By Brian Williams Anchor & “Nightly News” managing editor
NBC News
updated 2/3/2005 7:27:44 PM ET 2005-02-04T00:27:44

On Friday, all Americans are being urged to wear red to work, part of first lady Laura Bush's program to promote heart health. Thursday night she added another cause when the president announced she'd be leading an initiative to fight gang violence. Brian Williams sat down with her to talk about it in New York.

Brian Williams: One of the elements in the president's speech last night — gang violence.

First lady Laura Bush: That's right.

Williams:  Did he come to you? Did you go to him? And are you ready for the work this represents?

Bush: Well, I'm very interested in the work, and I hope I'm ready for it. All the statistics on boys are not good. Boys drop out of school more, they're adjudicated more — we know many more boys than girls are in jail or in prison. We know that in our changing, complex world there are a lot of single-parent families, so that boys don't have a man in their life. They don't have a role model.  And one thing I'd really like to do is encourage men to choose teaching.

Williams: I want to talk to you about emotion in regard to last night's speech by the president. The emotional high point, obviously, [was when] the woman next to you and the parents of the Marine hugged.

Bush: I think it really spoke volumes about how we stood with Iraq, and how we've suffered and sacrificed in our country, and certainly that family really, really sacrificed — the Norwoods. I think it really gave the American people a chance to see that there are a lot of Iraqis who really do value our sacrifice.

Williams: Isn't it one of the the dirty little secrets of the Bush family that they are such an emotional bunch? 

Bush: That's right. He is emotional. And, you know, he has a very soft side, which I know, of course, most people haven't seen, because he is a wartime president. 

Williams: Your husband was in a playful mood during a television interview a few months ago, when he answered a question about what media he sees — newspapers, magazines, television. He said, in effect, "I don't read the papers. I don't watch television news. I get briefed orally." You were known to believe that that answer was unsatisfactory, that it painted him as an incurious man ...

Bush: That's right.                       

Williams:  ...which we know he is not.  What papers come to the residence in the morning? Does he watch news? Do you watch together at all in the evening? How do you get your fill of information, if not opinion, which I know he doesn't prefer?

Bush: We get a lot of newspapers. We get The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. They all come to the White House. We get up about 5:30, and George goes and gets the coffee and the newspapers. And we drink coffee and read papers for about an hour. Then, of course, he goes on to work. And at night we mainly watch sports. During baseball season, we watch baseball every night, just about. And we watch basketball during basketball season, and of course we'll be looking forward to the Super Bowl this weekend.

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