Fact Check

Did President Bush Cite Actor Bob Denver as His Role Model?

"Gilligan managed to foul up an island and six other people's lives while Bush has managed to foul up a nation and millions of lives."

Published Sept. 20, 2005

 (Wikipedia Commons)
Image Via Wikipedia Commons
President George W. Bush cited actor Bob Denver as his role model.


The "Letters to Editor" column of the Maui News on 17 September 2005 contain a missive from a writer who was obviously no fan of President Bush and cited the appropriateness of the president's identifying Bob Denver — the recently-deceased actor best known for his portrayal of a hapless, bumbling castaway on the TV series Gilligan's Island — as "a role model for me personally" and sarcastically congratulated President Bush for having "surpassed your role model":

Off-the-cuff comment reveals appropriate role model

Well, well, well, we finally have a real answer to Dubya's antics, follies, farces and mishmash leadership. He’s set the record straight about who he chooses to emulate. For once I think his actions truly follow his words.

Mahalo, President Bush, for clearing this up in an unscripted comment. It all makes sense to me now.

Bush mourned the passing of actor Bob Denver, calling the "Gilligan's Island" star "a great American and a role model for me personally." Gilligan managed to foul up an island and six other people's lives while he’s managed to foul up a nation and millions of lives.

Congratulations, President Bush. I think you have surpassed your role model, little buddy.

Lee Wheeler


It appeared the letter writer himself was a bit of a bumbler, though, because President Bush didn't make the statement attributed to him. It was taken from The Borowitz Report, a satirical publication produced by humorist Andy Borowitz, whose 8 September 2005 column ("Barbara Bush Relocated") poked fun at a controversial remark made by the President's mother a few days earlier.


Borowitz, Andy.   "Barbara Bush Relocated."     The Borowitz Report.   8 September 2005.

Wheeler, Lee.   "Off-the-Cuff Comment Reveals Appropriate Role Model."     The Maui News.   17 September 2005.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.