Thursday, October 14, 2004

Bush On Bin Laden - The Flips & The Flops

In last night's debate, Senator John Kerry and President Bush had this exchange:

KERRY: Six months after he said Osama bin Laden must be caught dead or alive, this president was asked, "Where is Osama bin Laden?" He said, "I don't know. I don't really think about him very much. I'm not that concerned." We need a president who stays deadly focused on the real war on terror.

BUSH: Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations.
Thanks to Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo for this recap of Bush On Bin Laden highlights:

"I want justice. There's an old poster out west, as I recall, that said, "Wanted: Dead or Alive" ... I just remember, all I'm doing is remembering when I was a kid I remember that they used to put out there in the old west, a wanted poster. It said: "Wanted, Dead or Alive." All I want and America wants him brought to justice. That's what we want." - Bush on bin Laden, September 17th, 2001

"A fellow came the other day to the office and said, 'Well, are you worried about Mr. bin Laden?' I said, 'No, I'm not too worried about him. He's the guy that needs to be worried.' [Laughter] But I want to assure you, the objective is not bin Laden. Oh, we'll get bin Laden. There's only so many caves he can hide in, if he's still hiding in caves. My attitude was, once we get him running, it's just a matter of time before we bring him to justice." - Bush on bin Laden, January 22nd, 2002

"As I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban. But once we set out the policy and started executing the plan, he became -- we shoved him out more and more on the margins. He has no place to train his al Qaeda killers anymore." - Bush on bin Laden, March 13th, 2002


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