Defiant Bush Hits After-Christmas Sales

Washington, DC (APE) – In an apparent attempt to lead by example President Bush today was seen making the rounds of after Christmas sales at a couple of very busy rural Virginia outlet malls. In a controversial end of the year press conference at the White House last week the president had encouraged all Americans to go shopping, stressing the need for continued improvement of the economy. Businesses nationwide are literally praying that brisk after Christmas sales may simulate what has been thus far a mediocre year for retail sales.

“I encourage you all to do your patriotic duty and get out there and mix it up,” stated Bush, “there are some real bargains to be had, and you’ll be supporting our troops in the war on terror by showing the terrorist killers that they can’t stop our way of life.”

The White House remained secretive in regards to the president’s purchases, but the Secret Service in attendance was noted to be helping out by carrying a number of articles of clothing. Witnesses also say that the president spent a lot of time in a boating and fishing outlet store before speeding away in the presidential motorcade.

Fellow shoppers appeared to take the presidential visit in stride, although a number of angry customers complained of being pushed out of popular stores by the president’s security contingent.

“I had my heart set on a new “Surfmate” fishing rig for my truck,” said Beaufort Hunsacker, 45, of Virginia Beach, Virginia. “Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World had it for 50% off, so I made the trip all the way from Virginia Beach this morning. I got to the store early this morning and almost had one in my hands, and all of a sudden I got tackled from behind, and this Secret Service guy is telling me to relax and stop struggling… after the pepper spray I couldn’t really see anything else that happened. The “Surfmate” was gone after they let me go.”

The White House confirmed that there was a minor altercation at one of the stores the president visited, but insisted that the president was in no danger at any time. They confirmed that Mr. Hunsacker was released after it was determined that he represented no threat to the president.

The president reportedly will be arriving in Crawford, Texas later this evening with plans for a brief fishing/working vacation at an undisclosed location prior to the new year.