"The media won't let go of these ridiculous cocaine rumors," I heard Bush say. "You know, the truth is I honestly don't remember whether I tried it or not. We had some pretty wild parties back in the day, and I just don't remember."
As I worked closely with Pres. Bush, I would come to believe that sometimes he convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment. Bush has a way of falling back on the hazy memory defense. Bush rationalizes it as being acceptable because he is not stating unequivocally anything that could be proven false.
In other words, being evasive is not the same as lying in Bush's mind. The former is acceptable, but the latter is not.
Bush said that the DUI story was, in essence, correct. "I've often times said that years ago I made some mistakes," Bush said. "I occasionally drank too much. I did on that night. I was pulled over. I admitted to the policeman that I had been drinking. I paid the fine. I regretted that it happened. I learned my lesson."
He had not disclosed the DUI conviction publicly before because he did not want his daughters to know about it.
What impact did the DUI story have on the 2000 election? Karl Rove believed the revelation was responsible for the Republican loss of Maine, where the news had originated, as well as the loss of enough support nationally to cost Bush the popular vote & send the election into overtime
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