to avoid it, prof recalls
BY CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
President Bush' former Harvard Business School prof says his ex-student supported the Vietnam War but wanted somebody else to fight it.
Yoshi Tsurumi said yesterday that Bush told him his father's connections got him into the Texas Air National Guard. "But what really disturbed me is that he said he was for the Vietnam War," said Tsurumi, who has also taught at Baruch College and the City University of New York. "I said, 'George, that's hypocrisy. You won't fight a war that you support but you expect other people to fight it for you.' He just smirked."
Tsurumi, who crossed paths with Bush in the early 1970s when the future President was studying for his MBA, previously has criticized Bush's economic policies and described him as a mediocre student who "believed people were poor because they were lazy."
But Tsurumi's new volley comes as Bush has been battling allegations he got preferential treatment at the height of the divisive Vietnam War. Bush, according to Tsurumi, "had no sense of guilt" about getting into the Guard while others wound up fighting in Vietnam.
"He was very casual about it," the professor said. "I said, 'Lucky you, how did you manage it?' He said, 'My dad had a good friend who put me at the head of the waiting list.'"
The White House declined to comment on Tsurumi's recollections, but Bush has denied that his father, who was a congressman at the time, pulled strings to get him a much-sought-after berth in the Guard.