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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 19, 2002
Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer
James S. Brady Briefing Room
12:36 P.M. EDT
MR. FLEISCHER: Good afternoon. Let me give you a report on the President's day, and then I have two announcements I'd like to make. One, this morning the President began with his usual CIA briefing, followed by an FBI briefing. And then the President made an announcement this morning about an important American commitment to fight AIDS globally, particularly as AIDS affects mothers, therefore the children of mothers. The President announced a $500 million initiative aimed at child HIV prevention initiative.
The President also this morning made remarks to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, in which he talked about the need for Congress to pass terrorism insurance to help protect jobs in our country. And then later this afternoon, the President will greet newly appointed ambassadors here at the White House. Among the group will be Ishaq Shahryar, the new Afghani ambassador to the United States. It's an important moment marking the ongoing efforts of Afghanistan to reconstruct from the devastation that was wreaked under Taliban control.
And the President, later this afternoon in the East Room, will make remarks at the White House Conference on Character and Community. And finally, this evening the President will participate in the President's Dinner, to help raise money for the House and Senate Republican candidates.
Two announcements for you. One, President Bush has invited Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski to Washington for a state visit on July 17-18th. Poland has become a friend, partner and NATO ally of the United States, and is an ardent supporter in the war on terrorism. President Kwasniewski shares the President's vision of creating a Europe whole, free and at peace. Poland hosted the President and Mrs. Bush's visit to Warsaw in June of 2001.
And on one domestic issue involving the Congress, the President, on March 21st, sent an emergency request to the Congress -- this is almost 90 days ago -- for our troops in the field and for homeland security. The House passed the President's request for this emergency funding for our troops and for homeland security on May 25th. The Senate, contrary to the House, added $4 billion above the President's request for many non-emergency items, such as coral reef mapping, a storage facility for Smithsonian specimens, and other spending not related to the war against terrorism or homeland security. Now we learn that the Senate may not be interested in acting on this emergency bill in the conference before adjourning for the July 4th recess.
This funding is an emergency. The President sent the emergency request almost 90 days ago. Funds for our troops in the field and homeland security, and especially the Transportation Security Administration, are running out. The Senate needs to get this done quickly and they should not delay in the hopes of adding billions of dollars in unrelated spending, including for programs that have no focus on homeland security or the war to this bill. The President does not believe this should be a time for business as usual.
With that, I'm happy to take your questions. Ron.
Q There was a bombing in Israel yesterday. Israel announced a new policy today whether to seize Palestinian territory --
MR. FLEISCHER: Excuse me one second. Go ahead, Ron.
Q -- bombing yesterday, and there was aggressive Israeli policy today, and a few minutes ago, another bombing in a Jerusalem neighborhood. How can the President put forward any kind of new initiative with all this going on?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the President is looking forward at the right time to making remarks that address the situation in the Middle East. Violence has been going on in the Middle East for too long, and the President wants very much to work with all the parties, as he has been doing in his meetings that he's had with the Israelis, as well as Arab nations, on help finding a way out of this violence.
The President condemns this latest attack. The President was informed of it just moments ago. And the President is determined still to find a way to help the parties to find peace.
Q How do you find a -- like you say, violence goes on in the Middle East, unfortunately, all the time. When will there be a right time to deploy this policy?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I think in the immediate aftermath of these attacks, it's obvious that the immediate aftermath is not the right time. The President knows what he wants to say; the President will share it when the President believes the time is right to share it so it can do the most good.
The President's focus is on helping to make Israel more secure and finding a way to give hope to the Palestinian people. That remains the President's focus and the President will look for the right moment and the President will have more to say.
Q When you say that the President knows what he wants to say, do you mean that the policy is now worked out, that there is no longer any debate on what this major statement will be and what the roll-out will consist of? And, secondly, the Israelis have made it very clear, they're putting a new policy into action on how to respond to suicide bombings that involves reoccupation of certain Palestinian territories. What is the President's response to Israel's actions?
MR. FLEISCHER: Okay. On the second point first, the President understands that Israel is in the middle of, once again, even as we speak, reaction to a terrible terrorist attack. The President understands Israel has a right to defend herself. As Israel defends herself, the President asks that Israel continue to remember the consequences of any actions so that the path to peace, the political path, can also be pursued.
