ABC Highlights Bush Gaffes From Past G-8 Summits

During the weekend's coverage of President Bush's trip to the G-8 Summit in Japan, ABC correspondents Martha Raddatz and John Cochran both reminded viewers of faux pas by the President from past G-8 Summits. On World News Saturday, while downplaying expectations of any significant accomplishments at the summit, Raddatz relayed: "In fairness, the G-8 rarely has created any breakthrough announcements. The most memorable moments had little to do with real news. There was the famous shoulder rub with Germany's Angela Merkel, and the live microphone that caught the President talking in less-than-diplomatic terms while he lunched with Tony Blair." (Transcript follows)

ABC showed the clip of Bush startling German Chancellor Angela Merkel by grabbing her shoulders from behind, and a censored clip from 2006 of him using profanity while talking about the terror group Hezbollah with then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Bush: "What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this [BLEEP]-"

After mentioning several issues President Bush wants to deal with at the summit, Raddatz pessimistically concluded: "But even that might be a tough sell because, despite his best efforts, in the minds of most world leaders, what George Bush is most closely associated with is the Iraq war."

On Sunday's Good Morning America, toward the end of his report, Cochran used the same clips and similarly observed: "[The G-8 Summits] have rarely produced breakthrough agreements. During the eight years of the Bush presidency, two of the most memorable moments were the shoulder-rubbing incident with the German chancellor, and some overly casual comments to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair."

After the clip of Bush talking Blair was shown, Cochran concluded: "Mr. Bush's last summit may produce no big agreements, but he hopes it will produce no big bloopers, either. For Good Morning America, John Cochran, ABC News, with the President in Japan."

Below are complete transcripts of the stories from the July 5 World News Saturday and the July 6 Good Morning America on ABC:

#From the July 5 World News Saturday:

DAVID MUIR: President Bush is in the air tonight flying to Japan for his final summit with the other leaders of the group of eight wealthiest nations. The President's sagging popularity here at home might make it more difficult for him to achieve much at the summit, but, on that score, he has plenty of company. Here's our chief White House correspondent Martha Raddatz now.

MARTHA RADDATZ: The President arrives at the G-8 with a crumbling economy, record-high oil prices and record-low poll ratings. But he is not alone. Take his host, Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. His government's approval ratings have been as low as 20 percent, even worse than President Bush's. And Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown is hovering around 25 percent approval, with charges that he is weak and indecisive. And the list goes on.

CHARLES KUPCHAN, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: You see Berlusconi weak, you see Angela Merkel weak in Germany. It's not going to be a summit where they really make major breakthroughs.

RADDATZ: In fairness, the G-8 rarely has created any breakthrough announcements. The most memorable moments had little to do with real news. There was the famous shoulder rub with Germany's Angela Merkel, and the live microphone that caught the President talking in less-than-diplomatic terms while he lunched with Tony Blair.

GEORGE W. BUSH: What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this [BLEEP]-

RADDATZ: But this year, with so many pressing issues, there may be more demand for substance. And President Bush has laid out an ambitious agenda, including talks about oil prices, global warming, Islamic terrorists, Iran's nuclear ambitions. In addition, the President will push the G-8 countries to keep a commitment in battling HIV/AIDS and malaria, a cause Mr. Bush has championed.

REGINALD DALE, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: He's saying to everyone, look, I'm really a decent chap, and my heart is in the right place.

RADDATZ: But even that might be a tough sell because, despite his best efforts, in the minds of most world leaders, what George Bush is most closely associated with is the Iraq war. Martha Raddatz, ABC News, Washington.

#From the July 6 Good Morning America:

RON CLAIBORNE: President Bush has arrived in Japan for his final G-8 summit, which begins tomorrow. Global warming, oil prices and aid to Africa are all on the agenda, but little progress is expected to be made. ABC's John Cochran is traveling with the President, and has more from Toyako.

JOHN COCHRAN: Before arriving in Japan, the President's wife and his aides gave him a surprise party on Air Force One for his 62nd birthday. Despite demonstrations aimed at G-8 leaders, President Bush's popularity is higher in Japan than in most countries. But many were upset when he removed North Korea from the terrorist black list in return for concessions on nuclear weapons. Today, he promised he will keep up the pressure on North Korea.

GEORGE W. BUSH: They've got a lot of obligations that they must fulfill in order for these sanctions to leave.

COCHRAN: The President will be pushed at this summit for a new agreement on global warming. He will push back for something he wants, to get the other leaders to keep their promises to fight AIDS and malaria in Africa. Neither side is likely to get much. That is nothing new at G-8 summits. They have rarely produced breakthrough agreements. During the eight years of the Bush presidency, two of the most memorable moments were the shoulder-rubbing incident with the German chancellor, and some overly casual comments to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

BUSH: What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to to stop doing this [BLEEP]-

COCHRAN: Mr. Bush's last summit may produce no big agreements, but he hopes it will produce no big bloopers, either. For Good Morning America, John Cochran, ABC News, with the President in Japan.