UPDATE: Good soundbites, but they don't answer the actual questions (all two of them).
UPDATE: NPR—Bush doesn't take responsibility for the 16 weasel words (constitutionally, his) although he does take responsibility for the war (constitutionally, not his). Lots of "I—I—I—I", "Uh—Uh—Uh."
Lots of obfuscation between "weapons" (imminent threat) and "weapons program" (buried under rosebushes, etc.) Same old, same old.
Lots of references to '80s and '90s intelligence. Same old, same old.
UPDATE: The spin cycle begins anew... EJ Dionne (WaPo): Bush owes Blair big-time. Although Blair settled no questions. President "didn't do himself any good" by not taking responsibility for the 16 weasel words. David Brooks: Brought "mood" back to 9/11. (So??) Bush performance "relatively mediocre." (compared to?) Both agree Bush and Blair are still making the case for war (Brooks: "relitigating.")
UPDATE: From the transcript:
THE PRESIDENT: We'll take a couple of questions. Tom.
Q Mr. President, others in your administration have said your words on Iraq and Africa did not belong in your State of the Union address. Will you take personal responsibility for those words? And to both of you, how is it that two major world leaders such as yourselves have had such a hard time persuading other major powers to help stabilize Iraq?
THE PRESIDENT: First, I take responsibility for putting our troops into action. .... And, yeah, I take responsibility for making the decisions I made.
Not, apparently, for his words. But then, how could he?
And Bush never does answer the question. Again, putting the troops into action is not, constitutionally, Bush's responsibility at all. On the other hand, presenting a State of the Union speech to Congress and the American people is exactly that. Same old, same old.
Perspective: Dan Milbank here:
Minnesota Public Radio this week quoted Mary Kewatt, the aunt of a soldier killed in Iraq, saying: "President Bush made a comment a week ago, and he said 'bring it on.' Well, they brought it on, and now my nephew is dead."
Bush lies, soldiers die. All the stonewalling in the world can't change it.
UPDATE: Editorial tweaks.