"It's a sign of a free society." This is how US President George W Bush described the "humiliating" incident in which a Iraqi journalist threw shoes at him in Baghdad.
Bush said he has seen a lot of weird things during his eight-year-long Presidency and that he would term the latest incident as "one of the weirdest".
The scribe threw two shoes at the President -- one after another -- during a news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday.
"And it was amusing. I mean, I've seen a lot of weird things during my presidency and this may rank up there as one of the weirdest. So this happens and it's a sign of a free society," Bush said.
"But I'm not insulted. I don't hold it against the government. I don't think the Iraqi press corps as a whole is terrible. And so, the guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don't know what his beef is. But whatever it is I'm sure somebody will hear it," the US President told ABC channel in Iraq.
Noting that one of the most important parts of his job because of 9/11 was to defend the security of the American people, Bush said there have been no attacks in the country since then.
"One of the major theaters against al-Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al-Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take ...," Bush said when asked what he thought about his last trip to the region as President.