Bush administration: The president didn't mean what he said in SOTU

Reduce Middle East oil imports by more than 75 percent? That was "just an example."

Published February 2, 2006 2:44PM (EST)

Remember that bit in Tuesday night's State of the Union address where George W. Bush said that new technology will help the United States "replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025"?

Forget it.

"This was purely an example," Bush's energy secretary, Samuel Bodman, tells Knight Ridder. Bodman says the president's real goal is to reduce foreign oil imports from anywhere, not from the Middle East in particular. An administration official says Bush used the words "Middle East" in his State of the Union address just so "every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands."

Understands what, we're not exactly sure. During his speech Tuesday night, Bush said he will press the fight against "tyranny" around the world, push to lower the costs of healthcare, propose increases in funding for education and research, lead a renewed fight against HIV/AIDS and cut the deficit in half by 2009. Are we to "understand" that those were "just examples," too?

By Tim Grieve

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

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