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Bush: I Gave Up Golf For The Troops

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As violence in Iraq continues -- clashes today left 11 dead and 19 injured -- President Bush has for the first time revealed the great sacrifice he's made for the sake of our soldiers: he's given up golf.

From an interview with Politico and Yahoo News:

"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," he said. "I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."

Bush said he made that decision after the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. official in Iraq and the organization's high commissioner for human rights.

"I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man's life," he said. "I was playing golf -- I think I was in central Texas -- and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, 'It's just not worth it anymore to do.'"

Now watch this drive...

UPDATE: Brandon Friedman at VetVoice pokes some holes in Bush's story, highlighting a piece from Warren Street at Blue Girl, Red State:

Actually, it is far more likely that Bush quit playing golf because he was suffering from knee problems throughout the latter half of 2003.

Street then links to a CBS News article published in December 2003:

Bush, 57, will have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test on Thursday, Dec. 18. The body-scanning device enables doctors to see internal organs in 3D.

The MRI is being performed on the advice of the President's regular White House physician. Last summer, Bush suffered a minor muscle tear in his right calf and that injury, along with aching knees, forced him to abandon his running routine. The calf strain healed by August when he had his annual physical, but the president said in September that he suspected he had a meniscus tear.

... Bush actually played his last round of golf on October 13, 2003. This means that the reason he gave for quitting after the August 2003 U.N. bombing is dubious at best...

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