George W. Bush is gone from office…but he is not forgotten, at least not by Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Mike Pence (R-IN), and Steve King (R-IA). On Thursday, the three men spent almost 40 minutes delivering their final love letters to Bush. Some highlights:
– FRANKS: “President Bush often had to walk like a knowing lion — like a knowing lion, Mr. Speaker, through the chattering of hyenas. … [I]f those critics do not devour themselves in the meantime, Mr. Speaker, they may face the bared teeth of an enemy that will make us all wish the lion still walked among us.”
– PENCE: “I truly believe that this nation owes a debt of gratitude to George W. Bush.”
– KING: “I’m here to say thank you to President Bush for the things that he has done when he’s had his steady hand on the till of leadership, and especially with our national defense.”
At one point, Franks began to tear up when talking about how Bush made the country “brighter” and “more hopeful” for his children. Throughout the 40 minutes, they also compared Bush to Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. Watch some highlights:
(HT: CSPAN Junkie)
FRANKS: Now Mr. Speaker, since it is Jan. 22, and since we have made a great transition in this country, I feel like it is also appropriate for me tonight to say some words in tribute to one George Walker Bush. [...]
Throughout his war on terrorism, and our war on terrorism, President Bush often had to walk like a knowing lion — like a knowing lion, Mr. Speaker, through the chattering of hyenas. And endure the incessant insults and thoughtless criticisms of those whose vision only reached to the selfish partisan advantage of the moment.
But if those critics do not devour themselves in the meantime, Mr. Speaker, they may face the bared teeth of an enemy that will make us all wish the lion still walked among us. [...]
PENCE: So I stand here today, not as a vacuous apologist for President George W. Bush, but I come here today among other cherished colleagues — like the gentleman from Iowa — simply to say that I truly believe that this nation owes a debt of gratitude to George W. Bush. [...]
KING: I’m here to say thank you to President Bush for the things that he has done when he’s had his steady hand on the till of leadership, and especially with our national defense. [...]
FRANKS: Mr. Speaker, if I could just talk to him face-to-face, I think I would just say something like this. … I would say, “Thank you, Mr. President, for protecting my two babies, Joshie (sp?) and Gracie. Thank you that they will live in a brighter, more hopeful future, because you were once president of the United States.” [...]
PENCE: And George W. Bush showed the courage of his convictions in defending this country, and he also showed, through his fealty to his wife, through his integrity in office, the administration of what it is to provide good and decent government. And to be an example to the American people and our families and our children. For that we owe him a debt, and I’m pleased to rise today to pay some small amount toward that. [...]
KING: So I want to say in conclusion — Mr. Speaker, I want the message to be echoed to President Bush — thank you for the people in Iraq and Afghanistan, that they can go to the polls and vote, breathe free air, and direct their national destiny, and become our allies in this quest for freedom. The right of every man and every woman and every person to be free. The right to life that every man and every person has, and I ask, Mr. Speaker, that the President also be thanked for his stance on life and freedom. [...]
FRANKS: Today has been sort of a remembrance of heroes. We talked a lot about George Bush, we talked a lot about Abraham Lincoln. In a sense its sort of appropriate to do that on Jan. 22, isn’t it?