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Last Updated: Friday, 6 August, 2004, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
President gaffes in terror speech
US President George W Bush
Speech-writers wish Mr Bush would stick to the script
In his latest gaffe, President George W Bush has appeared to suggest that his administration is forever thinking up ways of harming the US and its people.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful - and so are we," the US president told a high-level meeting of Pentagon officials.

"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people - and neither do we."

His comments came during a signing ceremony for a $417bn defence bill.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said that Mr Bush's mistakes should reassure rather than alarm.

"Even the most straightforward and plain-spoken people mis-speak," he told the Associated Press.

"The American people know this president speaks with clarity and conviction, and the terrorists know by his actions he means it."

'Liked for his flaws'

According to Jacob Weisberg, who has made it his job to catalogue the gaffes commonly known as "Bushisms", even when Mr Bush trips over his words he does not always fall flat on his face.

"I don't think it does him any harm, because people who are appalled by the way he speaks tend not to like him for other reasons," he told the BBC's World Today programme.

Indeed, he says, his flawed public performances should not be "misunderestimated" - to borrow a "Bushism" - as they actually strengthen his bond with ordinary people.

"I think his inarticulacy is part of it, people identify with his problem. You know, it's hard to speak in public - one makes mistakes, it can be embarrassing. And this bonds him to people."

US President George W Bush:
"(Our enemies) never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people - and neither do we"

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