Andy Rooney: I'm Smarter Than Bush

At the end of Sunday’s 60 Minutes, commentator Andy Rooney did his usual rant, this time about politicians. Of course when Rooney speaks of politicians, one always seems to come first to his mind: "I'll bet there hasn't been a day this year that President Bush's name hasn't been in the newspaper." At one point Rooney almost seemed sympathetic to the president, "A lot of people complain about things President Bush does but they wouldn't know what to do themselves if they were in his shoes." However, that sympathy soon turned to contempt as Rooney compared his own public speaking to that of President Bush, "I usually can’t remember what it was I was going to say. The president seems to have the same problem sometimes."

Unfortunately, Rooney seemed to remember exactly what he wanted to say at the end of his little diatribe:

The one thing I have to say for myself that I wouldn't say for President Bush is: I know I'm no where near smart enough to be President of the United States. But I will say I might have been smart enough not to get us into a war in Iraq.

Don’t be so modest Andy, I’m sure we are all looking forward to President Rooney. Of course, this is not the first time Rooney has questioned the president's intelligence. In fact, he did so just days after September 11th:

ANDY ROONEY: George W. Bush is getting a college education in how to be President, White House 101, and he’s learning. Last week, we all cheered his go-get ‘em speech two days after the attack.


GEORGE W. BUSH: There’s an old poster out West as I recall that said, ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive.'


ROONEY: Well, he didn’t sound like an intellectual. I felt vengeful, too, but I hoped there were other people in government too smart to be driven by vengeance alone. He threatened to close our enemy’s harbors.


BUSH: This is an enemy that thinks its harbors are safe, but they won’t be safe forever.


ROONEY: Well, not too smart either. Afghanistan is landlocked. It doesn’t have a harbor.

Rooney seemed unable to grasp the concept of using a metaphor to get a point across. He apologized for those remarks two weeks later. It is doubtful an apology will be issued anytime soon for his latest claims of intellectual superiority. 

Here is the full transcript:

ANDY ROONEY: I was thinking about politicians. I often do, I guess. There's always so much about them in the newspapers and on television that it's hard not to think about them. I'll bet there hasn't been a day this year that President Bush's name hasn't been in the newspaper. I wonder whether he reads the stories about himself. He says he doesn’t but I'll bet he does. One of the things I always wonder about politicians is why in the world anyone would want to be one. I'm glad there are people who do want to be politicians but I'm not one of them. I’d rather be an insurance salesman than a politician, and I’d hate to be an insurance salesman. There's no doubt we need politicians. They run what runs us all -- our government. A lot of people complain about things President Bush does but they wouldn't know what to do themselves if they were in his shoes. I complain, but I certainly wouldn't know what to do if I were president. I see a couple of guys I’d fire but I couldn't begin to do the job myself. President Bush makes about half a dozen little speeches every day, and sometimes a big one. I make a few speeches every year and it takes me a month to get together what I want to say then when I get up to speak, I usually can’t remember what it was I was going to say. The president seems to have the same problem sometimes. One thing's for sure: anyone who decided they'd like to try to get to be president of the United States would have to have a huge ego. That may be why we aren't more sympathetic toward our president when he gets in office. Our attitude is 'Okay. Go ahead. You said you could do the job so do it.' The one thing I have to say for myself that I wouldn't say for President Bush is: I know I'm no where near smart enough to be president of the United States. But I will say I might have been smart enough not to get us into a war in Iraq.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC