Here they are, getting up every day saying, “We’ve got an election in two weeks in America, gang, and we want to change horses over there because we don’t like the folks we’re having to deal with now; they’re a little tough on us. So let’s get out there and let’s make some noise.“ I don’t get the sense the American people have a sense they’re being played in that fashion.
Rumsfeld agreed, adding:
Probably not. It’s hard. No one likes to think they’re being manipulated. They believe that they can make their own judgments and the like.
As Think Progress has noted recently, the Bush administration has been making links between increased levels of violence in Iraq and the upcoming election (rather than, say, Ramadan). At the same time, Bush had to admit that there was no evidence suggesting Iraqi insurgents want to affect the elections in Democrats' favour in any way. If anything, the Bush administration is the best friend these terrorists have: they're incompetent, naive and half-assed. But for Bush to say "I don't have any evidence that terrorists want Democrats to win" is a bit like saying "I don't have any evidence you beat your wife." The important thing, to him, is to put that idea out there.