But leave it to the AP to spin the story like this:
During a round-table interview with reporters from 14 newspapers, the president, who not long ago declined to identify any mistakes he'd made during his first term, expressed misgivings for two of his most famous expressions: "Bring 'em on," in reference to Iraqis attacking U.S. troops, and his vow to get Osama bin Laden "dead or alive."That reference that Bush "Declined to identify any mistakes" comes from the debate with Kerry where Bush was asked what three mistakes he had made during his time in office. Now, while this was unfair by itself because Kerry was not asked the same question and then just attacked Bush about the same question, saying that Bush declined to identify any mistakes he'd made during his first term is shallow. He said that the big decisions, going to Iraq and Afghanistan, were not mistakes, but left room for history to judge him, not the Democrats:
And in a war, there's a lot of -- there's a lot of tactical decisions that historians will look back and say: He shouldn't have done that. He shouldn't have made that decision. And I'll take responsibility for them. I'm human.
But on the big questions, about whether or not we should have gone into Afghanistan, the big question about whether we should have removed somebody in Iraq, I'll stand by those decisions, because I think they're right.
Here's the text of the 2nd debate.
Like I said, it was an extremely unfair question during an election. Candidates aren't going to outright say that things they did were mistakes during a campaign. Why give the opposition a gift? So the press' treatment of Bush on the "admit your mistakes" issue is dispicable.
I don't even think Bush really needed to appologize for those phrases he used that he is regretting now. But he does, and the statements were taken wrong by the press from the beginning. It just goes to show you what a razor's edge the President has to walk, verbally, all the time.