At first glance, you might think that's crazy.
But what happens when you look a little closer?
Think back to the summer of 1992.
President Bush had at least two concerns on his mind:
His re-election campaign and Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh.
Walsh was closing in on Weinberger in the spring/summer of 1992.
Feeling the heat, and facing an almost certain indictment and trial,
Weinberger did something I'm not sure I've ever seen before or since.
He called a press conference to say semi-cryptically that he would
be going to jail over this Iran-Contra business.
What everyone understood him to be saying was,
"I'm too old to fall on a sword to protect people more guilty than myself."
Weinberger was warning President Bush that he would make a deal with
Lawrence Walsh to avoid a trial and a possible prison sentence.
If Caspar Weinberger talked, he would be believed, and there would
been sudden, massive shifts of the seismic plates under the Republican Party.
So, decisions were made.
It was decided Weinberger must not be allowed to talk.
What could Bush do, blackmail him?
Offer him money?
Have him killed?
President Bush had tremendous legal troubles in 1992.
But, what if Bush didn't realize how much trouble he was in?
What if a "big" Republican, one he trusted, came to see him.
GOP: Mr. President, we have a serious problem with Iran-Contra.
Weinberger is threatening to talk, and if he does, the others will probably
be offered a deal to back up his story in order to get to you.
Bush: What can we do?
GOP: We have a solution to the problem.
You can pardon everyone who knows the truth about Iran-Contra.
It's political suicide.
If I pardon everyone who knows what we did,
the Democrats would never let up and I'd be taken down.
GOP: Not if you can manage to lose this election.
Bush: Are you crazy?
No president has ever thrown an election before.
Not a chance, it's out of the question.
GOP: If you know of another option, now is the time to mention it
Bush: What happens if I stay and fight?
GOP: You could do that.
But if you win another term, you'll be a sitting president while the Democrats have
Weinberger testifying on C-Span for months, explaining how you and Reagan
were lying about being "out of the loop"on giving missiles to terrorist Iran.
tarnish the Reagan legacy forever and it would probably make you the
second president to resign in disgrace. It would also make Eisenhower the last elected
Republican president who left office with no in-office felonies discovered.
Bush: But I don't want to leave.
I like being president.
It's not fair.
GOP: We are prepared to make you an offer.
If you agree to take a hit for the team, when you're ready, we'll guarantee the party
will rally around one of your boys and give them a clear shot at the presidency.
I think we could even guarantee him a warchest so big, he'll be able to turn down
federal money so we can avoid any spending caps, but that's the best we can do.
Bush: I just don't know...
GOP: Look, losing to Clinton now is better than beating
him, then having to resign in disgrace
a year from now after Weinberger makes his deal with Walsh.
Bush: Even if I were to agree, we'd never get away with
The press would never leave this alone - they'll never give up on this.
GOP: We have a plan.
How could the Republicans expect to hide crimes this big, this serious?
Reagan looked America in the eye and lied about giving missiles
America was about to learn how involved Reagan and Bush were in
that "loose-cannon" operation Ollie North was running from the basement.
Reagan and Bush were about to become the biggest liars in presidential history.
But, if Clinton won, the press would have a new president, a new
Everyone would be looking forward, it would be a time of renewal,
but they were going to need more of a distraction than that.
So somebody started spreading money around the state of Arkansas
what kinds of distractions could be purchased. There might even be some
bargains in a poor, agricultural state where a castle costs less than $100,000.
Stories were obtained, and the scandal-machine started cranking.
Clinton starting having "scandals" at the rate of two a week.
And just when the gas ran out on Scandal 5, Scandal 6 would break.
The press couldn't get enough.
They swarmed like African bees.
All this was happening about the time they told Bush his only
the only way to escape, was to let the spotlight shine on someone else.
He was sure now - he had to lose this election or he'd lose everything.
In the game of chess, it's called a "Queen sack."
Sacrificing President Bush, to save the Kingdom of Reagan and the GOP.
