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The Race to the White House

Listeners Notice a Few 'Flaws' in Bush's Campaign Speeches

September 07, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. — President Bush's bout with the English language continued Monday, when he offered a surprising explanation of what gynecologists might do with their patients if not for pesky malpractice lawsuits.

"Too many good docs are getting out of business," Bush said. "Too many OB-GYNS aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."

It's not clear what Bush meant to say, but it was presumed that he misspoke. The statement came as he attacked his Democratic opponents, Sens. John F. Kerry and John Edwards, for siding with trial lawyers over doctors in the battle to limit lawsuits.

Bush has a well-known history of such gaffes and poked fun at his own verbal "flaws" during his speech last week at the Republican National Convention.

The "love" reference followed another bit of odd phrasing two days earlier during a Saturday speech at an Erie, Pa., football stadium. There, he was explaining last year's $87-billion appropriation for "armor and body parts and ammunition and fuel" for Iraq and Afghanistan.

He did not intend to be macabre. Bush simply flubbed his usual line, explaining that the money was intended for -- among other things -- body armor and spare parts.

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