Bush Explains Reaction in Classroom to News of 9/11 Attacks

(fahrenheit 9/11)

In a new interview with the National Geographic Channel, President George Bush speaks about his reaction to hearing the news that the country was under attack on 9/11, as he sat in a Florida classroom with a group of students, Reuters reports:

"My first reaction was anger. Who the hell would do that to America? Then I immediately focused on the children, and the contrast between the attack and the innocence of children," Bush says in an excerpt of the interview shown to television writers on Thursday.

Bush said he could see the news media at the back of the classroom getting the news on their own cellphones "and it was like watching a silent movie."

Bush said he quickly realized that a lot of people beyond the classroom would be watching for his reaction. "So I made the decision not to jump up immediately and leave the classroom. I didn't want to rattle the kids. I wanted to project a sense of calm," he said of his decision to remain seated and silent.

"I had been in enough crises to know that the first thing a leader has to do is to project calm," he added.

The National Geographic interview, recorded over two days in May with no advance questions, was undertaken as part of a series of specials to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks this September.


  1. me says

    what an idiot. this is why i have a google + circle for “people who voted for bush”

  2. Paul R says

    He’s tried to explain this before, in similar fashion. The truth is that he had no idea what to do. Keeping a class of kids calm is simply unimportant when the leader of the world’s superpower has been informed of the largest-ever foreign attack on his country, with no indications that more weren’t forthcoming.

    He preferred to read about the goat because he knew he couldn’t handle what was coming next, which is why he flew all over, from place to place, afterward—instead of addressing the US public with fortitude.

  3. Dastius Krazitauc says

    I always wonder why the man who told him did not simply ask him to come out of the room with him before telling him the specifics, away from the delicate children and all-seeing cameras. I will never understand this clip, and his 10-years in the making explanation doesn’t cut it.

  4. says

    “I had been in enough crises to know that the first thing a leader has to do is to project calm,” he added.

    Fine to say, but look at the deer-in-the-headlights expression on his face. I wouldn’t call that calm, I’d call that scared shitless.

    It took him 10 years to come up with this explanation? Oh please…

  5. JackBeck says

    ‘I didn’t want to rattle the kids.’

    Then why did he address the nation about the attacks with the same kids assembled behind him?

  6. Roger Ramjet says


    He is a coward of the first degree and no amount of his personal revisionist history will ever erase the images of the ACTUAL FOOTAGE of bush sitting in his chair, white as a ghost, mouth hanging in absolute terror…waiting for moths to fly right out of his attic like brain.

    shame on National Geograpc for participating in the re-fabrication of another Bush Family Lie.

  7. David in Houston says

    Not going to watch the video. The man is lying in an attempt to rewrite history. Video doesn’t lie. He could have simply said, “Kids, will you excuse me for a moment?” and walked out of the room. But he was too shocked and scared, and didn’t know what to do. So he sat there and read a children’s book while our country was being attacked. That’s EXACTLY how we’ll remember him, and his failed presidency.

  8. Danny says

    I’ve watched the video of this over and over. He clearly looked like he just plain did not know what to do with himself. Andy Card (the devil take him) came in and told him what to do next.

    I don’t believe he knew all the details about the attack as I believe Cheney did: they HAD to leave him in a position where he could retain plausible denial in case he were ever examined under oath. But I’d bet a year’s pay that as he sat there he wondered if those who engineered the attacks (and he DID know enough to know that those who created the attacks were both inside and outside our government) he wondered if he would live to the end of the day. I bet he was terrified to board Air Force One that morning. Meanwhile Cheney “ordered” (???) shooting down of civilian aircraft (when does the VP “order” anything when the President isn’t incapicated?) and did NOT order interception of the aircraft on its way into the Pentagon. Look on YouTube for Norman Mineta’s testimony if you don’t believe me. The 911 Commission totally ignored these little bits of information. If they had not done so, they would, today, be as dead as the people who were in the World Trade Center that morning.

