WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In Washington, there are plenty of ways to say "no comment," but President George W. Bush has offered his own formulation, after he refused to "negotiate with myself in public".
Bush used the phrase to deflect a question on the future of Social Security at a televised news conference.
"Now, the temptation is going to be, by well-meaning people such as yourself and others here, as we run up to the issue, to get me to negotiate with myself in public," Bush told the questioner on Monday. "To say, you know, "What's this mean, Mr. President? What's that mean?
"I'm not going to do that. I don't get to write the law. I'll propose a solution at the appropriate time," Bush said.
In essence, this Bushism means the president will discuss options on such issues as Social Security with members of Congress who write the law, but not with the media.
Asked to explain one facet of his Social Security policy, Bush agreed but said, "I will try to explain how without negotiating with myself. It's a very tricky way to get me to play my cards. I understand that."
Imagine if you will you give this sort of anwser to a teachers question in high school. What do you think the reaction of the teacher and fellow students would be?