Washington – President Bush this week said he doesn’t know how much more he can do for the nation’s poor children, being that he once gave a poor child a sandwich.
“I mean, I’m the president, but I’m human,” Bush said in response to reporter’s questions, in a briefing on the White House lawn. “I’m not Superman. Or Batman. Or even Aquaman. Not that Aquaman could do much about poverty, but–I mean, he lives underwater. Right? Not that poverty doesn’t occur underwater. I’m sure it does. And poverty anywhere is a tragedy. What I’m saying is, I’m not a superhero.”The incident in which Mr. Bush gave a poor child a sandwich occurred nearly 11 years ago, when Mr. Bush was Governor of Texas.
“We were coming around the corner, Laura and me and the kids, after eating at Earl’s, one of my favorite restaurants,” Mr. Bush recalled. “And there was this boy on the corner. Probably about ten or so. And he was alone, and he looked hungry. You know how some folks just look hungry? Well, this boy looked like that. You could just tell. Plus, he had a cardboard sign that said, “Need food.” And I looked at Laura and the girls–and Jenna, she was picking up a rock to throw at the boy, but I stopped her and I said, ‘Guys, this boy needs a sandwich. Now, Laura, hand it over.’ Laura hadn’t eaten her sandwich. She wasn’t hungry for some reason. I don’t remember why. But she had taken it to go, in a doggie bag or whatever. And I handed that boy the doggie bag, the sandwich, and–the look in his eye. I mean, you should have seen it. It was like… I don’t know. It was like I had given him a miracle. And maybe I had. I had given him a miracle sandwich.”
The story came in response to continued negative criticism over Mr. Bush’s recent veto of a bill that would have expanded Schip, or State Children’s Health Insurance Program. It would have added four million children to the six million already covered.
Asked if he ever went back to check on the boy, Mr. Bush responded, “No. Why? Maybe you didn’t hear me. I gave him a sandwich. My goodness. I’m only one man.”