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.
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.