That was Bush The Elder, of course, but it's a useful phrase for the son, too, though for a different reason. Bush refuses to move his lips on the abortion question. He's squirming around in order to say that he both supports South Dakota's draconian abortion law and that he doesn't support it. Or poor McClellan is doing the squirming. That is what underlings are for:
MCCLELLAN: The state law, as you know, bans abortions in all instances with the exception of the life of the mother.
QUESTION: And not rape and incest. And so, therefore, he must disagree with it, doesn't he? Doesn't he, Scott?
MCCLELLAN: The president has a strong record of working to build a culture of life, and that's what he will continue to do.
QUESTION: I know, but you're not answering my question. You're dodging it.
MCCLELLAN: No, I'm telling you that it's a state law.
QUESTION: Is he opposed to abortion laws that forbid it for rape and incest; isn't that true, Scott? That's what you said.
MCCLELLAN: Let me respond. Look at the president's record when it comes to defending the sanctity of life. It is a very strong record.
His views when it comes to pro-life issues are very clearly spelled out. We also have stated repeatedly that state legislatures, when they pass laws, those are state matters.
Think Progress points out that Bush does give his opinions on other state matters, a lot. This is about not angering the extreme radical clerics who are looking forward to the public stoning of whores and sluts and yuppity women in their future Talibarica, while simultaneously trying not to scare off the moderates who are more interested in other stuff but might wake up if they hear that their daughters could be forced to give birth after rape and that perhaps the rapist might even have regular visiting rights and so on.
Not that Bush has to fear getting pregnant by rape. That's why it is easy for him to squirm in an attempt to please all his bases.