More from Woodward’s book: President Bush’s then-chief of staff and Bush’s wife, Laura, pleaded with the president to fire Rumsfeld during 2004 and 2005. But Cheney and Rove convinced Bush that doing so would send the wrong message.
Also, there’s more evidence that Bush’s knowledge about the horrible state of affairs in Iraq was at incredible odds with his public statements.
Gen. John Abizaid, head of the Central Command, basically agreed with Rep. John Murtha about the hopeless situation in Iraq.
Former White House chief of staff Andrew Card on two occasions tried and failed to persuade President Bush to fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, according to a new book by Bob Woodward that depicts senior officials of the Bush administration as unable to face the consequences of their policy in Iraq.
Card made his first attempt after Bush was reelected in November, 2004, arguing that the administration needed a fresh start and recommending that Bush replace Rumsfeld with former secretary of state James A. Baker III. Woodward writes that Bush considered the move, but was persuaded by Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, that it would be seen as an expression of doubt about the course of the war and would expose Bush himself to criticism.
Card tried again around Thanksgiving, 2005, this time with the support of First Lady Laura Bush, who according to Woodward, felt that Rumsfeld’s overbearing manner was damaging to her husband. Bush refused for a second time, and Card left the administration last March, convinced that Iraq would be compared to Vietnam and that history would record that no senior administration officials had raised their voices in opposition to the conduct of the war.