From the POH Diaries:
As Bush and the class were enjoying their time together, White House Chief of Staff Andy Card delivered the horrible news in the President’s ear; what followed next became the subject of much criticism from Bush detractors of which there is no short supply.
The left has spent much time (and money in the case of Michael Moore) claiming that because Bush didn’t immediately jump up and run out of the room screaming that we were under attack, that somehow he was indecisive in the face of the tragedy that was unfolding. That somehow because he continued with the class for a mere seven minutes that it made the tragedy of that day worse.
Ten years later, we know that this isn’t the case. President Bush reacted the way you’d want a leader to react in the face of a National tragedy on the scale of 9/11. After all, what difference would those seven minutes have made in the grand scheme of things? No one really knew what was happening yet anyway. And once the facts began to be known, there was no one more confident and resolute in knowing what had to be done than President George W. Bush. . .
And a story in the Guardian on recollections of that day by some of the students there:
Later, there were calls by critics for Bush to be impeached for sitting and doing nothing for so long, having already been advised that the US was being attacked on a scale never seen before. But the children who were there remain convinced that Bush made the right decision, buying himself time to think while not distressing them by rushing from the classroom.
“He did the best that he could,” said Chantal Guerrero, 17, now a student at the Sarasota military academy. “For me, it was right. If he had left straight away and freaked out that would have been the mindset he would have left for America. If he wanted the country to be calm he needed to stay calm … I’m not sure how much he would have been able to do in the seven minutes or so that it took.”
Smith agrees with his former classmate. “I would have done the same. I wouldn’t want these little kids, who were reading to me, to get all hyped up and go crazy about what had happened. Now I understand why he did that so everything was still calm, why he didn’t jump up and leave straight away.
“It was nice that he understood we were young kids and would probably have gone crazy if he had told us what had happened.”. . .