CRAWFORD, TX—President Bush concluded his summer vacation by holding an informal press conference Monday to address grieving mother Cindy Sheehan, saying "her damn dead son ruined my whole summer vacation."
Bush addressed Mrs. Sheehan, who was not present, by saying "a mother should not have to bury her son this way, by which I mean allowing her son's death to destroy his commander-in-chief's one chance to relax and unwind."
Sheehan, whose son Casey died in Iraq in April 2004, has led a vigil outside of Bush's Crawford ranch since early August, urging the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and demanding a meeting with Bush.
"This is a terrible tragedy," Bush said. "If this dead soldier of a son had the ounce of sense he needed to keep his worthless ass alive, my last few weeks might have been peaceful. I mourn the loss of the beautiful August mornings, and the sweet afternoons that could have been spent on the porch swing listening to the songbirds. All Americans mourn this loss."
When asked why he has refused to meet with Mrs. Sheehan, Bush said, "Listen, I came here to relax. I want to fish, go biking with Lance Armstrong, play with my dogs, chainsaw some brush, and get back to nature. 'Course, it's hard to do that when you have to constantly listen to the mother of some dummy who didn't have sense enough to stay out of a damned war zone."
Bush added: "I'm more exhausted today than I was when I started this vacation."
Security concerns stemming from the presence of the anti-war protesters gathered around Sheenan's "Camp Casey" prevented Bush from making public appearances in Crawford, including ordering his annual cheeseburger at Goode Company Barbeque.
"I was really looking forward to that burger," Bush said. "And I could have had it too, if it wasn't for that soldier getting his stupid ass blown off."
"We're supposed to be over there showing the Iraqis how to get it done, not acting just as dumb as they are with all their stupid dying," Bush added. "I tell you, it feels like every other month since I started this job, somebody gets himself killed just to mess up my holiday."
When asked to address recent public suggestions, including Sheehan's, of immediate withdrawal from Iraq in light of mounting casualties, Bush said, "I don't want to think about that now. We can discuss that back in Washington. For now, let's relax and have a good time."
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Bush's remarks reflect the administration's stance on casualties.
"I think what President Bush is saying is that, while we certainly owe a debt of gratitude to our fine men and women serving abroad, we don't want the real dumb ones who die to interrupt our precious downtime," McClellan said. "It is the president's opinion, and that of the entire administration, that the best way to honor the brave sacrifices of our fallen soldiers is by enjoying a relaxing vacation and not thinking about their deaths."