E&P's Mitchell: Bush Among Friends
Bush Among Friends, Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher: "If you've ever fantasized about what it would be like to eavesdrop on our president chatting with some of his strongest fans in the media, then your decidedly odd dream has come true. President Bush met with eight leading conservative columnists on Wednesday afternoon, and a transcript has just been released.
It's a fascinating fly-on-the-wall replay, nearly all on-the-record -- as the president explains, 'I'm a skeptical off-the-record' guy. Surprisingly, there's less joking around than at most press conferences, although he does call Larry Kudlow of CNBC 'Kuds' and claims he is a 'blood and guts' guy. Clearly among friends (Krauthammer, Henninger, Blankley, and the rest), Bush states, 'al-Qaeda is lethal as hell,' and then instructs, 'scratch the 'hell' -- it's lethal.' Later he urges, 'don't be writing -- don't write me down as hopelessly naive and trying to always put lipstick on the pig.'"