Most of the mockery has focused on two answers, one where Rockefeller says he warned the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria in early 2002 of President Bush's already-made decision to invade; and the other where he half-heartedly denies responsibility for his vote to authorize force against Iraq.
But there's another particularly weaselly aspect to his comments that I've not seen mentioned elsewhere. Rockefeller says he warned the Arab governments of Bush's intent to invade in January of 2002:
A bit later in the interview he's challenged to take responsibility for the vote he cast in October of 2002 and says:
I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq, that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.
I'm responsible for my vote, but I'd appreciate it if you'd get serious about this subject, with all due respect. We authorized him to continue working with the United Nations, and then if that failed, authorized him to use force to enforce the sanctions.His first answer fits nicely with the left's line that Bush decided to invade Iraq early on and then manufactured intelligience to support his aims. The second answer is the same excuse John Kerry used in the presidential debates last year: That he voted for the war resolution only to give Bush negotiating leverage with the UN and Iraq.
But Rockefeller says he knew nine months before his vote that Bush had made up his mind to invade! Like I said, weaselly.