Donald Rumsfeld‘s interview with David Letterman last night began pleasantly enough, with a tour through Rummy’s reflections on past presidents.
He called John F. Kennedy “charming” and “exciting because of his youth.” Lyndon Johnson “liked to touch people,” and Gerald Ford “was the only President I worked for that was a friend.”
Letterman did not ask him what he thought of George W. Bush, and instead moved straight to Obama, of whom Rumsfeld said, “I think he’s finding that it’s a lot easier to campaign for President than it is to be President.”
Said Letterman: “Well that’s universal.”
Indeed. That’s where things got touchy.
Letterman: “It seems to me, compared to the last administration a lot of things are being done. A lot of things are being taken care of…”
Rummy: “I don’t know what you mean by a lot of things are being done.”
Letterman: “Well, there were a lot of things to address when he took his hand off the bible. There was the economy, there was the health care, wars everywhere…”
After a pause, Rummy conceded it was a “tough spot”…but would not give Obama a grade for his first two years in office, Rumsfeld instead opted to express his “terrible worry” over the debt and Obama’s recent budget proposal.
“A deficit of 1.6 or 7 trillion. You can’t go on like that. And a family can’t, a state can’t, a business can’t. It has to end. And someone has to have the courage to stand up and do something about it. And his budget, I think, didn’t do it. It didn’t even come close.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.