What Bush really knew about Harriet Miers

Earlier this month, the president tried to suggest that he didn't know his nominee's views on abortion. He did.

By Tim Grieve
Published October 19, 2005 1:52PM (EDT)

As we noted a couple of weeks ago, George W. Bush did a little dance when he was asked, during a Rose Garden press conference, what he knew about Harriet Miers' views on abortion. The president kept saying that he didn't have a "litmus test." And when somebody asked him whether he'd ever asked Miers about her views on abortion, he suggested that he didn't remember. "Not to my recollection have I ever sat down with her," he said. "What I have done is understand the type of person she is and the type of judge she will be."

We were skeptical then -- did Bush really nominate someone whose views on abortion he didn't know? -- and it turns out that our skepticism was warranted. As we reported yesterday, a questionnaire Miers completed in 1989 makes it clear that she has held some extreme anti-abortion views. And as the Washington Post reports today, Bush was told about that questionnaire before he offered her a Supreme Court nomination. The president "was informed of the views she had expressed as a candidate for public office back in the late '80s," Scott McClellan says.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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