Bush Bombs On Letterman

george bush on letterman, dweebs for bush CBS

George W. Bush appeared via satellite Wednesday night on CBS's The Late Show with David Letterman. The GOP presidential front-runner managed to get off a few quips, but he bombed with a pair of tasteless remarks about Letterman's recent heart surgery.

Letterman asked Bush how he withstands the stress of campaigning: "How do you look so youthful and rested?"

With a shrug of the shoulders, Bush responded glibly: "Fake it." Letterman came back with: "And that's pretty much how you're going to run the country?"
Humor Never Rests

The number of late-night jokes told about current, former or potential candidates over the last year, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs:

  • President Clinton: 1,189
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, 329
  • George W. Bush, 293
  • Al Gore, 275
  • Dan Quayle, 162
  • Pat Buchanan, 63
  • Steve Forbes, 61
  • Donald Trump, 59
  • Rudolph Giuliani, 30
  • John McCain, 29
  • Bill Bradley, 28


  • Shows: Late Show With David Letterman, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher.

    Bush then felt that it was his turn to give Letterman a hard time. Dave began "Let me remind you of one thing, governor: the road to Washington runs through me."

    Bush shot back with "It's about time you had the heart to invite me," an apparent reference to Letterman's recent bypass heart surgery.

    Amid boos from the audience, Letterman shook his head: "You're winning delegates left and right, governor."

    Leaving that joke, Letterman brought up one of Bush's many slogans: "You often say: I'm a uniter, not a divider. What does that mean?"

    Without hesitation, Bush continued to goad Letterman: "It means when it comes time to sew up your chest cavity, we use stitches as opposed to opening it up." The remark produced more boos from the audience.

    Letterman then asked Bush to compare himself to Sen. John McCain on several different counts. The highlight: "Who likes interns better, you or McCain?" Bush smartly replied: "You've got the wrong party."

    Bush interrupted the dialogue to unveil his own prop. Letterman had previously joked that Bush was a "colossal boob."

    "I've gone from a boob to a dweeb," Bush said. He then produced a "Dweebs for Bush" T-shirt for Letterman.

    Bush's GOP rival, John McCain, was also on the late-night circuit. He appeared on The Tonight Show. Comedian Jay Leno asked the Arizona senator if he'd join the Reform Party if he didn't get the GOP nomination.

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    The GOP contenders appear with Letterman and Leno and the New York campaign really heats up.

    McCain said he would remain a Republican, although he claimed to have much in common with Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who quit the Reform Party last month. He quipped that he sometimes wears a feather boa to the Senate, just as Ventura did in the ring as a professional wrestler.

    Introduced by Leno as John "Given 'Em Hell" McCain, the Arizona senator indicated his reputation for a hot temper is unfounded.

    "Every year in the Senate I win Miss Congeniality," he joked.


    • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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