Bush, Learning His Lines

What we have learned from the Reagan years:

Q: Mr. President, the Justice Department issued an advisory opinion last year declaring that as Commander-in-Chief you have the authority to order any kind of interrogation techniques that are necessary to pursue the war on terror. Were you aware of this advisory opinion? Do you agree with it? And did you issue any such authorization at any time?

THE PRESIDENT: No, the authorization I issued, David, was that anything we did would conform to U.S. law and would be consistent with international treaty obligations. That's the message I gave our people.

Q: Have you seen the memos?

THE PRESIDENT: I can't remember if I've seen the memo or not, but I gave those instructions.

And speaking for forgetting. . .

. . . The press conference apparently completely slipped a certain hot-tempered CNN correspondent's mind. Perhaps John King was out getting a new cell phone:

THE PRESIDENT: Let's see here. Let's make sure we get fair -- Jimmy Angle. Where are you? No show. John.

Q: Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT:-- it's very kind of me to call upon your network, even though the guy's name here, who was supposed to be here, didn't show. (Laughter.) I haven't seen you in a while. Why are you covering Congress and not the White House?

Q: Well, I'm glad to be here, Mr. President.

UPDATE: John King may be irritable, but he isn't irresponsible. Our White House Press Corps tipster writes in to object to our "slandering" of King -- we're looking that up right away -- and says he saw King there. The missing reporter was Fox News's Jim Angle, which means we can't even make a "It's not like the President watches their network/reads their paper anyway" joke. We just assume that Angle was out preparing for his tandem skydiving jump with Shep Smith. (All the Fox guys are doing it!)

Bush Really Is Like Reagan [Campaign Journal]

Catfight in the Newsroom [Wonkette]

President Bush Holds Press Conference Following the G8 Summit [Whitehouse.gov]


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