Bushs press conference
Posted by Peter W. Schramm
Here is the transcript
of his press conference yesterday. I saw quite a bit of it on C-Span later in the day, and I must say that I was impressed. He was perfectly comfortable, witty, charming, and intelligent. He knew he won.
4:58 PM / November 5, 2004
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With all the Democratic spin about Bush having supposedly stoked Christian religious extremism to win this election, Id like to take the liberty of highlighting the following extract from the press conference transcript:
"QUESTION: Mr. President, your victory at the polls came about in part because of strong support from people of faith, in particular, Christian evangelicals and Pentecostals and others. And Senator Kerry drew some of his strongest support from those who do not attend religious services. What do you make of this religious divide, it seems, becoming a political divide in this country? And what do you say to those who are concerned about the role of a faith they do not share in public life and in your policies?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, my answer to people is, I will be your President regardless of your faith, and I dont expect you to agree with me necessarily on religion. As a matter of fact, no President should ever try to impose religion on our society.
A great -- the great tradition of America is one where people can worship the way they want to worship. And if they choose not to worship, theyre just as patriotic as your neighbor. That is an essential part of why we are a great nation. And I am glad people of faith voted in this election. Im glad -- I appreciate all people who voted. I dont think you ought to read anything into the politics, the moment, about whether or not this nation will become a divided nation over religion. I think the great thing that unites is the fact you can worship freely if you choose, and if you -- you dont have to worship. And if youre a Jew or a Christian or a Muslim, youre equally American. That is -- that is such a wonderful aspect of our society; and it is strong today and it will be strong tomorrow."
Pratap B. Mehta, formerly of Harvard and now the head of the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, has written on the whole matter of Bush, Kerry, religion, and morality for the Indian press at:
Mehtas column is well worth reading in full.