Q: Thanks for getting us started early. Thatís a notable thing about Republicanstheyíre punctual.
A: Well, I canít help it. Every once in a while I do something by accident thatís good. Not all of my mistakes are wrong. Some of my mistakes turn out to be right.
Q: Not long ago there was talk of a permanent GOP majority, but now Republicans are seen, to some degree, as pariahs. How did that happen?
A: Oh, thereís an ebb and flow in life and in politics. I think the presidential election is wide open. I absolutely do. Iím a person who believes that national security is one of the key issues for the national government and for the presidency, and I think in that respect John McCain is a hands-down favorite. So if you are asking me to sing at the funeral of the Republican Party, I donít have a song to sing there.
Q: I do want you to sing, though.
A: Yeah, well, itís only because you havenít heard me sing.
Q: No, Iíve heard you sing ďLet the Eagle Soar.Ē Youíre a huge hit on YouTube.
A: Oh, brother.
Q: Gay people have been getting married in California. How do you react to that?
A: Well, I chose to marry a beautiful woman, and we have three healthy children, for which we are grateful. Conventional marriages provide things that are very important, and provide the next generation for the community, and for that reason I obviously overwhelmingly favor society to encourage the kind of marriage that builds the future into the equation and brings children into existence.
Q: But when youíre talking with friends about whatís going on in California, is it something that disturbs you?
A: You know, I donít think I can say anything more than I said in my previous answer. I believe that we are best served when we have marriages that result in the continuity of the culture and having children.
Q: But, I mean, a gay couple can raise children and provide continuity in that way.
A: I really believe that my previous answer kind of answers what I need to say there.
Q: How will the Bush presidency be judged?
A: Well, sometimes you have to ask yourself whoís doing the judging. I think the Bush presidencywell, let me put it this way: The judging probably will ultimately be done after the time of evaluation has been settled. So you might want to say that the Bush presidency will, in the eyes of history, be judged based probably on the level of freedom that exists and the impact of the presidency on that freedom. The Reagan presidency, for example: At the time, when Reagan said to Gorbachev at Reykjavik, ďIím not going to continue in this mutually assured destruction strategy, but Iím gonna deploy the high-tech space-based defense,Ē he was ridiculed. He was said to be an American cowboy. He was cartooned across Europe. He was thought to be anti-intellectual. And in the futurein what now is the recent past but was the future thenwhat happened was over time about 300 million people were liberated because Reagan did not back down. So history appropriately now judges Reagan as a phenomenally successful American president whose policies resulted in the lowering of the Berlin Wall, the liberation of Eastern Europe, and freedom being extended to people who had long been oppressed. If in the next several decades somethingwhich might well happenin terms of the Middle East, materializes in substantially more freedom there, if the nation of Iraq, for instance, continues on its current course, which is toward stability and toward liberation, and we have another Middle Eastern presence that can demonstrate the value and virtue of democracy in that arena, this president could be viewed in many respects in some of the same heroic terms that Ronald Reagan has been viewed in, as a person whoperhaps unpopular at the timepersisted in policies that resulted in a long-term benefit to literally hundreds of millions of people.