Q And the first point?
MR. FLEISCHER: And on the first point, the President knows what he wants to say. I think you can anticipate, until the moment the President gives a speech, there will be continued discussions around the edges. But the President knows what he wants to say. And, as I indicated, the Middle East for too long has been an area of the world in which there have been two steps backward for every step forward. On a good day, sometimes there's one step forward, one step backwards. And on a rare day, it's two steps forward, one step backwards. The President wants to contribute and do everything in his power to an environment which it is steps forward, not backward.
So the President will, when he determines the time is right, have more to say about how to bring about more accountability for security, how to help build institutions that are necessary to develop peace. And when the moment is right, the President will announce that and then you will hear from the President.
Q When you talk about consequences for Israel --
MR. FLEISCHER: Correct.
Q -- we went around on this before. What are the consequences? I mean, the President has said this through you for months that Israel must bear in mind the consequences to its reaction to violence. What are the consequences?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the consequences are that ultimately still a political solution must be found to peace in the Middle East. At the same time, it's very understandable, and the President does understand, that there are also immediate security issues that Israel is forced to address and Israel will address. And the President understands Israel's right to self-defense. But the consequences for all in the region are the violence does not help solve the fundamental problem and terrorism has got to stop.
Now, the President will continue to work with the Palestinians, with the Israelis and with the Arabs, to help bring them together in such a way that the worse consequence of all would be a loss of hope. And the President wants to make certain that all parties continue to do what they can and that the United States will be there for them to help them focus on a political solution. But these are very difficult days for the Israeli people and the President understands that.
Q Just to button this down, is it okay with the President that Israel is reoccupying Palestinian land?
MR. FLEISCHER: Terry, again, the President understands that Israel is in the middle of yet again another attack -- they're not even in the middle of this latest one, they're only dealing with it literally as we speak, in the streets of Jerusalem right now. And the President is understanding of that. The President understands that a nation that is undergoing what Israel is undergoing has a right to defend itself, and that's what the President understands.
Q What do you say to the argument that some will undoubtedly make when the President does make his announcement, that any offering of the Palestinians statehood of any sort is a reward for this kind of terrorism? That will undoubtedly be raised against whatever the President has to propose. What does he say?
MR. FLEISCHER: I'm not going to speculate about any one element that may or may not be in a presidential speech. But I think that when the time comes and the President decides that he's going to make a statement, the President will address all the various issues that are presented in terms of how to create an environment for peace. And that will be in the President's remarks.
Q Briefly, on one other subject. Saudi Arabia has said it will not allow outside investigators to question the al Qaeda suspects who were rounded up in connection with the attempt to shoot down U.S. aircraft. Does the administration think that's okay, that they --
MR. FLEISCHER: We're going to continue to work cooperatively with the Saudis on a host of issues. The Saudi cooperation has been strong and we'll continue to work with them.
Q Even before yesterday's attack and today's attack, there was some discussion about when the President would speak. It was suggested for one time then pushed back. Is the President at all concerned that by delaying he's raising expectations beyond what is reasonable, given what's happening?
MR. FLEISCHER: No, I think people always expect the President of the United States to share his thoughts when he has something to share. And you will judge, and the American people will judge about what the President said and how constructive it is toward helping bridge some of these gaps that are in the Middle East. But the President has come to some conclusions based on his meetings that he's had with a host of the Arab leaders who visited here, with Prime Minister Sharon who visited here. And when the President determines the time is right, he will share it.
Q You keep saying that he has come to these conclusions and --
MR. FLEISCHER: Correct.
Q -- so it seems logical that the time would then be soon, doesn't it?
MR. FLEISCHER: I think the time will be soon. But I'm not going to be in a position to guess exactly what day that means. That's something that the President will make a determination on and proceed. But there are some -- it's hard to get people to focus on peace today, when they're still suffering from the consequences of terrorism, as we speak.
Q Ari, do you know if this is a long-term measure by Israel to reoccupy, or a short-term measure, temporary?
MR. FLEISCHER: I think you have to address that question to Israeli authorities.
