“And we, John and I, we will have one clear unmistakable message for al Qaeda and these terrorists: You cannot run. You cannot hide. We will destroy you,”
George Bush wasn’t listening. Or perhpas in place of “destroy”, he heard “negotiate and hope they change.” That’s the only explanation for Bush saying this today in response to a question about charges from the Kerry campaign:
“See, evidently some must think that you can negotiate with them, you can talk sense with them, you can hope that they change.”(*)
(*) Digby is, if you can believe this, too generous by far, writing that “The president and vice president are not outright lying, of course. They said ‘some must think.’ They didn’t name John Kerry.” Here’s the full question that elicited Bush’s statement:
Q Mr. President, thank you. All of this as you know is coming in the context of the presidential election campaign. Your opponent has made a couple of charges that I would like your response to. One, essentially saying that three years after the 9/11 attacks, to go about the business of rehauling the intelligence community is too long. Second, there’s been a suggestion from the Kerry camp today that this administration is actually responsible for fueling the recruitment of al Qaeda through some of its policies, particularly — they didn’t say this directly — but the war in Iraq. Your response?
So there’s really no interpretation, other than Bush simply not listening to the question (possible, I suppose), under which Bush was not speaking directly about the Kerry campaign.