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 Home > News & Policies > August 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 2, 2002

Press Gaggle with Claire Buchan
Aboard Air Force One
En Route to Kennebunkport, Maine

12:30 P.M. EDT

MS. BUCHAN: I'll start out -- I'll tell you a little about the President's day, give you some week-ahead for next week, and then also look ahead to the President's tour of the heartland.

Today the President started his day with his regular intelligence and FBI briefings. He then taped his radio address. He dropped by -- the National Security Advisor had a meeting with the Russian American Media Entrepreneurship Dialogue, which was launched in Crawford/Washington.

Q What is the topic of the radio address?

MS. BUCHAN: In the radio address he'll be talking about the accomplishments that have been achieved, as well as work that remains to be done.

Q What was the group? That's all I heard -- Russian.

MS. BUCHAN: I'll fill you in later.

And then he signed the supplemental, which provides urgent funding for our homeland security, as well as our national security, and is also an important victory for fiscal discipline.

He then met with the U.S. Men's World Cup Soccer team, and has now departed for Maine, where he will spend the weekend with his family.

Q Was the signing announced at the White House?

MS. BUCHAN: The President referenced it when he did his departure statement.

Q -- put out paper so it's all clear to everybody back in Washington that's been signed? Did you put out some sort of paper back there?

MS. BUCHAN: Paper will be going out, if it hasn't already.

Q Who's the family? Who's going to be there?

MS. BUCHAN: His mother and father will be there; his brother, Marvin; his sister, Dorothy.

Q And Doro?

MS. BUCHAN: Sister, Dorothy.

Q Is there any particular reason they're coming up this weekend, or it just was a good weekend to get away? Is there like a particular event, a birthday or something?

MS. BUCHAN: The President is a family man, he enjoys spending time with his family, and he looks forward to doing that this weekend.

Q Are any of his relatives flying with him today?

MS. BUCHAN: Yes, a couple of them are.

Q Which ones?

MS. BUCHAN: His brother-in-law and a couple of his nephews.

Q There's some reports out that the head of Bush's corporate task force sold -- made a few million dollars off of selling shares three days before they tanked in Providian. Do you guys have any response to those reports?

MS. BUCHAN: -- the Justice Department.

Q What about Iraq's offer for weapons inspections?

MS. BUCHAN: The Iraqis have signed an agreement that allows inspectors any time, anywhere, by anyone. That is what they're expected to do. They have that obligation, so it's time for action, not discussions.

Q There have been Senate hearings on Iraq for the last two days. Has the White House been paying attention to that? Has the President been watching that testimony, or have any sort of reaction to it?

MS. BUCHAN: I don't know if he's watched the testimony or not. But the President's view is that -- the position of this government is that we need a regime change in Iraq, and he continues to consider all options with regard to that.

Q Does the President believe that members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committee folks should be required to take a polygraph?

MS. BUCHAN: I saw those reports that you're referring to. This is an investigation that has been asked for by the Congress, and we're confident that they will work it out.

Are you guys ready for a week ahead?

Q Quickly, just to be clear, neither Mrs. Bush, nor the daughters are on -- going to be in Kennebunkport, correct?

MS. BUCHAN: Mrs. Bush is in Texas.

Q And the daughters? I'm sorry.

MS. BUCHAN: I don't know where they are.

Q What was the question over there, I didn't hear it, the last question you answered? Something about the Congress asked for this?

MS. BUCHAN: The question was about the polygraph tests.

Okay, we've got a week ahead. Monday morning, the President will depart Kennebunkport, Maine for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he will meet with Pennsylvania coal miners, first responders and their families. The President will also attend a Fisher for Governor Luncheon. That afternoon, the President will sign the Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 before returning to Washington.

Tuesday, the President will undergo his annual physical in Bethesda, Maryland, after which he will return to the White House and sign the Trade Act of 2002 in the East Room.

Q Time?

MS. BUCHAN: We'll get that for you. That afternoon, the President will travel to his ranch in Crawford.

On Wednesday, he will travel to Jackson, Mississippi, where he will make remarks at the Mississippi welcome and attend the Pickering for Congress Fundraiser before returning to his ranch. Then he will have no other public events scheduled for this week -- for that week.

Q I'm sorry, who for Congress in Jackson?

MS. BUCHAN: Pickering.

Q Could I just clarify, what was your response to the question about the polygraphs? I didn't hear any of that.

MS. BUCHAN: The Congress asks for this investigation, and we're confident they'll work it out.

Okay, let me give you more information on the President's return to the heartland. He will travel to approximately 15 cities focusing on education, the economy and trade.

