In an interview to air on ABC, President Bush recently discussed the financial crisis and the measures he supports to address it. At one point, he said “I’m sorry it’s happening, of course.”

The AP’s story about this interview leads off like this:

President George W. Bush expressed remorse that the global financial crisis has cost jobs and harmed retirement accounts and said he’ll back more government intervention if needed to ease the recession.

Can this be anything other than willful misconstruction of what President Bush said? It’s true that the expression “I’m sorry” has multiple meanings in English; but it seems patently obvious to me that in this case, Bush is expressing sorrow, not remorse; he’s empathizing, not apologizing.

Let’s hope they never overhear him saying “I’m sorry for your loss” at a funeral.

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