WASHINGTON — The White House is all about setting the record straight these days when it comes to perceived slights about the boss. On Friday, it came down to whether President Bush called himself "a commander guy" or "the commander guy."
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After a speech on Wednesday, Bush took questions from his mostly friendly audience, including one on how to secure more positive stories in the media about the situation in Iraq. The president said those who believe in his policies need to speak out, and then took a shot at Democratic congressional leaders who want to set a timeline for withdrawing troops, which he opposes.
"The question is, who ought to make that decision?" Bush said, appearing before the Associated General Contractors of America. "The Congress or the commanders?"
Trouble developed over how he answered himself.
The White House transcript of the event released that day recorded Bush saying "I'm the commander guy." This had columnists and bloggers poking fun at what appeared to be a reference to his commander in chief status, one that recalled the president's "I'm the decider" statement a year ago when rumors abounded about an administration shake-up.
On Friday, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino volunteered at her daily briefing that she felt compelled to have the stenographers take another listen to the tape after thinking she had heard something different during the speech. Turns out Bush actually said "I'm a commander guy" — as in, he's the sort who prefers the advice of military leaders over politicians in Washington.
The White House released a corrected transcript, and changed the one on the Web site.
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