The Washington Post

George W. Bush says ‘most nervous moment’ of presidency is when he threw a ball

Former U.S. president George W. Bush. (REUTERS)

In what is at least his second foot-in-the-mouth moment recalling the toughest moments of his presidency, Bush has said “the most nervous moment” of his presidency was throwing the ceremonial first pitch at the 2001 World Series.

According to an interview Bush gave to the producers of “Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience,” a TIME documentary that aired over the weekend, and a clip provided by Gawker, the former president said:

The adrenaline was coursing through my veins, and the ball felt like a shotput. And Todd Greene, the catcher, looked really small. Sixty feet and six inches seemed like a half-mile. And anyway, I took a deep breath and threw it, and thankfully it went over the plate. The response was overwhelming. It was the most nervous I had ever been. It’s the most nervous moment of my entire presidency, it turns out.

The statement was reminiscent of another by Bush last year, in which he said the worst moment of his presidency is when rapper Kanye West called him a racist. “It was a disgusting moment, pure and simple,” Bush had said. “I didn't appreciate it then [and] I don't appreciate it now.”

Bush was referring to a Hurricane Katrina live telethon appearance by West in 2005, in which the performer launched into a an angry diatribe about race and aid efforts, including the accusation: “George Bush doesn't care about black people.”

The Guardian pointed out at the time that the comment came in spite of Bush having led “the U.S. into war and presiding over the beginnings of one of the greatest financial disasters in history.”

This time, Gawker provides a laundry list of things Bush should have found more nerve-wracking than a baseball pitch, including receiving a warning that Osama bin Laden was going to strike the United States or authorizing the torture of detainees in U.S. custody. “That was some ... pitch, though,” Gawker writes sarcastically.

Watch the video of Bush’s statement here or his full “Beyond 9/11” video here.


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