At his presser today President Bush was asked by CNN's Ed Henry whether he had mentioned the Saudi rape case at all during conversations with King Abdullah in the past few weeks.
Bush begins his answer with a supposedly heartfelt 'what if it was my daughter' explanation but then when pressed further says that he doesn't remember whether he ever brought the subject up or not but insists the Saudi King “knows our position loud and clear.”
Henry: On another issue of credibility in the Mid East -- At the Annapolis Summit you used your influence to get Saudi Arabia to the table but I wonder whether now you will use you influence to do something about the Saudi rape case that has gotten so much international attention? What goes through your mind when you hear about a 19 year old Saudi woman getting gang raped by seven men and basically a Saudi court blames the victim and sentences her to 200 lashes? You spoke to King Abdullah by telephone in the last couple of weeks. Did you press him on this case? If so what did you say and if not, are you giving him a pass?"
Bush: My first thoughts were these. What happens if this happened to my daughter? How would I react? And I would have been -- I would have been very emotional, of course. I’d have been angry at those who committed the crime, and I would be angry at the state that didn’t support the victim, and our opinions were expressed by Dana Perino from the podium.
Henry: Did you press King Abdullah about it personally?
Bush: I talked to King Abdullah about the Middle eastern peace. I don't remember if that subject came up.
Henry: If it was that important to you why wouldn't you at that level bring it directly up to King Abdullah?
Bush: There's plenty of time. He knows our position loud and clear.
Even after considering 'what if' the victim was his own daughter, apparently Bush decided it really wasn't important enough to even bring up after all.