Q Ari, Sharon has said time and time again he won't negotiate with Palestinians until this violence stops. Clearly, that's not happening. Within the last hour, the attack. With all due respect, what does it matter what's in the U.S. proposal if it doesn't accomplish the one requirement that will bring Sharon back to the negotiating table?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I think that may be somewhat of an overstatement of what the Prime Minister has said. The Prime Minister has been clear in his focus on security, and it's understandable why Israel has a focus on security, given what they are going through.
But the President understands and the President in his conversations with Prime Minister Sharon and with the Arab leaders has made clear that the United States can help bring parties together, can help bridge some of the gaps between the Israelis and the Arabs, between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And Prime Minister Sharon, as well as the Arab leaders, have all expressed a desire for peace. And that's why the United States occupies a unique role in the world in bringing these parties together. And President Bush is determined to play that role.
Q Ari, the President is waiting for the right time to put his plan forward, but the terrorists or the people who perpetrate these attacks have their own calendar and their own schedule. So what's to stop whenever the President does his speech to have attacks the same time, or a few minutes afterwards or very shortly afterwards? The attacks are not going to stop, so what's holding the President back from giving it anyway?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat need to make every effort to stop the attacks. These attacks are coming from territory that are occupied -- territory that is under Palestinian Authority control. And the Palestinian Authority needs to do everything in its power to stop these attacks.
Q Has the President called Sharon ever since this latest incident?
MR. FLEISCHER: He has not.
Q I understand the expressions of sympathy and understanding as Israel tries to recover from these two attacks. But Israel yesterday announced a long-term policy the reoccupy territory; that's not a short-term response to one attack, it's a long-term policy. So does the President think it's a good idea or not for Israel to implement that policy?
MR. FLEISCHER: Jean, again, the President understands that Israel is in the midst of dealing with these attacks. And the President's message is that Israel has a right to defend itself. And the President also reminds Israel to be aware of the consequences tomorrow of any actions they take today.
Q But Israel has announced how it will react, and that is to re-take land. Is that a good idea, as the President sees it?
MR. FLEISCHER: I've shared with you the President's immediate reaction to the announcements that you have heard so far.
Q So is it safe to say the White House has no position or no reaction to the actual policy that the Israelis announced last night?
MR. FLEISCHER: No, it's just exactly as I outlined it.
Q Thank you. Wouldn't a call for a Palestinian state at this time be seen as a reward for terrorism? And why would a state at this time guarantee an end to terrorism? And finally, if Israel is in a state of war, is the U.S. bound to help defend Israel if Israel is in trouble and calls the U.S. --
MR. FLEISCHER: Okay, I'm just not going to get drawn into any speculation about what the specific topics are that the President will discuss when he discusses this. I think what you will find is that when the President does share with the American people his conclusions based on the many meetings that he's had, and his vision long-term, and short-term and medium-term, about how to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together, those questions will be answered. Those are legitimate questions; they raise valid issues. The President is aware of all the issues and the nuances of those issues and the complications on both sides of those issues. And when you hear from the President you will hear these things answered in entirety and in context. And the President will share that when he decides to.
Q Including the question about the state of war? In the past, the United States has come to Israel's help and --
MR. FLEISCHER: I think the President has made perfectly plain that the United States is and will continue to forever be a strong and powerful friend of Israel's.
Q Ari, are you ruling out the President talking on this subject this week?
MR. FLEISCHER: I'm not indicating any guesses about the specific day. As always, when the White House has something to inform you about in terms of the timing of a presidential event, we will.
Q Can you tell us whether the President's timetable for the speech was altered today as a result of the second attack, a second bombing attack, or earlier?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, let me just say that the President wants to give his speech at a time when it will have the maximum impact to bring the maximum prospects for peace to the region. And the President will make that determination about what that right time is. Clearly, acts of terrorism present threats to all in the region -- threats, of course, to Israel, the Israeli people and the security of Israel, and acts of terrorism also diminish the hopes, the legitimate hopes of the Palestinian people.
I'm sorry, I said Deb, and then we'll go to Richard.
Q Ari, the Israelis say that these latest attacks are one more proof that it is impossible to have Yasser Arafat as a legitimate peace partner. What is your response to that?
MR. FLEISCHER: Whatever the source of the attacks, the President thinks that Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority can do more to stop them, and they need to do more, they should do more, and they should want to do more. If terrorism is to be condemned in not only word, but in deed, the Palestinian Authority needs to take additional action, in the President's opinion, to help Israel to know that Israel's security will be maintained.
