Other administrations ceded to fact, and saw the benefit - the value - to meaningful public dialogue based on fact. They understood that was one of their obligations, to engage with people who were there to ask pointed and pertinent questions and demand answers to them. They understood that's how it worked and that that was the precedent. This administration has said, 'What does that have to do with me'?
From the start, we were building the case against Hussein and looking at how we could take him out and change Iraq into a new country. And, if we did that, it would solve everything. It was about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it -- the president saying, 'Fine. Go find me a way to do this.'
A carefully vetted group of more than 240 executives, economists, and even a few labor leaders was being assembled, ... They'd seem diverse and independent to the untrained eye. In fact, nearly every one would be a Bush supporter and many were major fundraisers. Attendance was, in a way, a reward for support.