Bush Says He Makes 'Tough Decisions,' Ignores Polls

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Saddam Hussein actively deceived the international community, he clearly violated U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, and he was a danger to the world, President Bush told reporters on Friday.

President Bush said he based his conclusions on an interim report that weapons inspector David Kay presented to Congress on Thursday.

In his testimony to Congress on Thursday, Kay called his report "a snapshot of where we are after our first three months of work" in Iraq.

According to Kay, "The report does not represent a final reckoning of Iraq's WMD programs, nor are we at the point where we are prepared to close the file on any of these programs."

On Friday, Bush thanked Kay and his team for their "good work" in Iraq. The president even quoted from Kay's report, apparently to counter criticism directed at him in the war's aftermath.

Said Bush, "The report summarized the regime's efforts in this way: 'Iraq's WMD programs spanned more than two decades, involved thousands of people, millions of dollars, and was elaborately shielded by security and deception operations that continued even beyond the end of Iraqi Operation Freedom.'"

President Bush noted that Kay's team found "dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002."

Dr. Kay also found "systematic destruction of evidence of these illegal activities," Bush said.

The report is not final and extensive work remains to be done, Bush emphasized.

No poll zone

Asked if the war was worth the cost, President Bush said he doesn't make decisions based on polls. He said he makes decisions based on national security considerations.

"I'm not going to forget the lessons of 9/11," the president said. "I'm not going to forget...the bombing that killed innocent life. This administration will deal with gathering dangers where we find them."

Bush said his administration gave Saddam Hussein "ample time to deal with his weapons of mass destruction. He refused, so he's no longer in power, and the world is better off for it."

Regardless of how Americans feel about his decisions, Bush said he makes those tough decisions based upon what he think is right, given the intelligence he's given.

He said his job is "to secure this country, and bring peace."