The Washington Post
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar

Related Items
 On Our Site
  • Post Series: The Making of George W. Bush

  • Photo Gallery

  •   In His Own Words: 'You've Got to Have a Base'

    The Washington Post
    Thursday, July 29, 1999 Page A21

    The following are excerpts of interviews with George W. Bush conducted by Washington Post reporters. The interviews took place May 11 and June 7, 1999, in Austin.

    What regrets do you have regarding your 1978 congressional race?

    You know, it's interesting. I think in retrospect I would have done it differently. [Lubbock] Mayor Jim Granberry had urged me to hold a press conference and blast Kent Hance.
    They asked me to do it, and I chose not to do it because I thought at the time that people would see the hypocrisy, because Hance owned [a building that housed] a bar.
    And I was wrong in this calculation. I probably should have.

    What lessons did you learn from that race?

    You've got to have a base. ... Let me tell you something: Those were tough campaigns. That primary was rough. ... I got people to vote that had never voted Republican or people who weren't likely to vote.
    We affected the outcome of that election by focusing on basic politics, which is where your base turns out to be.

    Why did you wait so long to run for political office again?

    I was burned out. I really was. I'd just gotten married. I loved my wife and I wanted to spend more time with her.

    Bush on the issues in 1978
    Quotations are taken from Texas newspapers that year.

  • Equal Rights Amendment: Thought it was "unnecessary."

  • Gay rights: Said he had "done nothing to promote homosexuality in our society."

  • Abortion: Said he was against "federal funding of abortions" but favored leaving the question of abortion up to a woman and her doctor. "That does not mean I'm for abortion."

  • D.C. statehood: "I do not favor statehood for Washington, D.C. The District was formed to provide a neutral area from which the federal government could operate. It was never intended to be a state, nor have the powers of a state."

  • Foreign policy: "I would vote against the implementation of sanctions against either Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe] or the Republic of South Africa. It is contrary to the best interests of the United States to allow Marxist-backed guerrillas to take over any free country, especially in a strife-ridden continent like Africa."

  • Economic policy: "I believe in fiscal conservatism, which is free enterprise, the philosophy of growth, in other words, the exact opposite of stagnancy."

  • National health insurance: "I don't think it is economical and is a disincentive for the medical profession to be efficient."

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration: "This is a misuse of power. It has overstepped its boundaries."

  • Social Security: "I think it will be bust in 10 years unless there are some changes. The ideal solution would be for Social Security to be made sound and people given the chance to invest the money the way they feel."

    © 1999 The Washington Post Company

    Back to the top

  • Navigation Bar
    Navigation Bar