“Go shopping” – he’s said it now

John Rentoul

5564fa57019cb319c37313f2fab2 grande 300x200 Go shopping   hes said it nowOne of the famous quotations of recent years that were never said, along with Tony Blair’s “whiter than white”, was George Bush’s injunction to the American people to “go shopping” after 9/11 to defy the terrorists.

In Decision Points, p443-4, Bush quotes from the speech he actually gave at O’Hare Airport, Chicago, in late September 2001:

One of the great goals of this nation’s war is to restore public confidence in the airline industry. It’s to tell the traveling public: Get on board. Do your business around the country.

He comments:

Later, I would be mocked and criticized for telling Americans to ‘go shopping’ after 9/11. I never actually used that phrase, but that’s beside the point. In the threat-filled months after 9/11, traveling on airplanes, visiting tourist destinations, and, yes, going shopping, were acts of defiance and patriotism.

So, just as Blair never used the phrase attributed to him but said something that meant the same (he said “we have to be very careful … that we are purer than pure”), Bush meant what he didn’t say at the time, but now, nine years later, he has said it.

White House photo of President George W Bush at O’Hare Airport by Eric Draper

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  • Office Space

    So just “Go Shopping”

  • David_Boothroyd

    The other famous quote involving both Bush and Blair that was never said is “Yo, Blair”. The recording is quite clear that Bush actually said “Yeah, Blair” (and comes from a culture where using someone’s surname is a signal of friendship).

    Blair also never claimed to see Jackie Milburn play at Newcastle.

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