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Bush: 'Life is good,' 'unsettled' people disapprove

Published: Friday May 19, 2006

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In an interview with MSNBC's Hardball, U.S. President George W. Bush has blamed the war for his low approval ratings, and laughed off suggestions that people disapprove of his job performance.

A transcript of one exchange follows:


MSNBC: Let me ask you about your leadership. In the most recent survey, your disapproval rating is now one point lower than Richard Nixon’s before he resigned the presidency. [BUSH laughs] You’re laughing...

BUSH: I’m not laughing.

MSNBC: Why do you think that is?

BUSH: Because we’re at war. And war unsettles people. Listen, we’ve got a great economy. We’ve added 5.2 million jobs in the last two-and-a-half years, but people are unsettled. They don’t look at the economy and say, 'life is good.' They know we’re at war. And I’m not surprised that people are unsettled because of war. The enemy’s got a powerful tool — that is to get on your TV screen by killing innocent people. And my job is to continue to remind the people it’s worth it. We’re not going to retreat hastily. We’re not going to pull out of there before the job’s done and we’ve got a plan for victory.

MSNBC: They’re not just unsettled, sir. They disapprove of the job you’re doing.

BUSH: That’s unsettled.

MSNBC That’s how you see it?

BUSH: Yeah, I do. I see it as the war has… the war is… the war is difficult. And I understand that. I understand why people wonder whether we can win the war or not. But there’s a big difference between some of us who believe we’re doing the right thing and moving forward and a group of people who want to pull out before the jobs is done.