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Bush Says It’s Broccoli, and He Says . . . With It

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Let it not be said that George Bush is indecisive.

“I do not like broccoli,” Bush declared at the end of a press conference Thursday. “I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it, and I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

So there.

California broccoli growers, irked by an item in U.S. News & World Report disclosing that Bush had banned broccoli from Air Force One, on Tuesday dispatched to Washington 20,000 pounds of the green vegetable, which is high in calcium and vitamin A.

But “I refuse to give ground,” Bush said.

“There are truckloads of broccoli at this very minute descending on Washington,” he said. “For the broccoli vote out there, Barbara loves broccoli . . . . So she can go out and meet the caravan.”

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“The broccoli growers of America are up in arms against me,” Bush told visiting Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki at a White House state dinner Wednesday night. “Would you be interested in having the (shipment) in Poland?”

“Just as Poland had a rebellion against totalitarianism, I am rebelling against broccoli,” Bush told Mazowiecki, who looked somewhat baffled, according to reporters present at the dinner.

Barbara Bush “is a total totalitarian--on broccoli only,” the President said.

“You’re darn right I am,” Mrs. Bush replied later. “Anyone who eats pork rinds (a favorite presidential snack) can’t be all good.”

The broccoli shipment is expected to be turned over to a Washington-area food bank when it arrives in the capital on Monday. The White House is considering holding a welcome ceremony.


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