1. At the end of a discussion of the Boston bombing, David Gregory asks "[W]hat are you really focused on that you’d like the intelligence community and the FBI to answer?"
REP. PETER KING: I think it’s important to know are there other people involved in this threat? Are there others that are still out there?... Are there family members or people in-- in the community? That’s very important to find out. Also, what did cause them to radicalize? Was it done here? Was it done overseas? Was it done over the internet? What caused that to happen? How can we stop it in the future? Also ask why the FBI is not cooperating more with the law enforcement? Why they did not give vital evidence to the NYPD about another possible attack.2. Chuck Todd, talking about Obama's routine at the Washington Correspondents Dinner:
GREGORY: This is that you think a failure that needs to be learned from?
REP. KING: Absolutely. Absolute failure.
...I wonder how many people realized at the end when he did his-- you know, there’s always this part at the end where they get serious for a minute, and it’s usually the part where president say, you know, I think the press has a good job to do and I understand what they have to do. He didn’t say that. He wasn’t very complimentary of the press. You know, we all can do better. He was-- it did seem-- I thought his pot shots joke wise and then the serious stuff about the internet, the rise of the internet media and social media and all that stuff. He hates it. Okay. He hates this part of the media. He really thinks that the sort of the buzzification, this isn’t just about BuzzFeed or Politico, and all the stuff, but he thinks that sort of coverage of political media has hurt political discourse. He hates it. And I think he was just trying to make that clear last night.3. Gregory asks Tony Blair about his "now infamous meeting in the Azores" with George Bush, "at a very delicate time for [Blair] politically back home." Referring to the Iraq invasion, did Bush tell Blair: "back out if you need to, don’t do this, don’t stand by me when you have to go back and address parliament if it’s going to cost you your leadership"? Blair says:
He did say that. I mean, he-- he made it clear that, you know, he understood the-- the huge political difficulties I had and that-- that I shouldn’t, as it were, put my own premiership on the line. It was more important in-- in a way, to him, I think, that I stayed. But my attitude was that, you know, there are lots of things in politics where-- where you-- you’ll compromise and you’ll maybe back off exactly what you think you should do and, you know, these are often the run of the mill everyday types of issues. When it comes to issues of war and peace and-- and life and death, I think your-- your-- I came to the conclusion your proper obligation to your own country is to do what you think is right....4. I thought "toxic cocktail... of religion, politics, ethnicity, tribalism" was a very helpful phrase to those of us who shrink from criticizing anything that contains an element of religion (other than America's majority religion). Blair also used the phrase "an ideology based on a perversion of religion" and equated it to the violent political ideologies that are not religious and that we don't hesitate to criticize:
GREGORY: In this library, the president has decided not to separate Iraq-- out Iraq. Iraq is presented as part and parcel of the war on terrorism, which is how he saw it. But won’t history judge that as a false impression that this was a war of choice that became a misadventure in the eyes of so many?
MR. BLAIR: I think, you know, the controversy around that, I mean, around how you categorize it, will remain. But what I found was that, you see, removing Saddam happened within a matter of weeks. You then spent the next, you know, eight-- nine years in a different type of battle and that was a battle against precisely the forces that are trying to destabilize the Middle East today al Qaeda on the one side, Iran on the other side, and this toxic cocktail, if you like, of religion, politics, ethnicity, tribalism. So, I mean, I never said the two things were linked in that direct sense, 9/11 and Iraq, I think the difficulties we ended up encountering in Iraq were difficulties that arose from precisely this-- this force of terror unleashed by religious extremism and I think that’s the, you know, frankly, what we still face today...
[There] are various groups, Islamist groups, that I’m afraid don’t have the same concept of democracy or freedom that we do.... I'm afraid, that this-- this ideology is being pumped around websites, is being encouraged by people in many different parts of the world and it’s-- and it’s there and it’s very hard for us to deal with. The first obligation of a government is to try and protect its people, but then you’ve got to-- you’ve got to cast out this ideology. I mean, I think this is very similar to the fight we faced in the 20th century against first of all fascism and then revolutionary communism. You know, it’s an ideology. It’s not got one command and control center, it's not a-- you know, you’re not talking about a country, but you are talking about an ideology based on a perversion of religion... which has an enormous force. If you don’t deal with this issue, this long-term question, this ideology based on-- on a perversion of the religion of Islam, you are going to end up fighting this for a long time.5. And here's a nice tribute to Bush from Blair:
And President Obama actually put his finger on it when he said it’s impossible to know George Bush and not like him. So, you know, often people say to me back home, they say, come on, you didn’t like him really, did you? And I say, you can totally disagree with him but as a human being he is a someone of immense character and genuine integrity. So, you know, you can say-- people have different views about decisions, but there’s a very few people who-- who don’t like him and respect him as a person.