Yesterday I met with President Bush in the Oval Office with a group of ten other journalists. The president was feisty, energetic, has veto pen in hand, and is ready to go to the mat with Congress on tax hikes, over-spending, and the FISA surveillance bill.
He is furious that Congress has not funded the military appropriations bill. And he intends to fight hard for the Columbia free-trade bill as a matter of economic growth and national security.
He recognizes the problem with housing and subprime loans, but he remains optimistic about the economy, citing low interest rates, low inflation, high productivity, technological advances, and the ability of consumers to absorb energy prices.
He’s mulling over tax reform and Social Security reform, but he mostly talked about the costly failure of Congress to pass the appropriation budget bills.
Mr. Bush was chock full of optimism, confidence, and leadership. He strongly believes he’s moving the country in the right direction—economically here at home and successfully in the world terror war and the battle of Iraq.