Who would want to dig into the old, dry crimes of Iran-Contra
Elvis-looking Democratic nominee might have a secret girlfriend?
There was more.
Clinton lost his first two nonimees for Attorney General because
they neglected to pay Social Security taxes on their nannies.
But until then, nobody asked that question of potential cabinet members.
This was used against Clinton's nominees to make them seem like
even though no Reagan or Bush nominees had ever been asked those questions.
The bar was raised for Clinton.
"Scandals" were manufactured.
Was it a distraction to focus attention away from the guilt of Reagan and Bush?
I believe the manufactured scandals and the automatic nomination
of George W. Bush
were additional perks offered to Bush to get him to resign.
Bush HAD to pardon those six men, and the only way he could get
away with that.
would be to do it after he had lost the election, on his way out of office.
The Democrats would've hounded him his entire second term, always
and closer to the truth about Iran-Contra until Bush was impeached for real crimes.
Bush would have been powerless to stop it with a Democratic House & Senate.
If Weinberger was to be taken seriously, and every former Secretary of Defense
is taken seriously, Bush's options were limited, indeed.
Bush was in a canoe headed for Niagra Falls.
His only rope was the pardon rope, but that would only work
if he wasn't looking at another four years in office.
Bush simply had no choice.
No matter what, he had to avoid this total meltdown and lose this election to Clinton.
Some people say the turning point in the election was when Bush
his watch during a debate, signaling that he didn't even want to be there.
I've talked to a dozen people about this theory.
Most of them shrugged and said, "It doesn't seem very likely..."
One guy said he didn't buy the theory because he remembers Bush campaigning vigorously.
I remember it differently.
I remember pundits asking,
"What's wrong with Bush? Why isn't he campaigning?"
Others said, "His heart isn't in this race. He seems so tired."
Others said, "Doesn't Bush understand he's going to lose this race?"
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Bush didn't have any choice.
He HAD to lose this election - no matter what.
But, he knew Iran-Contra was about to hit the fan!
He knew that, beyond any doubt.
Weinberger was indicted just before the election, so Bush and
knew months earlier that Walsh was getting closer and closer.
Something had to be done.
Flash forward to Christmas Eve, 1992.
When you mention the Bush pardons, most people say,
"What pardons? Bush? Bush pardoned somebody?"
Having lost the election, Bush pardoned six of his Iran-Contra
He pardoned them on Christmas Eve because he knew every reporter
in Washington and New York was home with their families and his
truth-burying pardons wouldn't get the attention they deserved.
Can you imagine the trauma to this country if a sitting president
was put on trial
for perjury, theft, and possible treason and arms-smuggling?
And Bush's defense would've been, "I was following Reagan's orders"
So, then we would have had to drag Ronald Reagan onto the witness
Don't you think the GOP would do anything to avoid that?
President Bush fell on a sword for his party.
Bush threw that election so he could pardon the others and bury the truth.
Had he pardoned them with a full four years to go, he would've
been impeached, and Reagan's legacy trashed and the Republican party
would've had three of their last four presidents guilty of felonies.
So, I ask again - Did Bush throw the 1992 elections?
The Democrats and Lawrence Walsh were closing in.
Weinberger made it impossible to ignore the situation.
To save himself, Reagan's reputation and the Republican Party,
Bush took the only way out - he threw the election.
You don't have to agree with this theory - many people don't.
But if you disagree, you should be able to explain how Bush was
going to get out
of this box, a box that was going to swallow his second term, his reputation,
Reagan's legacy and the GOP's chances at the polls for years to come.
It's easy to say, "Oh, that's just nonsense."
But if you say that, you should be able to explain how Bush
would have avoided an ugly trail and almost certain impeachment.
And this wouldn't be about Bush trying to hide a girlfriend.
This would be about perjury of a national security matter, misuse
theft of government property, conspiracy to commit perjury, not to mention
the loss of credibility to the GOP and the image of Saint Reagan that would
forever be that of president who lied about selling weapons to terrorists
and eventually had to answer for it.
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