Laura Bush complains "good polls" never show up on the front page

by E & P staff, EditorandPublisher.com

NEW YORK Interviewed with her husband on "Larry King Live" on Thursday night, Laura Bush once again charged that "good polls" for the president never end up on the front page.

She also said that she did not trust the polls at all, because polls that reveal the president's low approval rating "are not what we we when we travel around the country." She added: "As I told you before, you don't see good polls on the front page."

Just recently, newspapers gave wide play to the president's positive "bounce" following the killing of al-Zaragawi. That bounce has since faded and, in any case, there have been no truly "good polls" for the president for the past year.

President Bush said he doesn't make decisions according to polls and said, when King suggested that he was "not popular," that this didn't bother him at all. Asked again about bad polls, he said flatly that they did not bother him emotionally.

He also denied that he had singled out The New York Times for blame in the recent banking records surveillance controversy -- when other papers also printed a story -- and said he hadn't even mentioned the paper by name, which King contested.

He said it bothered him greatly that "people go to newspapers with state secrets" which reveal the government's "game plan" to the enemy.

Asked if the U.S. was ready to shoot down one of the rockets launched by North Korea on July, Bush said, to the surprise, no doubt, of many, "Yes, we have a missile defense system to protect our country."

Other highlights:

--Bush said he felt "great" to be 60.

--He defended the decision to invade Iraq and vowed to stay there until victory was won. This could be a long fight but he said, "I want to remind our citizens that I went with the Japanese prime minister to Graceland -- and we were at war with Japan 60 years ago."

--Asked why the U.S. faced so many problems in the world, Bush said, "The reasons there are problems is because we confronted them."

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