, including their critique of the Biden administration. By Paul D. US President George W.
Bush arrived in Afghanistan on December 15, after a making a farewell visit to Iraq, according to the White House.