Dubya’s Lunch

The president eats ribs in Roswell, N.M.

Today’s lunchtime press “pool” transcript from the Nothin’ Fancy Café in Roswell, N.M., was scripted by Samuel Beckett. As part of Chatterbox’s ongoing “ objet trouvé series, we reprint it below in its entirety:

Bush: I need some ribs.

Q: Mr. President, how are you?

Bush: I’m hungry and I’m going to order some ribs.

Q: What would you like?

Bush: Whatever you think I’d like.

Q: Sir, on homeland security, critics would say you simply haven’t spent enough to keep the country secure.

Bush: My job is to secure the homeland and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. But I’m here to take somebody’s order. That would be you, Stretch—what would you like? Put some of your high-priced money right here to try to help the local economy. You get paid a lot of money, you ought to be buying some food here. It’s part of how the economy grows. You’ve got plenty of money in your pocket, and when you spend it, it drives the economy forward. So what would you like to eat?

Q: Right behind you, whatever you order.

Bush: I’m ordering ribs. David, do you need a rib?

Q: But Mr. President—

Bush: Stretch, thank you, this is not a press conference. This is my chance to help this lady put some money in her pocket. Let me explain how the economy works. When you spend money to buy food it helps this lady’s business. It makes it more likely somebody is going to find work. So instead of asking questions, answer mine: Are you going to buy some food?

Q: Yes.

Bush: OK, good. What would you like?

Q: Ribs.

Bush: Ribs? Good. Let’s order up some ribs.

Q: What do you think of the Democratic field, sir?

Bush: See, his job is to ask questions, he thinks my job is to answer every question he asks. I’m here to help this restaurant by buying some food. Terry, would you like something?

Q: An answer.

Q: Can we buy some questions?

Bush: Obviously these people—they make a lot of money and they’re not going to spend much. I’m not saying they’re overpaid, they’re just not spending any money.

Q: Do you think it’s all going to come down to national security, sir, this election?

Bush: One of the things David does, he asks a lot of questions, and they’re good, generally.

Found Object Archive:
Nov. 11, 2003: Bush’s Early Discharge
May 3, 2001: Cheney’s Priors
April 11, 2001: Chinese Press Explains EP-3 Crew Release
March 5, 2001: The Klan Explains It All For You (objet no longer online)
Feb. 26, 2001: Denise Rich Music Appreciation (objet no longer online)
Jan 20, 2001: John Ashcroft, Gospel Singer
Sept. 8, 2000: J. Edgar Hoover’s High School Yearbook