Remember this? A George W. Bush interview on salon.com with David Horowitz, May 6, 1999. I've been thinking about this famous response lately.
Q: In a year when Republicans lost ground or had trouble holding on to it, you won reelection with 69 percent of the total, 49 percent of the Hispanic vote, and the endorsement of every major Democratic politician in the state. How did you do it?
A: First, I did in office what I said I would do. I campaigned on school reform, accountability, charters and choice. And I signed bills to that effect. I campaigned on tort reform, juvenile justice reform and welfare reform, and on all I signed bills. And shared credit. I didn't try to take all the credit, I shared credit with the people, both Republicans and Democrats, who helped achieve these reforms.
Second, I showed the people of Texas that I'm a uniter, not a divider. I refuse to play the politics of putting people into groups and pitting one group against another.
Third, during the course of the campaign, I didn't talk about the past; I talked about the future. I laid out additional plans for tax cuts, for school reforms like ending social promotion, by initiatives that would say to kids that if you carry a gun illegally there will be a consequence, and I think the people of Texas listened, because I had credibility, and had done what I said I would do.