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President Bush Speaks at White House Correspondents' Dinner

Aired April 28, 2001 - 22:03   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: Now to the White House Correspondents' Dinner we showed you a moment ago, where President Bush has just taken the lectern. Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... from these scrapbooks and create a little slide show. And so Gordon, if everybody's cell phones are turned off, you can hit the lights.

Tonight, I present a "Bush Family Album." What you may not realize is that I grew up at a time in Texas history when it was still a rough-and-tumble frontier.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: We were ranchers back then, and this was my favorite horse. He was sure-footed, steady. I trusted that horse totally. And here's the really weird part. His name was Dick Cheney.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: But times were hard back then.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: This, of course, was during the great drought of 1953. Dad, Neil, Dorothy, Marvin and Jeb. In my family, with all those kids in the tub, it's not arsenic in the water I'd be worried about,

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Personally, I've always preferred a private bath. This is my actual first grade report card. Up top it says George W. Bush, and then notice the final grades on the right: Writing, A; reading, A; spelling, A; arithmetic, A; music, A; art, A. So my advice is, don't peak too early.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Here I am with my fifth grade science project.

(LAUGHTER) BUSH: Built it myself, and it's still meeting our energy needs. I went on to college and graduate school. But somehow, the press has gotten the wrong idea that I was a smart aleck party guy. This is an unfair perception. See, in college I actually did a lot of independent reading.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: After graduation, I joined the Texas Air National Guard. I'm the one who committed the state of Texas to defend Taiwan from attack.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Speaking of pilots, I'm so proud and honored to welcome to our nation's Capitol Lieutenant Shane Osborn and crewmember Lieutenant j.g. John Comerford.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: I hope you and your crew will be coming to the White House soon. I know you'll like it there. I know I've said this to you personally on the phone, but I'll proud to say it publicly: Welcome back, Lieutenant.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Some people wondered, and I'm sure there might have been a few out here, how I would handle to recent incident in China. The truth is, I have long been a serious student of the Orient.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: My mom and dad, of course, were in China when dad was the U.S. liaison there. People have asked me, is it difficult trying to follow in the footsteps of a man who was president and vice president, U.N. ambassador; a man who held so many important jobs; is it hard being such a man's son? Not really.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Most people don't realize it, but dad's had some tough times. Back in the '50s, he went through a period when he thought aliens were trying to contact him, so he built this contraption to receive their signals. As for my mom, after bearing six children, she herself became a bit stressed.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: She took to acting very strangely.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: For a while, she thought she was too tall and walked like this. As if that weren't strange enough, next she wrote a book with that damned, mangy, ill-tempered dog. (LAUGHTER)

BUSH: I hated that dog. My mother treated the dog better than she treated me. She never helped me write my book. I will say this, however, my mom always stuck up for us kids. Here's mom replying to a reporter's question about something Barbra Streisand said recently.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Fortunately, I've got great brothers and a great sister. Some people have asked me, however, if the vote recount left any hard feelings between my brother Jeb and me. Not a bit. In fact, here's a picture of the governor of Florida.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: All this brings me to a serious point. Eventually, I meet a woman named Laura Welch.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: She changed my life. She has given me as an adult what I enjoyed as a child, and that is a loving family. The defining moments of the Bush family are not when my father was elected president or when I was elected president. The defining moments have been family moments. Ladies and gentlemen, I have been blessed a family that is full of love, and I pray the same for you.

Good evening.

(APPLAUSE)

FRAZIER: President Bush speaking at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. This is traditionally a scene for some levity, and President Bush did not disappoint with what he called a Bush Family Album.

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