ABC’s Jessica Yellin, live on Wednesday’s Good Morning America, exploited First Lady Laura Bush’s tour of White House Christmas displays, cards and decorations to hit her with an emotion-laden inquiry about regretting the war in Iraq: “Have you ever met with a mother whose own loss has made you question, even for a moment, whether the U.S. should be in Iraq?" Mrs. Bush replied with how “every loss is too many” and said that “I want to encourage Americans to reach out to our military families who suffer the most.” Yellin followed up by continuing her agenda: "And do you hope the U.S. will be out of Iraq by this time next year?" Yellin posed her serious questions about three minutes into Mrs. Bush’s descriptions of the cards and ornaments in the East Room. (Transcript follows.)
The MRC’s Brian Boyd caught Yellin’s line of questioning during the live tour, just past 8am EST, on the November 30 Good Morning America. A transcript, picking up where Yellin raised Iraq as the two stood in the East Room:
Jessica Yellin: "May I ask you on a more serious note, today, your husband will be delivering a speech on Iraq. This holiday season thousands of Americans are serving overseas. And I know you've met with families of the fallen, I wonder in your experiences have you ever met with a mother whose own loss has made you question, even for a moment, whether the U.S. should be in Iraq?"
Laura Bush: "Every loss, every loss is too many. Every one is too much. And it's very, very difficult as you might imagine to meet with families who've lost somebody. And especially at the holiday season it's especially hard for them, for people who don't have someone at the table and will never have them there again, or for those whose families are deployed and they have an empty seat this season. So, I want to encourage Americans to reach out to our military families who suffer the most, who carry the heaviest burden of all of this. To be with them, to think of our troops who are overseas serving without their family members while they're there. And to think about especially those children of our service members who are here this holiday season without their parents."
Yellin: "And do you hope the U.S. will be out of Iraq by this time next year?"
Bush: "Sure, of course. You know, absolutely. I mean we want our troops to be able to come home as soon as they possibly can. And I feel actually very encouraged about Iraq. I know what people see on television is horrible because it's really very difficult for us, but Iraq is about to have another election. When you think of how quickly they've been able to ratify a constitution; to have a free election, which they'll be having this month; it's really remarkable how far they've come. And is it difficult? Absolutely. We know that. It's difficult for them, it's difficult for us, but I really feel very, very encouraged that we're going to see a great ending when we see a free, democratic Iraq right in the heart of the Middle East. I think it's very important and it's especially important that we stay with them while they build their democracy."
With that, ABC ended its five minutes with the First Lady.