Q And, Ari, what if they don't?
MR. FLEISCHER: I'm sorry?
Q What if they don't. I mean, I'm sort of asking the same question that Jean asked before in a different way, which is, the President has said repeatedly, ever since he's gotten into office, that Yasser Arafat needs to do more, and he hasn't.
MR. FLEISCHER: I think that, from the President's point of view, if the Palestinian Authority doesn't it will be another example of the Palestinian Authority letting down the Palestinian people.
Q Ari, do you get any sense that the timing of these attacks that came this week were designed to scuttle the speech or delay the speech --
MR. FLEISCHER: I can't put a -- pin a cause of action of that nature. Unfortunately, these attacks have been going on for -- of such long duration that I've not heard anybody in our government speculate that they're timed to anything involving the United States or President Bush's speech.
Q Ari, the President has said on a number of occasions that he wants to move at some point to a Palestinian state. What is his thinking on the question of how you balance the setting a time that would make the Palestinians realize this will, in fact, eventually happen, and his own stress on the question of what they need -- what Palestinians need to do to reform? When he discusses this, how does he balance time line versus performance together? Which of those two are more important?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the President's focus is on two things. One is making Israel more secure, and two, giving hope to the Palestinian people for their future. And the President believes that the best way to give hope to the Palestinian people for their future is through the development of an infrastructure that's accountable within Palestinian governance that will help develop peace, that will build institutions that are reliable, that citizens can develop -- can depend on to protect peace, and to help them to have a strong future, just like citizens look to their government anywhere around the world for that.
As far as anything dealing with a timetable or anything of that nature, again, if the President has anything to share on that topic specifically, you'll hear it in complete context from the President when he decides to.
Q Ari, by waiting until the moment is right, presumably a moment of calm when Israel has not just been hit by a terrorist bombing, doesn't the President put his own peacemaking at hostage -- doesn't he make his peacemaking hostage to a terrorist timetable?
MR. FLEISCHER: Terrorists put everybody at hostage. The terrorists who carry out these acts have a -- are determined to stop a peace process from taking place, and the President will not let that happen. The President is determined to follow through, to focus on the long-term, which is seeing through the attacks and helping Israel and the Palestinian people and the Arab nations achieve a peaceful settlement to these issues.
The President will wait for the moment that he thinks is the most appropriate moment, so that his speech is heard by all the parties in the region and his speech has the best prospects of being acted upon.
Q Ari, the President has told the world many times that the United States will view any regime that harbors terrorists or clothes terrorists or feeds terrorists or supports terrorists in any way as terrorist regimes unto themselves. Last week, Dr. Rice termed the Palestinian Authority a corrupt regime that cavorts with terror. Is cavorting with terror enough to get a regime classified under the Bush Doctrine as a terrorist regime?
MR. FLEISCHER: Let me put it to you this way. The President believes that Yasser Arafat needs to step up and do more to stop and prevent these attacks from taking place. The President expects the Palestinian Authority to do the same. And the President is understanding of Israel's right to self-defense. But there is more that can be done from the Palestinian side of the border to prevent these actions from taking place.
These actions threaten a radicalism in place of a government. And radicalism cannot be the future for the Palestinian people, in the President's opinion. The only path to peace lies through political solutions. And the people who carry out these attacks represent a radical threat to forces that the President hopes will be created on the Palestinian side that will work toward peace. And it's important for Palestinian people who are concerned about peace to step up their actions and to fight this type of radicalism and this type of terrorism.
Q The Israelis, Ari, have produced documents to this government that purport to link directly the Palestinian Authority to these kinds of terrorist operations. And Dr. Rice has termed it a regime that cavorts with terror. On what basis then does the President have this expectation that the Palestinian Authority is going to do any more than it already has?
MR. FLEISCHER: As the President has said, he believes that there is talent in the Palestinian people and that the talent will emerge to help create this environment. The challenge for the Palestinian people is to reject, not only in word, but in deed, those who would divert the Palestinian people from their just cause of statehood in a way in the direction of radicalism that threatens their ability to become a state.
Q Ari, following up on Richard's question. The terrorists have a longstanding pattern of linking their attacks to upcoming events, visits to the region by high-level delegations and so forth. The Israel government seems to think that this is an attempt to undercut the President. What makes you think that it's not linked to that in any way?
