George Bush’s Legacy: Revisiting Past Claims
After his defeat within the 1992 election, former President George Bush concluded in which he lost his bid for a second term because he “just wasn’t a not bad enough communicator” as well as blamed the news media for the perception in which he was out of touch with the average American. Certain claims are again abounding as the country prepares to bury Mr. Bush after his death on Friday. Here’s a look at some of them.
Was he actually amazed by a grocery store scanner?
A visit Mr. Bush made to the National Grocers Association convention in Florida during the 1992 campaign cemented the impression in which he was detached via middle-class life.
in which February, The brand new York Times reported in which he was “amazed” by a grocery store scanner.
After he left office, Mr. Bush called the Times article an ugly as well as inaccurate smear. Snopes, the debunking website, rated in which characterization of him as false in a 2001 article.
Here’s what The Times reported in 1992:
He signed his name on an electronic pad used to detect check forgeries. “If some guy came in as well as spelled George Bush differently, could you catch in which?” the president asked. “Yes,” he was told, as well as he shook his head in wonder.
Then he grabbed a quart of milk, a light bulb as well as a bag of candy as well as ran them over an electronic scanner. The look of wonder flickered across his face again as he saw the item as well as cost registered on the cash register screen.
“This kind of will be for checking out?” asked Mr. Bush. “I just took a tour through the exhibits here,” he told the grocers later. “Amazed by some of the technology.”
The episode elicited derision in editorials: The Boston Globe cited in which as an example of Mr. Bush’s “12 years’ vacation via the real world,” referring to his eight years as vice president as well as four as commander in chief. A column in Newsday described Mr. Bush as “dumbfounded” as well as “still out of touch.” as well as The Washington Post wrote Mr. Bush a quick pocket guide to some other modern technologies like cable TV as well as microwaves.
Mr. Bush’s aides pushed back on how the president was characterized. A systems analyst who showed Mr. Bush the scanner told The Associated Press in which he was “amazed at the ability of the scanner to take in which torn label as well as reassemble in which” — a brand new feature at the time.
The Times stood by its original reporting in a follow-up article a week later, as well as said videotape of the visit showed Mr. Bush impressed with “even basic scanner technology.” Newsweek as well as The Washington Post expressed skepticism at the Times’s interpretation.
Still, the story lived on as well as was repeated during the 1992 campaign as well as long after. In an interview months later, Hillary Clinton referred to the incident to argue in which a brand new president should “recognize the reality of people’s lives.”
in which summer, Mr. Bush awarded the National Medal of Technology as well as Innovation to N. Joseph Woodland, who invented the bar code.
“You’ve seen firsthand how impressed I am about how bar coding works,” Mr. Bush jokingly said to Mr. Woodland during the ceremony. “Amazing.”
What was his role within the Iran-contra scandal?
During both his presidential campaigns, Mr. Bush publicly distanced himself via the Iran-contra scandal, in which the American government secretly traded arms to free hostages as well as used the funds to support rebels in Nicaragua.
In an August 1987 interview with The Washington Post, Mr. Bush claimed in which he was “not in the loop” on discussions about selling arms to Iran. In in which same article, an aide to Mr. Bush suggested he may not have been present at a meeting of high-ranking administration officials who were discussing the arms-for-hostages swap.
Those statements might later be contradicted by Mr. Bush’s testimony to the F.B.I. as well as the independent counsel investigating the scandal, his diary as well as statements via some other administration officials.
In a 1986 interview with the F.B.I. as well as in a 1988 deposition, Mr. Bush “acknowledged in which he was regularly informed of events connected with the Iran arms sales,” according to the independent counsel report in which was published in 1993.
A note via Caspar W. Weinberger, the former defense secretary, was released within the final days of the 1992 campaign. The memo detailed a meeting in January 1986 in which Mr. Weinberger discussed the arms-for-hostages swap, as well as Mr. Bush favored the deal.
as well as in an excerpt via Mr. Bush’s diary, released in January 1993, the former president wrote of the hostage situation, “I’m one of the few people in which know fully the details, as well as there will be a lot of flack as well as misinformation out there.”
The independent counsel, Lawrence E. Walsh, wrote in his final report in which he also hoped to interview Mr. Bush again to address what he described as several some other inconsistencies between the available evidence as well as the president’s testimony, including via when he was vice president. Mr. Walsh never received his second interview.
Did Ross Perot cost him his re-election bid?
Ross Perot, an independent candidate who earned almost 19 percent of the vote within the 1992 presidential election, will be often cited as the reason Mr. Bush lost to Bill Clinton. Yet election experts have challenged in which theory.
Mr. Perot’s effect “on the campaign’s outcome appears to have been minimal,” The Times reported shortly after the election, citing how his voters were more or less evenly split between Mr. Clinton as well as Mr. Bush. The Washington Post concurred, writing in which Mr. Perot’s absence might have flipped one state to Mr. Bush’s ledger — although Mr. Clinton might have still won handily.
Scholarly research largely supports those analyses. A 1995 study found in which Mr. Perot siphoned voters via Mr. Bush, although not enough to overcome Mr. Clinton’s lead. A 1999 article in an academic journal agreed in which Mr. Perot’s absence might not have altered the result of the election although concluded in which he had actually reduced Mr. Clinton’s margin of victory over Mr. Bush. in which also suggested in which one in a few voters supporting Mr. Perot might have sat out the election had he not been on the ballot.
What was his record on the H.I.V./AIDS crisis?
Compared to President Ronald Reagan, who will be often believed to be the American leader who failed to adequately address the epidemic, Mr. Bush signed two pieces of legislation related to the crisis. One protected AIDS patients via discrimination as well as another created a federally funded program for people with the disease.
although over all, his record will be mixed, AIDS activists say. They contend Mr. Bush did not do enough to fund research on the disease as well as failed to adopt recommendations via the National AIDS Commission on sex education as well as needle exchanges.