Adviser, Speechwriter Gerson Leaves Bush White House

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President Bush's primary wordsmith, Michael Gerson, is leaving the White House. Gerson went from chief speechwriter in the president's first term to senior adviser in the second. Gerson says he is leaving to pursue other writing and policy work.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

A man who helped President Bush frame major issues is leaving his post. Speechwriter Michael Gerson was associated with key pronouncements like the President's second Inaugural Address.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

WERTHEIMER: Michael Gerson is an evangelical Christian. He worked spiritual themes into the President's speeches. And he also wrote signature phrases like, The soft bigotry of low expectations. And when another White House aide came up with the axis of hatred, Gerson changed it: the axis of evil. Now he says he wants to pursue other writing and policy work.

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