George Bush on why he lied to the country about Rumsfeld's tenure as Secretary of Defense before the election.
The only way to answer that question, and get it on to another question, was to
give you that answer.
In essence? I had to feed you something to get you to shut up. So I gave you a lie. It worked. My image as a strong and resolute decider remained.
This pretty clearly implies that he's used this tactic before and he will use it again. He wasn't even sheepish about being exposed as an empty political liar. Just a bit of a nod and a wink, since the press corps knows he lies all the time, but they are afraid to say so to America. So Bush even openly admits that he is a liar, because he knows it won't be reported. To report that simple truth would be unpardonable liberal bias, after all.
Sure enough, on Meet the Press, David Gregory (who actually can ask some pretty probing questions in a press conference), proves that in front of the public eye the Washington press can't admit to basic facts about the President:
MR. GREGORY: Right, well, he deliberately misled those reporters, and he said he
did it because he didn’t want to inject politics in the campaign. You have to
wonder why–how he could–was there a way to, to get around that question in some
fashion so he didn’t have to give that ammunition to people who thought the
policy was a failure. And that’s what he did right at the end.
MR. RUSSERT: Does that hurt his credibility with you and the press
MR. GREGORY: Well, I–look, you know, you like to get a straight answer
out of the president. He laid out his case for, for why he did it, and there’s
no question that would’ve injected politics. So I think people see it different
Translation: I wish he wouldn't lie, but some people say the lie was OK, so who am I to question the credibility of a liar? That would be partisan.
It is unfathomable why he didn't answer that question like a normal human being. That answer should have gone "Absolutely, Tim. The President admitted lying to our face for partisan political reasons, and without shame. Whenever he opens his mouth, how do we know he isn't playing the same game? He is clearly willing to lie to the American Public about our military situation, and frankly has lost credibility on that count." Is that a radical response? No. It is the response of a normal human being when he finds out someone lied to his face. A person loses credibility when they are caught in a lie. That's kina of how credibility works, you know?
Different people see it like this: normal people see what happened as brazen, bald-faced lying. Bush partisans think Bush should do whatever Bush feels is best, and if Bush felt it to be the right choice, then it was. So by the act of Bush choosing to lie, it is justifed. They will even applaud Bush for admitting it (Good for Bush for fooling those pesky reporters!). But unprincipled 'wingers schooled in newspeak should not control the definition of what is acceptable.