Transcript: Bush Talks to O'Reilly, Part 3

This is a partial transcript from the September 29, 2004 edition of "The O'Reilly Factor," that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST:  One of the big propaganda things against you is the classroom in Florida after 9/11 when Andrew Card (search) came in and whispered in your ear.

BUSH: Yeah.

O’REILLY: Let’s clear this up once and for all. What were you thinking?

BUSH: I was thinking America was under attack, I was collecting my thoughts, and I wasn’t about to panic a bunch of kids. And the program was winding down, I waited for the end of the program, I excused myself and I went to action. And what the American people will judge me on is whether or not I handled that crisis, in a way that lets them know that, that I’ll lead in this war on terror, that's what they need to look at, and I think they are looking at it that way.

O’REILLY: We’ve got about four minutes to go, and I’ve got two more questions. We talked about this time, I don't know whether you remember, but the last time we talked, I asked you what you thought Jesus would think about capital punishment.

BUSH: I remember.

O’REILLY: That was one of the discussions that we had.

BUSH: Yeah.

O’REILLY: This time I want to ask you, why do you think some people get upset when you mention your faith vis-à-vis your job?

BUSH: I really mention my faith vis-à-vis my life, and I don't know. -- I don't know why people get upset with that. People, -- I’m asked a question, -- what does faith mean to me, it means strength and calm in the face of the storm. I mean, I do rely on prayer, and I am empowered by the fact, I’m empowered by the fact that people pray for me. -- I’m sustained by that, not empowered --  I’m sustained by that, is a better word. I don't know why people object to somebody who is, -- when asked --  says religion’s important.

O’REILLY: Is it important in your decision-making?

BUSH: It’s an important part of my life. I don't see how you can divorce religion and how you live your life. I mean -- I, they're -- if faith is an important part of your life it’s ingrained in your soul, and ingrained in your being. And I make decisions based upon what’s best for this country. And I pray for wisdom, I pray for strength, I pray for others who are in harm’s way. I pray for the soldiers, I pray for their families. And I make decisions -- I make decisions about earthly matters, I make decisions about how to get out of recession, or how to improve education, or how to spread the peace-- and that's what I believe we’re doing is spreading the peace.

O’REILLY: OK. What don’t Americans know about you? You’ve been written about, debated, you're in the news every day, what don’t we know about you?

BUSH: That's a tough question to answer, because I’m not exactly sure…

O’REILLY: What do you want…

BUSH: If Americans…

O’REILLY: What do you want…

BUSH: Really think about me.

O’REILLY: Oh, they do.

BUSH: No, I know they're thinking about me…


BUSH: I’m just trying to get a sense for-- well I hope they know I’ve got a great sense of humor and laugh-- I hope they know that I’m totally dedicated to my family, that I love my wife and my daughters are just -- mean more to me than anything. I hope they know that I weep when they weep, and I laugh when they laugh, that I take great joy in, you know…

O’REILLY: You love the job?

BUSH: I do, I really enjoy it a lot.

O’REILLY: Because when you were first running, you weren’t -- didn't  know -- whether you were going to love it.

BUSH: Well you didn't know, you don’t know till you’ve had it, and I do love the job, I love it enough to ask for four more years. Now, this has been a tough three and a half years. And it’s --  I believe because we’ve done hard work in these three and a half years -- this world is getting better. In my convention speech, I said, we climbed a mountain and now we see the valley below. I really believe that. I believe that peace is coming, and I believe that we’re more free. I believe we’ve done our duty to our  children and our grandchildren to fight these ideologues of hate and to spread freedom and peace at the same time. I believe what these kids are seeing on their TV screens in Iraq (search) and Afghanistan (search) will make their life better when Iraq becomes free. And it’s becoming free.

O’REILLY: So you are indeed a true believer.

BUSH: I’m a believer. I’m a believer in the power of liberty to transform societies, and I believe we have a duty, I believe we have a duty to spread liberty so that our children and grandchildren can grow up in peace.

O’REILLY: Mr. President, thanks very much, we really appreciate you talking to us.

BUSH: Thank you sir.

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