Bush: I veto bills to ‘ensure that I am relevant.’

Today in his press conference, President Bush attempted to justify his recent veto of an SCHIP expansion by explaining that he needs to issue vetoes in order to prove to people that he’s still the Decider:

That’s why the president has a veto. Sometimes the legislative branch wants to go on without the president, pass pieces of legislation, and the president can then use the veto to make sure he’s a part of the process. And that’s what I fully intend to do. I’m going to make sure. And that’s why when I tell you I’m going to sprint to the finish, and finish this job strong, that’s one way to ensure that I am relevant. That’s one way to ensure that I’m in the process. And I intend to use the veto.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/10/bushvetorelevant.320.240.flv]

Bush has issued four vetoes during his presidency, twice blocking stem cell research, withdrawal from Iraq, and now SCHIP.

UPDATE: Froomkin has more.

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