White House Press Room
President Addresses the Nation in Prime Time Press Conference
Press Conference of the President - April 13, 2004
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Before I take your questions, let me speak with the American people about the situation in Iraq.
"This has been tough weeks in that country." Coalition forces have encountered serious violence in some areas of Iraq... One central commitment of that mission is the transfer of sovereignty back to the Iraqi people. We have set a deadline of June 30th. It is important that we meet that deadline."
George W. Bush, press conference, April 13, 2004
“The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done.”
–George W. Bush, regarding Iraq, ,Greeley, Colo., Nov. 4, 2006
The above quote of W's was transposed to this scene for dramatic purposes. As was the following question from "Miss China." The response to "What place do you think you'll have in history?" is taken from interviews that Bob Woodward did with Bush while researching "Plan of Attack."
“After the...interview with him on Dec. 11, , we got up and walked over to one of the doors. There are all of these doors in the Oval Office that lead outside. And he had his hands in his pocket, and I just asked, ‘Well, how is history likely to judge your Iraq war,’” says Woodward.
“And he said, ‘History,’ and then he took his hands out of his pocket and kind of shrugged and extended his hands as if this is a way off. And then he said, ‘History, we don’t know. We’ll all be dead.’”
The following is taken directly from Bush's April 14, 2004 press conference --
"John." [He's calling on John Dickerson, then reporting for Time Magazine.]
Q "Thank you, Mr. President... After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?"
THE PRESIDENT: "I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time, so I could plan for it.
John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could have done it better this way, or that way.
You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet.
... I hope I -- I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.
The words are all George W. Bush's. Some of the pauses have been added by the screenwriter for dramatic effect. For another view of this press conference [from a conservative reporter's perspective], please see "Strategery," by Bill Sammon, page 34.