Monday, October 23, 2006

Bush: "What, me stay the course?"

White House senior advisor Dan Bartlett, today, when asked about our whether our strategy for Iraq is to "stay the course":

HANNAH STORM (co-host): So, Mr. Bartlett, staying the course is no longer the operative strategy?

BARTLETT: Well, Hannah, it's never been a "stay the course" strategy.

Previous mentions that we intend to stay the course by the President and or press secretary Tony Snow (as reported by Think Progress):

BUSH: We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq. [8/4/05]

SNOW: The second thing you do is you stay the course. [7/10/06]

SNOW: But on the other hand, you also cannot be a President in a wartime and not realize that you've got to stay the course. [8/17/06]

BUSH: We will stay the course. [8/30/06]

BUSH: We will stay the course until the job is done, Steve. And the temptation is to try to get the President or somebody to put a timetable on the definition of getting the job done. We're just going to stay the course. [12/15/03]

BUSH: And my message today to those in Iraq is: We'll stay the course. [4/13/04]

SNOW: People are going to want more of it, and that's why the President is determined to stay the course. April. [8/16/06]

BUSH: And that's why we're going to stay the course in Iraq. And that's why when we say
something in Iraq, we're going to do it. [4/16/04]

BUSH: And so we've got tough action in Iraq. But we will stay the course. [4/5/04]

Oh, I know you can reconcile these two statements through nuanced explanation. But for the life of me, I can't understand what Bartlett was thinking, denying the very phrase we've all heard Bush repeat over and over again in the last two years. It's just bad politics, plain and simple, and suggestive of the disorder that's enveloped the GOP recently. They just can't stay the course.


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