Transcript: The President's Interview with Print Media Columnists
Q: I want to go on the air
THE PRESIDENT: You want to say, 12 million people voted, or we killed Zarqawi.
Q: I want to go on the air tonight, I want some good news. I need some good news, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I do, too.
Q: I really do.
THE PRESIDENT: You're talking to Noah about the flood. I do, too.
Q: It's a hard thing.
THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate that, but go ahead.
Q: You said if we leave Iraq they'll come after us
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q: we've heard you say that quite specifically. So maybe that's a sign of victory, is that they haven't come here.
THE PRESIDENT: Look, he's trying this is so hard. That's what makes this more difficult I don't know what Harry Truman was feeling like, or Franklin Roosevelt. But I do know
I'm sure there were moments of high frustration for them but I do know that at Midway, they were eventually able to say two carriers were sunk and one was damaged. We don't get to say that. A thousand of the enemy killed, or whatever the number was. It's happening; you just don't know it. And there's no scorecard. There's not a scoreboard that makes it great, four more schools that doesn't score, that doesn't mean anything.
You know, Larry, I've thought long and hard about this, because it is precisely what is frustrating most people. Most people out there I agree with you those who say we shouldn't have been there, they're clear. A lot of people one time I well, a lot of people are just saying, you're not doing enough to win. We're not winning, you're not doing enough to win, and I'm frustrated, I want it over with, with victory. And I'm trying to figure out a matrix that says things are getting better. I think that one way to measure is less violence than before, I guess. We'll have to see what happens here after Ramadan. I believe these people oh, I was going to tell you Abizaid believes Ramadan, no question, caused them to be more violent because he says there's some kind of reward during Ramadan for violence. And I think they're trying to affect the elections.
Q: Well, one measure you mentioned is the compromises you'd like to see Prime Minister Maliki make.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q: Specifically one we all know about is for sharing oil revenues.
THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely.
Q: If they were to come to a deal on that, that would be a big victory.
THE PRESIDENT: I think it's going see, that's what this benchmark deal is all about. There's one way, Kudlow forgot to I should have thought of that. The idea is to develop with the Iraqi government a series of benchmarks oil, federalism, constitutional reform there's like 20 different things and have that developed in a way that they're comfortable with and we're comfortable with.