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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
August 31, 2004
Interview of First Lady Laura Bush by Diane Sawyer of ABC News
7:13 A.M. EDT
Q Good morning to you Mrs. Bush.
MRS. BUSH: Good morning, Diane.
Q I want to begin with something, because a number of people have said, we think we detect a change in tone from the First Lady, that in recent days she's called John Kerry's accusations absurd and ridiculous, told Time Magazine that she didn't think the Swift Boat ads were unfair, given what had been said about her husband. Is this the new fighting Laura Bush?
MRS. BUSH: I don't think so. I think it's the same old Laura Bush.
Q No change in tone tonight? Are we going to hear from you a specific attack on John Kerry?
MRS. BUSH: No, of course not. What you're going to hear from me tonight is about George Bush. That's what I'm going to talk about tonight. I' going to talk about the vantage point that I have, being so close to him, and what I've seen over the last four years; how important it is to reelect him and how these times demand somebody with his personality and his resolve and his character.
I'm really looking forward to it. I'm excited about being at the convention. I love conventions. This is actually the seventh convention I have been to. And my girls are there, my in-laws are there, and I'm looking forward to seeing everybody when I get to New York later today.
Q I want to speak about one thing the Democrats are on the attack about this morning. That they have pointed out that the President did say in an interview, I don't think you can win a war on terrorism, and you just heard Mayor Giuliani talking about that. Where previously he had said, can you ever win the war on terror? Of course you can. Did the President say to you that he misspoke, or did he say what he meant to say?
MRS. BUSH: Well, I think what he meant is exactly what he said, and is just what Mayor Giuliani said. This isn't a war with a country where you're going to have a surrender at some point. But the fact is, as we look around the world, we are already winning the war on terror. When you look at Afghanistan, where the Taliban was, where they supported al Qaeda, now in Afghanistan women are free to walk outside, little girls are in school. Over 10 million Afghans have registered to vote, including 40 percent of that number are women. When you look to Pakistan, which is now our ally in the war on terror, or to Iraq where they Iraqi Governing Council is now responsible for Iraq and is trying to build a free society there, I mean, the fact is we are winning. There have been huge changes. Libya has now decided that they will dismantle their nuclear program. And it really is very, very hopeful and it's very heartening. I feel really good about what's happening.
Are there challenges ahead? Sure. And will this last a long time? No doubt. But we're doing the right thing and we're making a lot of progress.
Q I'm going to shift tone, if I can, for a moment, because we had a chance to hear from your daughters for the first time. They spoke out and they were talking a lot about you. We learned that you have dance fever at home. We also learned the President is very respectful of the way you vacuum the rugs. But I'm going to play something else that they said and get your reaction, a revelation about their mom.
JENNA BUSH: She is bizarrely clean.
BARBARA BUSH: Very organized.
JENNA BUSH: Like for the first year of my parents' marriage, she would make my dad take off his shoes before he walks in. Now it's rubbed off on my dad. I'm totally shocked. So like, "There's a towel on the floor." (Laughter.)
Q So do you have to tiptoe across your rug?
MRS. BUSH: Not really. Not exactly. I think they exaggerated a little bit. (Laughter.)
Q All right. Well, Mrs. Bush, good luck tonight. And thanks so much for getting up early and joining us this morning.
MRS. BUSH: Thanks, Diane.