Excerpts From Bob Woodward's Interview With President Ford

Audio Recorded by Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 27, 2006; 9:14 PM

On July 28, 2004, former president Gerald R. Ford sat down for an interview with The Washington Post's Bob Woodward. The interview was conducted at Ford's Beaver Creek, Colo., house; the former president agreed that his comments could be published any time after his death.

Read the related story by Bob Woodward.

Below are transcripts of selected excerpts from the interview:

EXCERPT 1: Listen

FORD: Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people. Whether you can detach that from the obligation number one, of what's in our national interests, there comes a point where they conflict. And I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security.

EXCERPT 2: Listen

FORD: I don't think if I had been president, on the basis of the facts as I saw them publicly, I don't think I would have ordered the Iraqi war. I would have maximized our effort through sanctions, through restrictions, whatever, to find another answer.

EXCERPT 3: Listen

FORD: I think Rumsfeld, Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction.

EXCERPT 4: Listen

FORD: And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do.

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