In this short, two-minute clip from his press conference today on the sad state of the American economy, President Bush managed to embarrass himself (and thus the country) on at least three occasions. First he smirks and gives a smart ass answer when asked about $5 gasoline -- not very funny considering he "hadn't heard" of $4 gas back in February. Second, he repeats the McCain campaign
talking point "gaffe" about our economic woes being merely "psychological." Then, finally, he tops if off with what he calls his "brilliant statement" about "magic wands."
I think it was in the Rose Garden where I issued this brilliant statement: If I had a magic wand -- but the President doesn't have a magic wand. You just can't say, low gas. It took us a while to get here and we need to have a good strategy to get out of it.
Can this guy seriously be any more out of touch? Watching him chuckle his way through questions about how badly he has destroyed our economy as millions of Americans are losing their homes and being forced to change the way they live tells you all you need to know.
Full transcript below the fold:
Q Mr. President, in February you were asked about Americans facing the prospect of $4 a gallon gasoline and you said you hadn't heard of that at the time. Gas prices --
THE PRESIDENT: Aware of it now.
Q Gas prices are now approaching $5 a gallon in some parts of the country. Offshore oil exploration is obviously a long-term approach. What is the short-term advice for Americans? What can you do now to help them?
THE PRESIDENT: First of all, there is a psychology in the oil market that basically says, supplies are going to stay stagnant while demand rises. And that's reflected somewhat in the price of crude oil. Gasoline prices are reflected -- the amount of a gasoline price at the pump is reflected in the price of crude oil. And therefore, it seems like it makes sense to me to say to the world that we're going to use new technologies to explore for oil and gas in the United States -- offshore oil, ANWR, oil shale projects -- to help change the psychology, to send a clear message that the supplies of oil will increase.
Secondly, obviously good conservation measures matter. I've been reading a lot about how the automobile companies are beginning to adjust -- people -- consumers are beginning to say, wait a minute, I don't want a gas guzzler anymore, I want a smaller car. So the two need to go hand in hand. There is no immediate fix. This took us a while to get in this problem; there is no short-term solution. I think it was in the Rose Garden where I issued this brilliant statement: If I had a magic wand -- but the President doesn't have a magic wand. You just can't say, low gas. It took us a while to get here and we need to have a good strategy to get out of it.
Q But you do have the Strategic Oil Petroleum Reserve. What about opening that?
THE PRESIDENT: The Strategic Oil Petroleum Reserve is for, you know, emergencies. But that doesn't address the fundamental issue. And we need to address the fundamental issue, which I, frankly, have been talking about since I first became President -- which is a combination of using technology to have alternative sources of energy, but at the same time finding oil and gas here at home. And now is the time to get it done. I heard somebody say, well, it's going to take seven years. Well, if we'd have done it seven years ago we'd be having a different conversation today. I'm not suggesting it would have completely created -- you know, changed the dynamics in the world, but it certainly would have been -- we'd have been using more of our own oil and sending less money overseas.