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Bush Deplores American Timidity

Pool reporter Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News described a telling scene right after the photo op yesterday: "The transcript ends as the pool began to file out, at which point the president smilingly urged: 'Nothing like a little good news for y'all to print up. Put a little good news in your newspapers. Be a novel experience for you.'"

And here, from the Wall Street Journal interview, some more testiness, during the discussion of excessive executive compensation:

"PRESIDENT BUSH: I think the SEC needs to constantly -- and by the way, I've mentioned this to Chairman [Chris] Cox or at least sent him a message along these lines, and I've clearly mentioned it to [Treasury] Secretary [Henry] Paulson -- and that is I want to make sure that the shareholder, when they pick up an annual report, knows exactly what the promises are to the executives running that company. . . .

"WSJ: When did you have that communication?

"PRESIDENT BUSH: I can't remember, John. I've felt that way for quite a while.

"WSJ: So you think this inquiry has been going on for a while now?

"PRESIDENT BUSH: I can't tell you exactly how long the inquiry has been going on, but I can tell you that I've expressed my opinion. And as a matter of fact did it -- if I'm not mistaken, did it in New York City, was it a year ago?

"WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER KEVIN SULLIVAN: January, end of January.

"PRESIDENT BUSH: January. Publicly.

"WSJ: I'm curious, though, if you see --

"PRESIDENT BUSH: Once again, you didn't hear a word I've said.

"WSJ: I wrote the story about that speech.


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