McClellan Blasts Bush in Harsh New Memoir

Former spokesman says president used 'propaganda' to sell war
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2008 8:24 PM CDT
In this Friday, May 5, 2006, file photo, White House press secretary Scott McClellan smiles after finishing his last news briefing.    (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – Former White House spokesman Scott McClellan blasts President Bush for not being "open and forthright" about the war in Iraq and using "propaganda" to sell it, Politico reports. The president "veered terribly off course," McClellan writes in his surprisingly harsh new memoir. He also criticizes the press for not challenging Bush enough, even while admitting that some of his own statements at press conferences were "badly misguided."

“I still like and admire President Bush,” McClellan writes. “But he and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war." McClellan lambastes Bush and his advisers for Katrina as well, saying the "botched federal response" would define the president's second term.