Skip to comments.Sarasota principal defends Bush from "Fahrenheit 9/11" portrayal
Posted on 06/23/2004 9:26:24 AM PDT by veronica
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11" criticizes President Bush for listening to Sarasota second-graders read a story for nearly seven minutes after learning the nation was under attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
But Gwendolyn Tose'-Rigell, the principal at Emma E. Booker Elementary School, says Bush handled himself properly.
"I don't think anyone could have handled it better," Tose'-Rigell told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in a story published Wednesday. "What would it have served if he had jumped out of his chair and ran out of the room?"
"Fahrenheit 9/11," which won the top honor at last month's Cannes Film Festival, portrays the White House as asleep at the wheel before the Sept. 11 attacks. Moore accuses Bush of fanning fears of future terrorism to win public support for the Iraq war.
Bush told the federal 9/11 Commission, which released its report last week, that he remained in the classroom because he felt it was "important to project strength and calm until he could better understand what was happening." Moore says Bush failed to take charge.
Tose'-Rigell, who was at Bush's side, did not hear what White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card whispered when he squeezed past her to tell the president of the attacks, but "I knew it was something serious."
"The president bit his lip and clenched his jaw," she said. "I didn't know what happened, whether it was something with his wife or children or something with the nation. I remember praying that God would watch over our school and protect our children."
She said the video doesn't convey all that was going on in the classroom, but Bush's presence had a calming effect and "helped us get through a very difficult day."
Tose'-Rigell said she plans to publish her account of the morning of Sept. 11 from pages she wrote in her journal following the attack. The principal said she didn't vote for Bush. "But that day I would have voted for him."
Will that principal be voting for him in this election?
Thanks for posting this. Michael Moore is scum.
Pandemonium no doubt.
Hope she keeps her word.
It's like Hitchens said in that article a few days ago: (paraphrasing) What would they have rather Bush do? Leap from his seat and strike a Russel Crow pose?
Bush is the leader of the free world, receiving some of the worst news imaginable in the midst of a bunch of little kids. I'm quite sure during those seven minutes of "sitting there," the man was pretty lost in thought about the "who what when where whys" and what's to come.
For all we know, he might have been praying (heaven forbid...pun intended)
Or he could have done what Moore would have done, had he been in Bush's place: pee his pants, suck his thumb and wait for orders from Allah...
More facts sure to be ignored by the MSM.
This woman is obviously a right-wing, knee-jerk, Bushbot Republican! (After all, what respectable Democrat would admit to praying in a school!)
I think I'll drop her a line.
...pee his pants, suck his thumb and wait for orders from Allah...
Great! But you forgot the poopy in the pants!
What you mean Moore didn't interview people that were there?
Shocked! Shocked I tell you!
Another NEA flunky. Any educated person with any spec of faith would only vote for Bush. She voted her wallet knowing that Gore would've kiss the NEA butt and throw more money into the education bureaucracy than Bush.
She stood up for the president, which is more than a lot of people have done.
Why do you insist on trashing her?
Hey has anybody noticed how the true libs ALWAYS print hyphenated last names for ALL married women. They simply inquire as to ones maiden name even if she doesn't use it anymore. Then they print what they like; the hyphenated last name.
He could have composed a diatribe about how the terrorists should have hit a state that voted for Bush, posted it on his website, and then dropped it down the memory hole when even his supporters thought he went too far. Oops, I'm thinking of what Michael Moore actually did right after hearing about 9/11!
You mean, like the other George--Costanza--when there was a fire in the apartment at the children's birthday party?
"Why do you insist on trashing her?"
It is actions that count, not words.
Wonder how Moore would react if he learned terrorists had blown up the plant that makes Hostess Fruit Pies ...
It's not up to you to judge anybody.
Hahahahaha good one!!
Want to see Moore get really conflicted? What if Terroists blew up a McDonalds?!?! No more Quarter Pounders...but an Evil Corporate Empire would be taken down!!!
His head would probably explode on that one.
