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.

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.

By Tim Grieve

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

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