President Bush has full confidence in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld even if others dislike the Pentagon chief’s "bedside manner," a top White House official said Sunday.
Bush counselor Dan Bartlett did not directly respond to questions about whether the White House has considered possible replacements for Rumsfeld, as reported in Bob Woodward’s new book on the Bush administration’s Iraq war policy.
Bartlett said "every Cabinet member serves at the pleasure of the president," but that Bush believes Rumsfeld is the right man to run the Pentagon.
"We recognize that he has his critics," Bartlett said on ABC’s "This Week." "We recognize that he’s made some very difficult decisions. Some people don’t like his bedside manner. But what President Bush looks to in Secretary Rumsfeld is to bring him the type of information he needs to make the right decisions in this war."
In his book "State of Denial," Woodward writes that former White House chief of staff Andrew Card twice sought to persuade Bush to fire Rumsfeld, the second time with the support of first lady Laura Bush.
Card has rejected any suggestion that he led a campaign to dump Rumsfeld but said he did discuss with the president Rumsfeld’s role in Bush’s second term. Card said it was his job to discuss a wide range of possible replacements.
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press