David Gregory: Bush Was Right About Mideast Needing Transforming After 9-11

Regardless of what you might think of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, his syndicated Sunday talk show is a must-see due to the unscripted statements that often emanate from those not used to being so unfettered.

Such was certainly the case Mother’s Day when NBC’s Chief White House correspondent David Gregory made some extraordinary assertions about the “big bad threat of Islamic fundamentalism” and that “George W. Bush did not get that part of it wrong, that the [Middle East] needed to be transformed after 9/11.”

The discussion had moved in the direction of the Iraq war, and what position the Republican presidential candidates should take. Gregory suddenly took total control of the conversation, making the following statements that seemed to shock Matthews as well as the BBC’s Katty Kay sitting to his right:

Here’s what’s hard. Everybody wants some distance from Bush on the management of the war. That’s not the hard part. All of the candidates will have that…The point is that, is the war a mistake because it was handled to such a point that, whether it was a good idea in the first place, no matter, no longer matters. The issue is: What’s our posture in that part of the world going forward, and what do we do about this big bad threat of Islamic fundamentalism?

Shocking, wouldn’t you agree? A member of the liberal media stating that whether the war was a good idea no longer matters? And that the real issue is what our posture should be moving forward, especially as it pertains to Islamic fundamentalism?

What got into Gregory this morning to be so rational and impartial? Was it Mother’s Day?

Regardless, Gregory was far from done:

I mean, in some ways, that’s what Rudy Giuliani wants to talk about exclusively. He doesn’t want to talk about the war ‘cause he’s so associated with 9/11. But that’s what neither side is really talking about a lot which is: What is chapter two? That’s gonna be the hard part, and that’s what’s really going to define this election.    

Matthews then asked Gregory what chapter two was:

Chapter two is: What are we, do we have troops over there, who do we take on next, what do we do about a nuclear Iran, and what do we do in general about the next phase of Islamic fundamentalism? How do we transform the region? George W. Bush did not get that part of it wrong, that the region needed to be transformed after 9/11. It’s the manner in which he did it that was so heavily scrutinized.   

Wow. Absolutely, 100 percent correct.

I really love Mother’s Day. How ‘bout you?

As an aside, this wasn’t the first time Gregory has defended President Bush when not reporting specifically for NBC News. NewsBusters reported a similar occurrence last September when he was Bill Maher’s guest on HBO’s “Real Time.”

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