Bush Doesn’t Govern Based on Polls (Except When He Does)

After taking nearly two weeks off from his regular briefing schedule, it’s good to see Scott McClellan hasn’t lost his touch.

Here’s McClellan on December 13, responding to a poll that found almost 60 percent of Americans do not think Bush has a plan for Iraq:

QUESTION: So what does that say about the hill that you have to climb?

MCCLELLAN: A couple things. Let me first correct you in terms of saying that we don’t ever look at polls. We don’t govern based on polls. The president does not govern based on polls. The president governs based on a clear set of principles and a clear set of beliefs. [WH Press Briefing, 12/13/05]

Today, responding to why Bush is justified in continuing to conduct an illegal wiretapping program:

MCCLELLAN: I think that clearly the American people strongly support the efforts that we are undertaking to save their lives. I think there actually was a poll last week that said 60 percent — more than 60 percent of the American people support the actions the president is taking to prevent attacks from happening in the first place. That is what this president is committed to doing. This is about saving lives.

By the way, that poll that McClellan is referring to didn’t even describe the president’s policy.