Richard Armitage on Two Bushes
Richard Armitage was the 13th United States Deputy Secretary of State, serving from 2001 to 2005. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and then after the fall of Saigon moved to Washington D.C. to work as a consultant for the United States Department of Defense, which sent him to Tehran and Bangkok.
Throughout the late 70s and early 80s, Armitage worked as an aide and foreign policy advisor to politicians including Senator Bob Dole and President-elect Ronald Reagan. When Reagan was elected, Armitage was appointed to the Department of Defense. In the 1990s, Armitage worked in the private sector before being confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State with the election of George W. Bush in 2001. He left the post in 2005.
Armitage was educated at the United States Naval Academy. He is an avid bodybuilder, and speaks many languages, including Vietnamese.
Question: How do the two Bush administrations differ?
Armitage: I think they were night and day. This administration by and large is very ideological. And I found George Herbert Walker Bush to be a very pragmatic fellow, a guy who was enormously steeped in foreign affairs, unlike his son. The President 43 has said that he was not an expert in foreign policy and foreign affairs when he came to the job, and I think that’s the biggest difference.
The two administrations, says Armitage, are like night and day.
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