Guess it would just be time to switch to BK...
Hee hee ... he might actually have to start rooting for our side!
Possibly - in your mind. I happen to have a hyphenated last name. I don't use it as a general rule, but it is my legal name.
michael moore is a gigantic POS! If President Bush had rushed out of the classroom,moore would have criticized him for scaring the children. Wake up people,moore is full of poop!
No, it's a British and a Southern tradition.
Does anyone have a copy of his post-9/11 post?
I wonder if Michael Goebbels-Moore has suggested what he things Bush should have done in that situation.
I suspect he hasn't thought about it, nor does he care. In the world of propaganda, such things are irrelevant.
Who knows? Maybe she voted for Buchanan, but all that aside, TODAY she's standing up for President Bush and for that I thank her! She's doing alot more than the rest of the GOP does for him. When's the last time you heard a Congressional Republican say anything in defense of the President?
How did Bill Clinton react after the first WTC bombing? Did anyone have to wait while he finished up having sex with a mistress before being able to tell him? Enquiring minds want to know. Michael Moore type minds most certainly do not want to know.
Probably not but I appreciate her honesty if not her vote.
It's NOT like AF-1 was sitting on the ramp with it's engines turning. It would probably take 30 minutes for it to get ready for take off so his sitting there with the children for a few more minutes made no difference at all.
Not only that, there were things going on behind the scenes to get things and the country moving.
It ticks me off how this happens to me all the time. My maiden name is now my middle name. It is not hyphenated with my last name. Why can't they get that stright?
I know it was posted on the freeper board several times. I'll look for it later when I have some time.
And the actions are that she defended the president, who she didn't vote for, from Michael Moore. But you're too busy nitpicking her for having a hyphenated name to realize that she's standing up for a president who she didn't even vote for!
Since Moore doesn't know what Bush was told at that moment, or what plans might be in place for any contingency, he has no capacity to judge either the proper reaction or what should have been done to 'take charge.' This is hardly surprising, as Moore's intention is not rational criticism, it is ridicule, regardless of facts or logic.
I know. And those Reagan Democrats! I've heard rumor that some of them were once (gasp) Democrats!
Thank God no one on Free Republic was ever, ever a Democrat.
I don't doubt that 7 minutes was the mininum time for the Secret Service to ready the vehicles, notify AF1, clear the route, etc. to get W out of there in a fast orderly manner.
Facing the unknown, better that W stayed put within his security cordon, than running down the halls of the school, out of the building and jumping into an armored Suburban with no place to go.
Oh, right. Lets not give the woman credit for speaking up to defend the President's actions that horrible day. No, lets be sure we do not applaud her honesty, lets condemn her for her past lapses. The last thing we need is a lib with enough decency to not allow lies and misrepresentations to go unanswered. Who does she think she is, Zell Miller ?
If this is the same woman referred to in Bill Sammon's book, she is a democrat.
You're a fine amassador for the G.O.P.
Gwendolyn Tose'-Rigell deserves our appreciation, not our scorn.
I hope you're serious; I don't care WHO she voted for or what her job is; she stood up for President Bush when the whole left -- for all I know, her party -- is trashing him.
Of course I'm serious. I think you speak well for, and of, the G.O.P. and I like what this woman has said.
Moore's brain-dead fans are scummier. Let them follow their Minister of Propaganda to hell.
Well, thank you. I hate it when THEY act nasty to us and I see no reason why we should not be nice to people because they didn't vote for Bush. :-)
It was a widely reported fact that he insisted on going back to DC...he argued vehemently with the SS about it. Only after Cheney convinced him not to via telecon, was he flown to Offutt.
Glad to see this account of what happened. Clearly Bush couldn't have acted more sensibly than he did. Leaping to his feet, yelling 'we've been hit! Oh, my God!' would have solved nothing and only added to pandemonium. Clinton would have leaped up and had his handlers shove people aside. Gore would have wet his pants, and Kerry would snivel and yell for TerAYsa. Moore is trash, despicable.