MR. FLEISCHER: I just have not heard anybody in our government come to that conclusion. And, unfortunately, there have been so many scores of these types of attacks that it's very hard to pinpoint any cause and action to anything involved with the United States.
I think it's fair to say, of course, when Prime Minister Sharon was here meeting with President Bush for a 45-minute window when an attack took place exactly in the middle of that window, that was likely timed to the President's visit with the Prime Minister. But beyond that, I have not heard anybody in our government come to that point. Unfortunately, there have been attacks before, in the middle of and after the President was working on various initiatives.
Q Is there any sense here as to why they are hitting these targets in Jerusalem on such a strong basis than has been seen for a long time?
MR. FLEISCHER: I think that there's been enough signs of terrorism in the region that there are indications they're hitting multiple regions and they've been stopped, in fact, by the Israelis from being successful in many regions, as well.
Q Ari, there are those who would argue that the attacks of the last 48 hours underscore the urgency of a sound U.S. peace proposal. You've suggested, I believe today, that the reason the President is not embracing that is because he thinks his message would not be heard properly. Could you tell us more about why you think his message would not be heard at this moment? And at what point is the President's concern that he, himself, is being paralyzed, that the terrorists have, in essence, a veto over his own peace process?
MR. FLEISCHER: The terrorists are vetoing the peace process that would benefit the Palestinian people the most. The terrorists are the biggest threat to peace in the region. And the President of the United States will wait for the appropriate moment to give a speech. But it's the people in the region who don't want to wait. They want peace. They want statehood. They want security. And the terrorists represent a threat to all of the above.
Q I'm sorry, Ari --
MR. FLEISCHER: Go ahead, Bob.
Q -- can you say why the President thinks that at this moment, after these attacks, his message would not be heard?
MR. FLEISCHER: I think it's only logical that in the wake of these attacks and as people are worried about the most immediate needs, which is taking care of the wounded and addressing the suffering of those whose family members have been affected, the prospects for listening to a message of peace are not as strong as they would be at some other time. There's an immediacy to the actions in the Middle East right now and the President will wait for the appropriate moment, so that his message can be heard and can be acted on with the greatest chance of the parties listening.
Q Ari, two questions. One is the water dispute with Mexico -- a taken question by Scott yesterday. What is the position of President Bush regarding the rejection of the government of Mexico to -- that the Mexican authorities has a debt to the U.S. in terms of the water?
MR. FLEISCHER: I'll have to get back to you on that. I don't have anything with me on that topic.
Q And, second, the Mexican authorities just announced that they gave the agreement or okay to Tony Garza to be the ambassador of the U.S. and Mexico. When did the President is going to make the nomination?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, as you know, when it comes to personnel I won't speculate about anybody the President may or may not appoint, until the President makes the announcement.
Q I'm from Canadian Television, Rosemary Thompson. I've got a question about a New York Times report about a military inquiry that concluded that the U.S. pilot involved in the friendly fire incident against the Canadian troops didn't make the proper checks before he dropped the 500-pound bomb. I'm wondering if you know whether any disciplinary action will be taken against this pilot?
MR. FLEISCHER: That's a question you need to address to the Department of Defense.
Q And what about the report, itself? It seems that Central Command doesn't want to release it. Is there any reason for that?
MR. FLEISCHER: Again, you need to check with the Department of Defense about an internal DOD report.
Q Ari, on a different subject, not the Middle East. There have been some high-profile arrests around the world -- in Morocco and elsewhere -- of suspected al Qaeda operatives. Could you summarize where the administration feels we are at in our pursuit of high-level al Qaeda operatives? Are we 50 percent of the way there? How are we doing in that regard?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, without getting into any of specific names that have been written about in terms of the recent arrests, there have been ongoing, notable successes in the war against terrorism on one of the fronts that we often talk about, which is cooperation with other nations in arresting people.
And the President has used the figure 2,400 people generally around the world who were arrested. You can increase those figures a little bit more now. These are signs of cooperation that we are getting from allied nations, other nations, key people in the region helping the United States and the international coalition.
This is, indeed, a multifront war and the arrests of people that -- whether they are junior, medium or senior level of al Qaeda -- all of this is very helpful in keeping would-be killers off the street and would-be planners and organizers off the street.
