Press Conference Highlights

We watch the presidential press conference so you don’t have to. The highlights:

  • President Bush calls on Helen Thomas for the first time in four years.

  • Bush compliments Thomas’ performance at the Gridiron Dinner and thinks that Steve Holland’s performance could have been better.

  • Bush coins a new term: the “follow-up yell”

    THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me a second, [USA Today’s] David [Jackson]. Excuse me for a second, please.

    The — that we ought to pursue liberty. We ought to not be worried about a foreign policy that encourages others to be free. That’s why I said in my second inauguration address, the goal of this country ought to be to end tyranny in the 21st century. I meant it. For the sake of — I said that for the sake of peace.

    Now, what is your follow-up yell? (Laughter.)

  • He knows when you’ve been sleeping…

    Q Mr. President, on immigration, yesterday you answered a question from a woman and said, the tough question here is what happens to somebody who has been here since 1987. Will you accept a bill that allows those who have been here a long time to remain in the country permanently —

    THE PRESIDENT: I also said that — let me make sure, Steve, that you — first of all, I’m impressed that you’re actually paying attention to it. The people I saw in the press pool weren’t. They were, like, Elisabeth was half-asleep — (laughter) — yes, you were. (Laughter.)

    Q No, I wasn’t.

    THE PRESIDENT: Okay. Well, the person next to you was. (Laughter.) They were dozing off. I could see them watching their watches, kind of wondering how long he’s going to blow on for. Let’s get him out of here so we can go get lunch, is what they were thinking. (Laughter.) So at least you paid attention. Thanks.

See Dana Milbank’s take on the conference here.