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Andy Card, former chief of staff to George W. Bush, discussed his position at the White House, his views on the September 11 terrorist attacks and his relationship brotherly relationship with Bush during a C-SPAN interview on April 7 with political editor Steve Scully and students from George Mason University, Purdue University and the University of Denver.

The role of being a former chief is not easy, according to Card, whose typical day began at 5:30 a.m. and ended when he knew the president had gone to bed for the day. Like all other former chiefs of staff, Card was expected to serve for the sole pleasure of the president, which meant that his decisions of bringing certain issues to the president were very important.

“One of the tough issues is delivering information to the president,” Card said. “You need to get all the information that the president needs – not wants.”

Although Card’s goal was to make sure Bush had the “time to eat, sleep and be merry,” certain terrible news, such as the national attack on September 11, could not be withheld from the president.

Bush was reading to students at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida on the horrible day. He had learned about the first crash, and had thought that it had been an accident of some sort. However, after the second plane crashed into the second tower, Card had learned that Osama bin Laden was behind it all.

Card first asked himself if Bush needed to know about the second attack, and then decided to walk up to the president during his reading and said, “America is under attack.”

“I tried very hard on 9/11 not to allow emotion to get in the way of the challenge,” Card said. I tried to be objective that day… The day did change me, and today I will never forget.”

The next few days after the attacks were very emotional, and Card recalled one of the speeches to be very memorable. On September 14, Bush visited Ground Zero and reminded citizens that they were not alone, that he was able to hear them and the whole world was able to hear them.

“I think it was one of the best speeches the president gave of his tenure as president,” Card said.

The events of September eventually led to America’s war against Iraq, a war and decision that Card still supports today.

“His [Bush’s] obligation under the constitution to protect us gives him an awful lot of authority to do what he thinks is necessary to protect the people in the United States,” Card said. “… I am still comfortable with the president doing the right thing. President Bush made a great contribution to that part of the world by giving democracy real roots.”

Card expressed that he felt that Bush was “misunderstood” throughout his presidency, but he believed that he led with “great presidential courage.”

Card spoke with a lot of admiration toward Bush, and said that they were able to speak very candidly toward one another.

“I never felt afraid to talk to him about anything, even if we did not agree,” Card said.

Card shared many experiences with Bush, and watched him grow as an individual throughout his presidency. One of the most important personalities he noticed about Bush was his discipline.

George W. Bush is one of the most disciplined individuals I’ve ever met,” Card said.