Dubya Makes 'Freudian Slip of the Century'

Former president slips up during speech, condemns invasion of Iraq instead of Ukraine
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2022 8:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's been awhile since we were treated to a Bushism, but the internet is once again delivering. The Hill reports that former President George W. Bush was speaking at an event in Dallas on Wednesday when he started slamming Russia's electoral system and how the country persecutes political opponents to President Vladimir Putin. That's when things went somewhat semantically awry. "The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq ... I mean, of Ukraine," Bush corrected himself with a quick shake of the head, in a clip that has since gone viral. "Iraq," he mumbled again in embarrassment over his blunder. "Anyway."

Reuters explains why this slip-up is garnering so much attention: namely, because Bush was the commander in chief of the United States in 2003, when the US invaded Iraq over alleged weapons of mass destruction that were never unearthed. Hundreds of thousands of people perished in the dragged-out conflict. The Independent rounds up some reaction to Dubya's blooper, most of it not kind to No. 43.

"Took 20 years for George W. Bush to finally confess," author Wajahat Ali tweeted. Andrew Stroehlein of Human Rights Watch deemed it the "Freudian slip of the century," per Al Jazeera. Former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat, was much more blunt: "George W. Bush is a war criminal." As for Bush, he tried to recover after the gaffe by blaming his age. "I'm 75," he sheepishly noted, to audience laughter. (Read more George W. Bush stories.)

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