This morning, President Bush and outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair held their final press conference together in the Rose Garden. The two men perhaps most responsible for the war in Iraq spent virtually the entire time heaping praise on one another.
“You’ve been unyielding, unflinching, and determined,” Blair told Bush, confessing at one point, “I totally agree with what the President was saying, we have the same position exactly.”
Bush contrasted Blair with the “hot-air artists” and “blowhards in the political process,” saying, “this good man is a courageous man.” “Will I miss working with Tony Blair?” he asked. “You bet I will.”
Watch our video montage of the love fest:
BUSH: I’m pleased to welcome Tony Blair back to the White House. He is a good friend.
BLAIR: Well, thank you very much, Mr. President.
BUSH: I have enjoyed working with Tony Blair more than I could have possibly imagined.
BUSH: Will I miss working with Tony Blair? You bet I will.
BLAIR: It will be the last chance I get to do this type of press conference in the Rose Garden, standing next to President Bush.
BUSH: You don’t understand how effective Blair is, I guess. Because when we’re in a room with world leaders and he speaks, people listen.
BLAIR: I totally agree with what the President was saying, we have the same position exactly.
BUSH: There’s a lot of blowhards in the political process, you know, a lot of hot-air artists, people who have got something fancy to say. Tony Blair is somebody who actually follows through with his convictions.
BLAIR: You’ve been unyielding, unflinching, and determined.
BUSH: Yeah! This guy is a very strong, respected leader. He’s absolutely the right guy for me to be dealing with.
BLAIR: And thank you also for the strength of your leadership over the past few years.
BUSH: It’s been a joy having you back here. I appreciate — every time I’m with you I appreciate very much the insight you provide.
BLAIR: And I would take the same position of alliance with America again, yes I would.
BUSH: What I know is the world needs courage. And what I know is this good man is a courageous man.
Thanks for coming.