    I live in NYC. My office window where I am sitting looks straight out at the construction site of the New WTC1–its’ the next building over from my window. I’ve watched this thing closely ever since The Day. Call me any name you like, but 911 was a warning shot from the people and powers that control this country. And none of them are elected.

  9. Chris says

    I believe him. The man has shown considerable remorse for the condition of which he left this country in. Do I agree with how he handled it? No. He cared more about his image and his textbook coaching than prioritizing the situation. That’s what it came down to – Priorities. I think Bush did not know how to handle it, so he thought the ‘safe’ move was to not react to it at all when we all know he should have cut that story short and handled a national crisis. The adviser had enough sense to interrupt and tell Bush what the hell was going on even.

    I wonder how he reacted initially when he found out that daddy’s friend and CIA buddy was the one responsible for the whole thing. Did he even make the connection? The whole CIA-taliban link was mysteriously missing from the whole national discussion.

  10. jomicur says

    Since he had been warned–more than once–that bin Laden and al Qaeda were planning an attack, he certainly should have known “who the hell would do that to America.” Every time he opens his mouth he reveals again what a complete fool he is.

  11. Danny says

    @ Dev: that phrase about projecting calm is similar to the one fed to the press when George’s dumbass facial expression was first questioned. Andy Card and their Press Secretary said that they wanted to “project strength” (in a third-grade reading circle??? FKNLIARS) so that’s why the president didn’t get up and do what the president’s supposed to do: he “projected strength” by looking like a total dimbulb who didn’t know where he was.

    The GARBAGE that the republican country has given this country for “leadership” is just plain unbelievable.

  12. Reggie says

    There is a difference between projecting Calm, and showing ineptitude. The fact that he does not know the difference proves just how deep this ineptitude runs.

  13. princely54 says

    As Jomicur said, if he bothered to pay attention to the daily meetings, he would have remembered the study ENTITLED “Extremists plan on using planes as missles”!!

    He is and always was a political dilettante (at BEST) and can not be trusted to tell the truth at any given time.

    The reality is, he could have calmly excused himself from the room, ran to the nearest boy’s room, puke and then spring into action. His expression totally projected ‘what do I do now??’

  14. says

    I’ve only watched the clip once, and that was a long time ago. I can’t do it again, because the narration sounds like Bob Ross from the Joy of Painting.

  15. Dale says

    ROGER POSTED: “…shame on National Geograpc for participating in the re-fabrication of another Bush Family Lie.”

    FAUX owns National Geographic. Now you understand the revisionist history?

  16. Craig says

    He was a puppet who needed to be told what to do (hence Cheney and Rumsfeld). In this case nobody was there to tell him the proper thing to do.

  17. Andy says

    Bush is still a lying idiot. And did you know that the National Geographic Channel is part of Rupert Murdoch’s evil media emptire?

  18. Kyle says

    The best thing that ever happened to Osama Bin Laden was George W. Bush. The 9/11 attacks would not have been nearly as successful (i.e., their aftermath) if it weren’t for Bush and his reaction to them. My loathing for him and anyone who supported him is endless.

  19. bobbyjoe says

    So his excuse is sort of the ultimate version of that old Republican fallback ruse of “won’t someone please, please, please think of the children”?

    Well, no, dipstick, in this case you had an entire country to think about, and anyone with half-a-brain could have said “excuse me, kids, I’ve loved talking to you, but Mr. President has some adult business to take care of.” It’s not like he was the only adult around anywhere and the kids would have been left all alone.

    In the words of a certain Oscar winning rabbit, what a maroon.

  20. BobN says

    Actually, the most important thing for a leader to do in an attack is survive.

    “Then I immediately focused on the children”

    Yeah, those precious little towheaded kids, who were in mortal danger by merely being in his presence.

  21. He just sat there shocked says

    The original video tape speaks for itself. They won’t be able to erase that!

    I even heard Brian Williams make some statement recently about Bush’s heroic reaction to the news that we were under attack. He’s smart enough to know better.

    At least today with video tape and the internet a whitewash job just isn’t as easy as it used to be.