Q Ari, can I just briefly have a preview of the four-day fitness campaign that begins tomorrow? And does the President want Americans to emulate his example?
MR. FLEISCHER: The President is very much looking forward to addressing an important domestic issue which not only is close to his heart, but it's also an important health care initiative for the American people. And the fact of the matter is, often in our country when Presidents step out and use the bully pulpit of the presidency, many Americans listen. And when it comes to exercise, there are many people who just need that extra little nudge to go out there and do a little bit more exercise. And the President hopes the initiative he is about to launch will help Americans exercise more and stay healthy or keep healthy or get healthy.
So tomorrow, the President will launch an initiative beginning with the announcement of his Physical Fitness Panel on the South Lawn of the White House. There will be health screenings available on the South Lawn of the White House for our invited guests.
The next day, Friday, the President will travel to Florida where the President will visit a senior citizens' center, and the President will
discuss age-appropriate physical education and exercise with seniors. You're never too old to exercise, and that will be one of the messages of the President.
Q Do you exercise?
MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, you exercise me every day. (Laughter.)
On Saturday, the President is going to probably lead White House staffers in a three-mile run at a local facility. And we have -- already have some 400 White House staffers. It instantly sold out. Instead of paying a registration fee, the staff was asked to donate their time to local charities. And then there will be a tee-ball game on the South Lawn on Sunday.
But in a serious way, it is a fact that people do take cues from the President about a number of areas, and health and exercise is one of them. The President hopes in some small way to get Americans to change their behavior or increase their exercise or start exercising.
Q Will there be health screening for reporters? (Laughter.)
Q Will Nurse Ratchet be available --
Q Ari, talk a little bit about the President's own fitness regiment.
MR. FLEISCHER: The question was the President's own physical fitness regimen. The President continues to work out on virtually a daily basis. He will run, typically about three miles a day. He will do a bit of a workout in terms of live weights also. The President believes in cross-training. And the President finds it very healthy in terms of just physical strength, physical endurance, keeping in shape. But it's also good for the mind. And I think that's something that the American people know, when they run, when they exercise, it's a healthy aspect of daily life, hopefully daily life, in many ways, physical and mental.
Q Can I follow on that?
MR. FLEISCHER: Keith.
Q I wanted to just clarify one answer that you gave. You were asked, by James I think, about whether -- why the President would have confidence that Arafat would act to reduce terrorism. And you answered by saying that he hoped that there would be talent from within the Palestinian people that would do that. You weren't trying to indicate that the President has actually finally given up hope in Arafat's ability to do that, were you?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the President has not seen anything yet from Yasser Arafat that gives the President confidence that Yasser Arafat is the man who will take these steps. Again, these are issues that the Palestinian people face, in terms of their leadership. These are issues for the Palestinian people to address. But the President has said on multiple times that Yasser Arafat has yet to earn his trust.
Q And does he still continue, though, to believe that there's a possibility that Arafat will do that?
MR. FLEISCHER: The President looks to the Palestinian people, and any source within the Palestinian Authority to do that. What's important is that it be done.
Q Can I follow up on Steve's question about exercising? When the President is either running on the treadmill or doing weights, and when Tom Brokaw is not around, is he doing something else, like reading, or getting briefings, talking on the phone?
MR. FLEISCHER: You mean while he's on the treadmill?
Q While he's exercising.
MR. FLEISCHER: No, I think he's -- he focuses very much on his exercise program. He'll usually get into the Oval Office a little before 7:00 a.m. in the morning. And then, typically, the President's routine is, late in the evening, after he leaves the White House and gets back over to the residence, he'll work out, much like many Americans when their day is done, on their way home they'll go and they'll work out.
Following the workout, the typical routine of the President is to start working on his briefing papers for the next day, and speeches, and things of that nature. But the President does believe strongly in trying to find time every day for his workout routine, and he thinks it's important for all Americans to try to find more ways to find more time to workout and exercise. And it does have important health care consequences for our country. And the President said in talking about this that he thinks this is a way to help Americans live longer. And certainly, if people are living longer and living healthier, that's a wonderful thing for all families across our country, as parents exercise and families can enjoy more time with each other because they're around longer.
END 1:08 P.M. EDT
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