Bush Decries School Rampage; Critics Question Delay As Bush Ran to Terri Schiavo's Aid

NFS4

No Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
72,647
26
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Took him long enough. Guess we know where his priorities lay...

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=8006925
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush broke his public silence on Saturday about the deadliest U.S. school shooting in six years, touting the government's response "at this tragic time" after some American Indian leaders complained he paid little attention to the rampage.

Bush's delayed public reaction to the shooting stood in contrast to his swift and high-profile intervention earlier this week to try to prolong the life of Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman in Florida whose feeding tube was removed.

Bush's job-approval rating has sunk to the lowest level of his presidency in the latest national survey, with some pollsters citing a public backlash against his intervention in the Schiavo case.

In his first public comments on Monday's school shooting, Bush decried the "tragedy" in which a 16-year-old boy killed nine people and then himself on a Minnesota Indian reservation.

Bush, on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, credited school security guard Derrick Brun for saving the lives of students by confronting the young gunman, before being killed.

"Derrick's bravery cost him his life," Bush said in his weekly radio address as the first funerals began for victims on the Red Lake Indian reservation.

The White House said Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Patrick Ragsdale and Ruben Barrales, assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs, attended the services Saturday.

The rampage by Jeff Weise was the worst U.S. school shooting since 15 people died in the 1999 Columbine massacre.

"We are doing everything we can to meet the needs of the community at this tragic time," Bush said one day after calling Floyd Jourdain, chairman of the Red Lake Chippewa tribe, to offer his condolences.

While White House spokesman Scott McClellan spoke briefly about the shooting on Tuesday, Bush did not respond publicly while he focused on Schiavo's fate, critics say.

Clyde Bellecourt, a Chippewa Indian who is the founder and national director of the American Indian Movement in Red Lake, said Bush's response came too late. "He should have been the first one to reach out to the Red Lake Indian community," he said.

INTERRUPT VACATION

Bellecourt cited Bush's decision to break off his Texas vacation to sign emergency legislation on Monday that permitted federal courts to consider appeals by Schiavo's parents to force the reconnection of the feeding tube.

"He does not have any problems flying in to restore the feeding tube to Terri Schiavo. I'm sure if this happened in some school in Texas and a bunch of white kids were shot down, he would have been there too," Bellecourt said.

Dana Perino, a White House spokeswoman, said the president received "regular and full briefings on the tragedy."

"The president's immediate focus was on making sure the federal government was responding to the needs of the community. They were and they continue to do so," she said.

In his radio address, Bush said the FBI and the Justice Department are "working to coordinate relief" efforts with state, local and tribal authorities.

He made no direct mention of Schiavo, but said: "To keep our children safe and protected, we must continue to foster a culture that affirms life and provides love, and helps our young people build character."

Bush was criticized for his initial reaction to the Dec. 26 tsunami in Asia when he pledged $15 million in U.S. government assistance. The U.S. government's pledge rose substantially after the enormity of the disaster became clear.
 

miketheidiot

Lifer
Sep 3, 2004
11,062
1
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in bush's defense, i didn't find out about the shooting until wednesday, and i live some 30 minutes to an hour from there. :( :confused:
 

NFS4

No Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
72,647
26
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Originally posted by: miketheidiot
in bush's defense, i didn't find out about the shooting until wednesday, and i live some 30 minutes to an hour from there. :( :confused:

In his defense? He's the flippin' President of the United States. When Castro takes a sh!t, Bush hears about it from some official.

That being said, I heard about it Monday night and I live in NC.
 

raildogg

Lifer
Aug 24, 2004
12,741
505
126
Much ado about nothing. There are many many shootings and murders in America each day. I realize it's a school. But you getting all riled up about this is just ridiculous. Out of all the things you can bash Bush with, you chose this?
 

NFS4

No Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
72,647
26
91
Originally posted by: raildogg
Much ado about nothing. There are many many shootings and murders in America each day. I realize it's a school. But you getting all riled up about this is just ridiculous.

And there are thousands of people on life support in vegative states. Why does this one need attention from the President?

I'm sorry, but if a kid goes on a rampage and kills 9 people including himself with a gun, you'd think that president would at least say SOMETHING??!!

But oh, I forgot, this was on an Indian reservation where 37% of the people live below the poverty line and only 3% of the people have a bachelors degree. Oh I'm sorry, it's not "middle class" white American kids involved.

Ahh, fvck 'em...right?
 

miketheidiot

Lifer
Sep 3, 2004
11,062
1
0
Originally posted by: NFS4
Originally posted by: miketheidiot
in bush's defense, i didn't find out about the shooting until wednesday, and i live some 30 minutes to an hour from there. :( :confused:

In his defense? He's the flippin' President of the United States. When Castro takes a sh!t, Bush hears about it from some official.

That being said, I heard about it Monday night and I live in NC.

having read that again, even i can't find the sarcasm that i thought i intended.
 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,136
1
0
Maybe Bush thinks Native Americans aren't Americans? :p You know, like the 200,000 tsunami victims who also didn't warrant Presidential commentary for quite some time.