At least one person in Washington, D.C., isn't afraid to be a straight talker in Rumsfeld's defense. George Bush is always at his best when he doesn't hide the ball and play political talking games. Thus, when asked about Rumsfeld, Bush had this to say:
BUSH: [O]n Friday, I stood up and said I don't appreciate the speculation about Don Rumsfeld. He's doing a fine job. I strongly support him.
QUESTION: Well, what do you say to critics who believe that you're ignoring the advice of retired generals, military commanders, who say that there needs to be a change?
BUSH: I say I listen to all voices. But mine's the final decision.
And Don Rumsfeld is doing a fine job. He's not only transforming the military, he's fighting a war on terror — he's helping us fight a war on terror.
I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld.
I hear the voices. And I read the front page. And I know the speculation. But I'm the decider and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense.
I want to thank you all very much.
In the backstabbing, cowardly world of Washington politics, what George Bush said is really saying something.