Laura Bush: Shoe-throwing 'was an assault'
David Edwards and Andrew McLemore
Published: Sunday December 28, 2008

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While President Bush shrugged off an Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at him during a press conference, the First Lady said the incident was no laughing matter.

"It was an assault," she said. "And the president laughed it off, he wasnít hurt, heís very quick as you know heís a natural athlete and ducked it, but on the other hand it was an assault."

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Laura Bush said the only positive aspect of the shoe-thrower was that it proved the greater freedom Iraqis enjoy since the American invasion.

"I know that if Saddam Hussein had been there the man wouldn't have been released, and probably would've been executed," she said of the Iraqi journalist, who was arrested after the Dec. 14 incident and has been in custody ever since.

Bush attacked critics who claim her husband's presidency has been a failure, arguing that the press has been "absolutely" unfair in its coverage.

"His inner core and his belief in freedom, and that means not just freedom from terrorism, but freedom from disease and freedom from illiteracy is what really is the basic of American values and thatís what I think heís shown the whole time heís been president," Bush said.

The First Lady added that the country has been safe from terrorist attacks since 2001 and that the US has provided needed treatment for Africans suffering from disease.

This video is from Fox's Fox News Sunday, broadcast Dec. 28, 2008.

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