The week of August 12, the President will host an economic forum, where he will bring together government policymakers, small investors, industry experts, business ethicists, union members, corporate leaders, business students and others to discuss the economy and talk about the President's agenda for increasing growth. Then he will, later that week, travel to Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota.

The week of August 19th, the President will visit the West Coast, traveling to Oregon, California and New Mexico. He'll also host Secretary Rumsfeld at the ranch to discuss a variety of issues related to defense programs and the budget, transformation of the military to meet 21st century challenges and missile defense.

The week of August 26th, the President will make a series of day trips with multiple stops, including Oklahoma, Arkansas, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And I also expect it's likely that there will be other events that we'll announce to you in the weeks to come.

And a final note, on September 11th, the President will travel to Pennsylvania, New York, and the Pentagon in memory of the one-year anniversary of the attacks on America. And we'll have details of that in the weeks ahead.

Q What's the date of the Rumsfeld visit? Do we have that?

MS. BUCHAN: We don't have a date yet. It's the week of August 19th.

Q Can you tell us about that infants born alive legislation, and is he making -- why is he signing that in Pennsylvania?

MS. BUCHAN: I'll need to get more on the specific legislation. I don't know all the details of it.

Q On the coal miners, does that mean the Quecreek nine, that he's going to meet with them? He'll meet with them right in Pittsburgh, not going to their hometown?

MR. DICKENS: In Pittsburgh.

MS. BUCHAN: In Pittsburgh.

Q What's the plan for that? We see them? Will he meet with them privately?

MR. DICKENS: He'll have a closed meeting, and then he'll make remarks to the families of first responders and the miners. They'll be a part of the audience for the remarks.

Q Do you know what the theme of those remarks -- the theme of that speech is going to be?

MS. BUCHAN: I don't have -- I haven't seen the remarks on it, but I would expect that the President would herald the spirit of these -- of the miners and those who rescued them. Clearly a great moment for them, and they represent sort of the spirit of America.

Q There's an actual signing ceremony, as part of that event?

MS. BUCHAN: A signing ceremony? Of what?

Q For the legislation.

MS. BUCHAN: Oh, it's a totally separate event.

Q Is it in Pennsylvania, or back in Washington?

MS. BUCHAN: The President will do several things in Pennsylvania. He'll meet with the families, he'll make remarks, and he also has a separate signing event of this legislation.

Q What does the legislation do?

Q The signing is not public?

MS. BUCHAN: There will probably be pool coverage.

Q What does the legislation do that he's signing?

MS. BUCHAN: I don't have the details on the legislation.

Q On the September 11th trip, will he visit the site where -- in Pennsylvania, where the fourth plane crashed?


Q Presumably he'll go to Ground Zero in New York?

Q He'll actually visit the sight where 93 went down?


Q For those of us who had a hard time hearing it, can you repeat your Iraq answer, please, the question about the invitation to the head U.N. weapons inspector to come in for talks?

MS. BUCHAN: Sure, that Iraq has agreed to inspections any time, anyplace, by anyone. And that's what needs to happen. There is no -- it's time for action, not discussions.

Q Is this a new agreement --

MS. BUCHAN: I'm sorry?

Q Did this agreement just happen? Did they just sign this?

MS. BUCHAN: You're talking about what?

Q The Iraq agreement.

MS. BUCHAN: No, this is -- I think it's '98.

Q I have another question. When he goes and talks about education on this heartland tour, you said that's going to be one of his themes. One of the things he said in Charleston last Monday was that he doesn't believe a college education is a way to bring dignity to welfare recipients, that he disagrees with Olympia Snowe's amendment to the Senate Finance Committee bill, allowing welfare recipients to work off their work requirement by going to college. And he said something like, that's not my view of an understanding of how the importance of work -- giving people a sense of dignity. Does he really believe that a college education --

MS. BUCHAN: I'd have to look at his exact remarks that are in the context of them, because certainly the President believes that education is important. But there is dignity in work, as well. And I'd need to look at his exact remarks.

Q The bill that he supports wouldn't allow for any kind of education. They want to put people straight into work -- the welfare reauthorization bill.

MS. BUCHAN: Let me get back to you on that. I don't think that's exactly accurate.

Q If you could --

MS. BUCHAN: I think that there are provisions for education and training counting toward the work hours.

Q I have the quote, and I can get it to you later.

MS. BUCHAN: I'd be happy to look at the context of it.

THE PRESS: Thank you.

MS. BUCHAN: Thank you.

END 12:43 P.M. EDT