Bartlett: "Mission Accomplished" Banner Was My Fault
At his news conference yesterday, President Bush said the decision to put a "Mission Accomplished" banner on the aircraft carrier where he gave a speech following the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a "mistake."
(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
It was not his mistake, however, according to CBS News political analyst Dan Bartlett, a former senior advisor to Mr. Bush. Asked this morning by Harry Smith, co-anchor of CBS' The Early Show, who was responsible for the banner – Smith pointed out that both the Navy and former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan have taken the blame in the past – Bartlett said that it was actually his call.
"Quite frankly, yours truly was the guy who actually signed off" on posting the banner, Bartlett said, after people on the aircraft carrier approached the White House with the idea. "I regret it to this day, because it did send the wrong message."
Bartlett said the fact that the president didn't "throw us under the bus" for the choice, despite the fact that he didn't have anything to do with the banner, illustrates "why he endears so much loyalty from people like myself and others who had worked for him."
Republican strategist Ed Rollins, however, noted that the banner wasn't the only regrettable image from that speech – Mr. Bush "flew in on a jet, he had a pilot's outfit on," Rollins noted. He said the president had been "overly confident" during his two terms.
Even at yesterday's uncharacteristically reflective press conference – which Bartlett said showcased the real Mr. Bush – Rollins said, "there was no humility there."
Watch the segment below:
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