Mubarak to Egyptians: "Why Didn't You Say Something Sooner?"

PRES. HOSNI MUBARAK: “Citizens, countrymen, young men and women of Egypt, I am addressing you today. I will tell you that I am proud of you as a symbol of a new generation of Egyptians calling for change, and a youth which is dreaming and making the future. I only wish that you had said something sooner.

"If you had said something sooner, maybe we could have worked something out. We could have prevented this entire scenario and the hundreds of lives that have been lost as a result. And believe me, their blood will not be in vain.

"It would have been nice if you had dropped a few hints, is what I’m trying to say.

"I would like to tell you that my response to your voice, your message, your demands is an irrevocable commitment. Any government can make mistakes. The important thing is that we learn from those mistakes and put them right as soon as possible. I admit I made mistakes. And if you look deep in your hearts, maybe you’ll find that you made mistakes as well. Well, just one mistake: keeping all these feelings to yourself for so long. And you’re all chanting and burning effigies of me. It’s become this whole thing.

"I feel weird having this conversation. But it needed to happen. It needed to happen for the good of our country and all future generations.

"Egypt is going through a very significant phase in its history. This compels us all to put the interests of the nation first and put Egypt above any consideration. So when stuff like this comes up, we need to talk about it. You can’t just sit on it until you get so steamed you start marching by the millions through the streets at night. That’s not cool.

"I say it again that I have lived for the sake of this nation, protecting the nation and carrying my responsibilities, and Egypt will remain above any individual and above everybody.

"So the next time you take issue with something I’ve said or done, just tell me right away. I promise I won’t get mad.”