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Tapes Emerge of George W Bush speaking candidly about Coke, Pot and gays ....

Questions of Possible Drug Use

On the tapes, Bush discussed strategies for stonewalling questions about past marijuana use.

"Do you want your little kid, to say, 'Hey daddy, President Bush tried marijuana; I think I will?'" said Bush on the tapes. "That's the message we've been sending out. I wouldn't answer the marijuana question."

In a taped segment played on "Good Morning America," Bush also addressed how he would deal with questions about cocaine use.

"The cocaine thing, let me tell you my strategy on that," Bush said on the tape. "Rather than saying no … I think it's time for someone to draw the line and look people in the eye and say, you know, 'I'm not going to participate in ugly rumors about me and blame my opponent,' and hold the line. Stand up for a system that will not allow this kind of crap to go on."

Tapes Show Bush Liked Gays And Smoked Pot

Secretly recorded tapes released yesterday show that George W Bush rejected calls to take a hard line against homosexuals and that he had smoked marijuana.

The material, published in yesterday's New York Times, was recorded from 1998 to 2000
by a Christian evangelical called Doug Wead, who had worked for the first President Bush.

The tapes cover the period when Mr Bush was governor of Texas to the time he declared for the presidency.

Taken as a whole, the material indicates that the private Mr Bush is very similar to the public man - a figure who means what he says and whose personal faith is at the centre of his political life.

In the months running up to his declaration, Mr Bush sought to co-opt the support of the Christian Right.
But the Wead tapes indicate there were limits to how far he was willing to go.

Aware that many evangelicals have powerful feelings about homosexuality, Mr Bush said after a meeting with a leading Texan evangelical minister: "I think he wants me to attack homosexuals."

But the president-to-be said he would not. He told the preacher:
"Look, James, I got to tell you two things right off the bat. One, I'm not going to kick gays because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?''

Later he says: "This is an issue that I have been trying to downplay. I think it is bad for Republicans to be kicking gays."

Mr Bush also says in passing that he had tried marijuana,
a question he refused to answer when asked by journalists.

"I wouldn't answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don't want some little kid doing what I tried."

* The president and his wife Laura are looking for a new White House chef and they want someone who knows barbecue and other American fare.

Mrs Bush told Newsweek she is looking for a chef who can cook spicy food of all kinds. "We like Tex-Mex and barbecue," she said.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005.

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