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Laura Bush on Iraq: 'No one suffers more than their president and I do'
Ron Brynaert
Published: Wednesday April 25, 2007
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According to the first lady, when it comes to Iraq, "No one suffers more than their president and I do."

During an interview on NBC's Today show Wednesday concerning Malaria Awareness Day, Laura Bush talked to Ann Curry about "other challenges her husband is facing."

"You know the American people are suffering watching --," Curry said to the first lady.

"Oh, I know that very much," Laura Bush responded. "And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this, and certainly the commander in chief, who has asked our military to go into harm's way."

Curry then asked, "What do you think the American public need to know about your husband?"

"Well, I hope they do know the burden, the worry that's on his shoulders every single day for our troops," Bush said. "And I think they do. I mean, I think if they don't, they're not seeing what the real responsibilities of our president are."

The first lady admitted that "it's absolutely hard" to watch her husband "in this."

"I know that what's also hard for you now is watching the real strain that your attorney general is going through," Curry said. "I know that he's a good friend of yours and has been for many years."

Laura Bush said that not only was Gonzales "a very good friend" but that also "been a very good attorney general."

"One other thing that I want to say is that nothing was done that was wrong," Laura Bush added. "Maybe there was -- it was not communicated very well. But actually, what the Justice Department did with the firing of U.S. attorneys is within the purview and the authority of both the Justice Department and the president."

Curry asked, "And if he loses his job as a result of this, if he must resign?"

"Well, I'll be very disappointed and sad," Bush said. "And it'll be a loss for the United States, I think."

A video clip from Laura Bush's NBC interview can be viewed at Americablog.

Full transcript follows:

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MATT LAUER: President Bush has declared today Malaria Awareness Day in the U.S. Malaria affects more than 300 million people every year. The debilitating and often deadly disease hits children in Africa particularly hard. But the world is starting to take notice. The problem was even highlighted on last night's "American Idol." And it's just one of the subjects Ann Curry asked First Lady Laura Bush about at the White House earlier this week.

(Begin videotaped segment.)

MRS. BUSH: That's right. Every 30 seconds a baby dies in Africa with malaria. And really the reason that malaria and the eradication of malaria is so important is because it can be. It's possible.

MS. CURRY: By some estimates, 5,000 children die of malaria every day, most in Africa under the age of five. First Lady Laura Bush says this suffering should and can be stopped.

(To Mrs. Bush.) To Americans sitting at home watching this, many of them women, wondering, "But what can I do?"

MRS. BUSH: Well, there are things we can do, and that's very exciting. There's a website, MalariaNoMore, that people can go to. A child in the United States who can give $10 to buy a bed net can save a child in Africa. And there's something very personal and direct about that for children.

MS. CURRY: Mrs. Bush wrote the forward to a book for children about malaria called "Nets Are Nice."

MRS. BUSH: We were able to eradicate malaria from much of the world, but it is still a very, very serious problem in Africa.

MS. CURRY: In your efforts to raise awareness about Africa, you went to Rwanda in 2005 and you went to the genocide museum. What do you hope your husband will be able to do about the genocide in Darfur?

MRS. BUSH: I know that the president will insist with the president of the Sudan to come to the table, to work. But it's very important that if that doesn't happen, that the U.S. will enforce some sanctions to try to stop the genocide.

MS. CURRY: I also asked Mrs. Bush about other challenges her husband is facing.

(To Mrs. Bush.) You know the American people are suffering watching --

MRS. BUSH: Oh, I know that very much. And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this, and certainly the commander in chief, who has asked our military to go into harm's way.

MS. CURRY: What do you think the American public need to know about your husband?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I hope they do know the burden, the worry that's on his shoulders every single day for our troops. And I think they do. I mean, I think if they don't, they're not seeing what the real responsibilities of our president are.

MS. CURRY: It must be hard for you to watch him in this.

MRS. BUSH: Well, it's hard. I mean, of course, it's absolutely hard.

MS. CURRY: I know that what's also hard for you now is watching the real strain that your attorney general is going through.

MRS. BUSH: It is.

MS. CURRY: I know that he's a good friend of yours and has been for many years.

MRS. BUSH: He is a very good friend. But besides that, he's been a very good attorney general. One other thing that I want to say is that nothing was done that was wrong. Maybe there was -- it was not communicated very well. But actually, what the Justice Department did with the firing of U.S. attorneys is within the purview and the authority of both the Justice Department and the president.

MS. CURRY: And if he loses his job as a result of this, if he must resign?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I'll be very disappointed and sad. And it'll be a loss for the United States, I think.

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