Consulting with "religious leaders" on matters of scientific study? That must be why the U.S. has fallen behind so many other countries in this type of research since 2000. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Bush consults with clergymen on the rocket science in place at NASA.
"Just taking a step back -- in 2001, the President was confronted with this ethical challenge and ethical dilemma. And as President, he had given the issue a considerable amount of thought. He consulted with religious leaders and bio-ethicists and scientists. He has -- it is incumbent upon the president to balance both the moral and the ethical boundaries for new scientific research."
Also on tap as Perino fills in for the ailing Tony Snow in spewing White House spin, was this when asked if Bush should be more willing to negotiate in good faith with the Congress on the situation in Iraq.
"I don't think the American people are saying that the generals should be handcuffed and that there should be micromanagement by Senator Harry Reid as a military advisor. He should be the Senator from Nevada and the leader of the Senate," said Perino. "The American people have wanted change in Iraq, and they got it. The president announced a new policy on January 10th that was quite different and divergent from where we were before."
We wanted change in Iraq and we got it?
I guess Team Bush has looked at every major poll done in the last year showing that the majority of the American people want us to get the hell out of Iraq and somehow interpret the change people have demanded as wanting to be in Iraq... even deeper!But everyone's favorite White House reporter, Helen Thomas, was ready to call Perino on it. Here's that interaction:
May Helen Thomas live forever.
Thomas: You said that this was a change of policy for the President, the surge.
Thomas: And so escalation of the war is a change of policy?
Perino: Helen, we can go back over all the things that the President said in January, but there was a couple of key points.
Thomas: No, no, I mean, is that what you call a change of policy, when we escalate the war?
Perino: A couple of key points. What the President said is that we needed to -- agreed with the Iraqis that we needed to try to transition power to them more quickly for their Iraqi security forces. But the key issue was that violence in Baghdad was so great that the President realized after talking to his military advisors that to leave would be very harmful to the region and to our country, but to stay and try to quell the violence in Baghdad --
Thomas: But why? Do you mean Iraqis are going to come and attack us?
Perino: The terrorists that are seeking a safe haven in Iraq, if we were to leave, would find one, just like they had one in Afghanistan, and they could --
Thomas: How do you know that?
Perino: -- hurt us and -- well, based on experience from September 11th. That's how we know it.
Thomas: September 11th had nothing to do with Iraq.
And, remember, when the President of the United States needs to form an opinion on a purely scientific matter that could affect the health of Americans for generations, he consults his local priest.
Can we have that presidential election yet?
You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.