At a town-hall style meeting, Bush also rebuffed a question about whether he would consider pardoning two Border Patrol agents in prison for the cover-up of the shooting of a drug trafficker in Texas.
``No, I won't make you that promise,'' Bush told a woman who asked about a possible pardon. Many Republicans in Congress have said the men should not have been convicted and have criticized the federal U.S. attorney for even prosecuting the agents.
``I know it's an emotional issue but people need to look at the facts. These men were convicted by a jury of their peers after listening to the facts'' as presented by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, said Bush. Bush called Sutton a friend.
When Bush was asked about whether he would consider pardoning the two border patrol agents, he seemed briefly taken aback.
``I'm not going to make that kind of promise in a forum like this, obviously,'' he said. ``I'm interested in facts. I know the prosecutor very well, Johnny Sutton. He's a dear friend of mine from Texas. He's a fair guy. He is an evenhanded guy and I can't imagine, well, you know. ...''
To the woman, Bush said, ``You've got a nice smile but you can't entice me (into) making a public statement'' on the controversy.