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Crowley Asks Bush About Shoe Toss “In a Slightly Different Way”

crowley_12-16.JPGWell, she went there. TVNewser has obtained the transcript from Candy Crowley‘s interview with President George W. Bush today. The interview will air in several parts during The Situation Room from 4-7pmET. During the second portion (and second location) of the interview, Crowley asks about the shoe throwing incident:

CROWLEY: Let me ask you about the shoe thing in a slightly different way.

(LAUGHTER)

CROWLEY: Simply because you are the symbol, really, overseas of the United States. Was there ever a part of you that, in reflection, went, wait a second, we have poured billions of dollars, not to mention U.S. blood and treasure into this country, how dare this guy, even if he is a single guy?

BUSH: No, I — look, first of all, I didn’t have much time to reflect on anything. I was ducking and dodging. And I — first of all, it has got to be one of the most weird moments of my presidency. Here I am getting ready to answer questions from a free press in a democratic Iraq, and a guy stands up and throws a shoe.

And it was bizarre. And it was an interesting way for a person to express himself. I was asked about it immediately after the incident and I said, here’s a person that obviously was longing for notoriety and he achieved it. But I don’t feel this is — I’m not angry with the system, I believe that a free society is emerging and a free society is necessary for our own security and peace.

Click continued to see a portion of the interview in which Bush says he “considered all options,” including withdrawing, from Iraq…

BUSH: I thought about it of course, but I usually came back and — with a concern about whether or not we would succeed.

CROWLEY: Are you worried about that sometimes?

BUSH: I have worried about it in the past, in 2006 in particular. In Iraq, I was deeply concerned about whether or not we would succeed. And I felt that the — you know, the political, one of the people beginning to fall away were people were saying, you must withdraw. It wasn’t just the political people. A lot of people in Washington, were saying, let’s get out now. And I obviously chose not to do that. But, that was a very difficult period.

CROWLEY: Did you consider it, ever?

BUSH: Of course. I considered all options. But, absolutely. You know, ultimately I had great faith in the universality of liberty. I had great faith in our military. I had faith in the Iraqis who had suffered so much. And I could not live with myself, if I had chosen to just leave and leave behind the valor and the sacrifice of a lot of our young men and women. I would have never been able to face their loved ones. You know, the military looks at the president and wonder whether or not the president’s going to make decisions based upon victory. Or, whether or not the president would be making decisions based upon its political skin. And if you ever make decisions based upon your political skin where troops are in harms way, you as Commander-in-Chief will have a lot of problems keeping the respect of the military.

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