Poll Results: Bush Breaks Policy of Not Commenting on Pending Investigations
Indicted Congressman Tom DeLay stepped down as Republican House Majority leader today. DeLay was pressured to resign by fellow Republicans because he is currently facing criminal charges in his home state. Republicans fear that having a criminal defendant as House Majority leader might adversely affect their chances in upcoming elections.
DeLay was one of the chief architects of the GOP's famous "Contract With America" and his behavior during his tenure in office probably inspired the GOP's less well-known "Contract With Jack Abramoff."
"I cannot allow our adversaries to divide and distract our attention," said DeLay, explaining his resignation. (He did not make it clear whether the 'adversaries' he referred to were Iraqi insurgents, American Democrats, law enforcement officials, or some combination of the three.)
Some weeks prior to DeLay's decision President George W. Bush broke the long-standing White House policy of not commenting on pending investigations and told Americans that he believed DeLay was innocent.
According to a survey conducted by the Stillwater Tribune, thirty six per cent of Americans believe that President Bush mispronounced the word “indicted” as “in-dick-ted” when asked to comment on the criminal charges against DeLay.
Another nine per cent of those surveyed said that Bush would object to the pronunciation and assert that if “indicted” is pronounced “indited”, then “convicted” should be pronounced “convited.”
Only twenty seven per cent of citizens polled knew that Bush told Americans that DeLay was innocent, prior to his trial. The President’s public pronouncement contradicts the administration claim that the White House will not comment on pending investigations. The Bush administration regularly cites that policy when asked to comment on the ongoing Valerie Plame/CIA leak case. The President apparently believed that using the authority of his office to sway public opinion and help get DeLay off the hook was more important than silly old ethical restraints.
Another twenty seven per cent of poll participants thought that Bush would tell the world that “the jail ain’t been built that can hold Tom DeLay.”
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