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."
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.
Very well put. I saw Michael Moore on the Today show. He actually said that Bush was a target and by sitting in that room with those children, he was endangering them.
I could not believe his shallow insight into the situation.
Either he is dim or he is clinging to a weak argument because he has nothing else.
In short, I can't believe that this guy is the best the left has to offer. He is pathetic.
"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."
What in the heck are you talking about? You're saying that you know for certain that the reporter on this story forced this woman to tell him her maiden name and then made up a new name for her? I'd say it's much more likely that she uses a hyphenated name.
I know this will be tough for you to hear, but some conservatives choose hyphenated names and some conservative women don't take their husband's last name at all.
Get this on film. Make a TV ad. Now.
This needs to be in a TV ad. This needs to be all over the place.
Thanks for posting this article....
BRAVO BUMP....for this principal for defending President Bush and speaking out so eloquently.
I've have volunteered in her school and have been very impressed by the way she promotes an atmosphere where learning and self-discipline are valued.
Apparently, she is now a big supporter of President Bush based on how he conducted himself that morning. She saw how his character, compassion and leadership helped her children and all Americans on that terrible day.
How she voted in the past is not the issue....the important thing is that she was right there next to him and has spoken out to refute the way Moore protrays the President.
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