Bush weighs in on his bulge

Published October 26, 2004 6:25PM (EDT)

What does the president himself think of the whirlwind of speculation that his staff was secretly piping him instructions during the debates? For one thing, he might be preparing to fire the White House tailor. From the Associated Press today:

"Please explain to me how it works so maybe if I were ever to debate again I could figure it out," Bush said Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America," regarding speculation that the bulge in his suit jacket was an electronic device.

"When asked about the bulge that appeared as he and Sen. John Kerry debated Sept. 30 in Coral Gables, Fla., Bush tantalized conspiracy theorists by saying, 'Well, you know, Karen Hughes and Dan Bartlett had rigged up a sound system ... '

"'You are getting in trouble,' responded host Charles Gibson.

"'I don't know what that is,' Bush said. 'I mean, it is -- I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt.'"

Bush denied the use of any sound system or electronic signal, according to the AP. He added that there was no hidden presidential dog collar, either.

"'I guess the assumption was that if I were straying off course they would ... kind of like a hunting dog, they would punch a buzzer and I would jerk back into place,' Bush said. 'That's just absurd.'"

By Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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