WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday that he does not live "in a bubble" and that he is well aware of what is going on outside the White House, rejecting critics' claims that he is out of touch with public opinion.
"I don't feel in a bubble," Bush said in an interview on "NBC Nightly News."
"I feel like I'm getting really good advice from very capable people, and that people from all walks of life have informed me and informed those who advise me. And I feel very comfortable that I'm very aware of what's going on," Bush said.
But Bush did acknowledge the bubble of security that prevents him from enjoying ordinary experiences.
"I mean you feel in a bubble in the sense that I can't go walking out the front gate and you know, go shopping, like I'd love to do for my wife," he said.
Asked how much television news and newspapers he regularly consumes, Bush moved to dispel a myth that grew a few years ago after he told an interviewer that he does not read newspapers.
"Every morning I look at the newspaper," Bush told NBC. "I can't say I've read every single article in the newspaper. But, I definitely know what's in the news."
"Occasionally, I watch television. I don't want to hurt your feelings. But it's occasionally," Bush said jokingly.
"But I'm very aware of what's in the news. I'm aware because I see clips. I see summaries," he said. Bush added that staffers also brief him daily on what's brewing on domestic and international issues.
"Frankly, it is probably part of my own fault for needling people, but it's a myth to think I don't know what's going on," Bush said. "And it's a myth to think that I'm not aware that there (are) opinions that don't agree with mine. Because I'm fully aware of that."
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