White House

Laura & Condi: Dubya wasn’t a failure

The two most influential women in President George W. Bush’s White House — first lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — are strongly defending the president’s legacy against critics who are calling his administration one of the worst in history.

"I know it’s not, and so I don’t really feel like I need to respond to people that view it that way," Mrs. Bush said in an interview that aired Sunday. "I think history will judge and we’ll see later."

Rice took a similar view in a separate interview, saying that claims that the Bush administration has been one of the worst ever are "ridiculous."

"I think generations pretty soon are going to start to thank this president for what he’s done. This generation will," Rice said.

Bush reverses one of his pardons

The pardons President George W. Bush granted this week couldn’t have been better Christmas gifts if Santa himself had delivered them.

But a Brooklyn, N.Y., man, Isaac Robert Toussie, received the legal equivalent of a lump of coal.

Toussie, convicted of making false statements to the Housing and Urban Development Department and of mail fraud, was among 19 people pardoned Tuesday.

Bush leaving nation drowning in red ink

President George W. Bush’s administration acknowledged Monday that it would leave behind a massive budget deficit but could not say whether it would exceed one trillion dollars.

"The size of the budget deficit, whatever the number is, I can’t predict whether it’s going to be a trillion or something less than that," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.

Fratto said it would be a "very significant number."

Bush defends auto industry bailout

President George W. Bush on Saturday said offering government loans to U.S. automakers was the only option left to prevent the industry from collapsing after alternatives were ruled out or failed.

Bush on Friday announced the government would provide $17.4 billion in emergency loans to financially strapped General Motors and Chrysler LLC to prevent them from failing. Ford decided it did not immediately need similar loans.

Bush approves auto industry bailout loans

Citing danger to the national economy, President Bush approved an emergency bailout of the U.S. auto industry Friday, offering $17.4 billion in rescue loans in exchange for tough concessions from the deeply troubled carmakers and their workers.

The government will have the option of becoming a stockholder in the companies, much as it has with major banks, in effect partially nationalizing the industry.

Gates orders plans to close Gitmo prison

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered aides to draw up plans for closing the "war on terror" prison at Guantanamo, a declared priority for President-elect Barack Obama, a spokesman said Thursday.

Gates wanted to be ready in case Obama decides to take action on Guantanamo soon after assuming office next month, said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary.

Bush will brief Obama on ‘contingencies’

President George W. Bush’s administration will brief president-elect Barack Obama and his team on several contingency plans in case an international crisis breaks after his inauguration, The New York Times reported on its website late Tuesday.

The plans were recommended by the commission that investigated the September 11, 2001 attacks, the daily said.

White House feeling pressure on auto bailout

The Bush administration faces competing pressures from lawmakers in different congressional factions as it reviews its options for bailing out the downtrodden U.S. auto industry.

Conservative Republicans implored the White House not to use money from the $700 billion bailout for the financial sector to aid carmakers. A leading House Democrat, meanwhile, said the government should secure veto power over the companies’ business decisions as part of any aid.

Cheney defends Gitmo prison, torture

The Guantanamo ‘war on terror’ detention center should remain open indefinitely, Vice President Richard Cheney told ABC News in an interview Monday, while also defending the harsh interrogation method known as waterboarding.

Cheney was asked when the detention camp at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba can be "responsibly" be shut down. "Well, I think that that would come with the end of the war on terror," he told ABC.

And when is that? "Well, nobody knows," Cheney said. "Nobody can specify that."

White House to Detroit: Help is on the way

Detroit automakers, teetering on the brink of collapse, are receiving strong signals from the White House that short-term help is on the way while a key senator says the relief package could reach $15 billion for GM and Chrysler.