Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Do as I say, not as I do...

Candidate Bush:

He said he would usher in a new "Responsibility Era" to counter the last couple of decades in which he said Americans have chosen to blame others for their own problems.

"To usher that era in, it's incredibly important to elect a man who behaves responsibly," said Bush.

President Bush:
By Dana Milbank, Washington Post

With the start of his reelection campaign in the past two weeks, President Bush has revived his pastime of blaming his predecessor, Bill Clinton, for the economic recession.

"Two-and-a-half years ago, we inherited an economy in recession," he told donors at a Bush-Cheney '04 reception yesterday in Miami. He has raised the same accusation in fundraising appearances since mid-June in Washington, Georgia, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

It's a good applause line for a crowd of red-meat political supporters. The trouble is it's a case of what the president has called, in another context, revisionist history. The recession officially began in March of 2001 -- two months after Bush was sworn in -- according to the universally acknowledged arbiter of such things, the National Bureau of Economic Research. And the president, at other times, has said so himself.

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