For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 27, 2002
Press Gaggle by Scott McClellan
Aboard Air Force One
En route Crawford, Texas
12:47 P.M. EST
MR. McCLELLAN: Good afternoon and happy Thanksgiving to
everybody. Let me run through the President's day.
The President had his usual briefing this morning., earlier this
morning. Following that, the President signed the Intelligence
Authorization Act, which includes the establishment of the 9/11
commission and he also announced that Dr. Henry Kissinger would be the
chairman of that commission, that that's the President's appointee to
We will land here shortly in Crawford, where the President will
spend his Thanksgiving weekend. I would like to reiterate that this
has been a week of accomplishment for the American people, particularly
on our two highest priorities -- protecting the American people and
strengthening our economy, beginning this week with the signing of the
Department of Homeland Security legislation to the terrorism insurance
legislation to today's signing of the 9/11 commission.
And the President -- I just spoke to the President a short while
ago. He looks forward to spending Thanksgiving with his family. That
includes Mrs. Bush, his daughters, his parents, his brothers -- Marvin
and Neil, and their families. And the President said that he -- I got
a quote from the President. He said, "I'm grateful for the prayers of
our citizens; for my family; for the privilege of living in America and
for the freedoms we enjoy."
Q Can you repeat that?
MR. McCLELLAN: "I'm grateful for the prayers of our citizens; for
my family; for the privilege of living in America and for the freedoms
Q Did he write that himself? Did he actually write that out,
MR. McCLELLAN: No, that's my writing. Let me give you a little
bit of information about Thanksgiving dinner at the Prairie Chapel
Q -- draft of it, or he actually he said it?
MR. McCLELLAN: He actually said it.
I think I mentioned all the family members that will be at the
Q Did you read out Doro, or is she not here?
MR. McCLELLAN: The ones that I gave you are the ones that are
here. The President and Mrs. Bush; their daughters; President and Mrs.
Barbara Bush: Marvin and Margaret Bush and their sons; and Neil Bush
and his son. And Barney, Spot and Willie. Willie is the cat.
Q There's children in the guest cabin, who's --
MR. McCLELLAN: It's family. Well, Reed. (Laughter.) We've got
someone watching Reed. (Laughter.)
Let me go over the menu for tomorrow. Free range turkey, the
turkey will be brined. For those of you, like me, who do not cook the
turkey, that means soaked in water with salt and sugar to make it more
tender, and then it will be roasted. They will have cornbread
dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, fresh cranberry sauce,
giblet gravy, fruit salad, green beans with anchovy and red peppers,
crescent rolls. And for dessert, pumpkin pie and pecan pie.
Q Does the President eat anchovies, or will he be picking them
off of his green beans? (Laughter.)
MR. McCLELLAN: I'll take that question. (Laughter.)
Q He doesn't like raw fish, he calls it "bait." (Laughter.)
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know who's going to be eating what
tomorrow, but I'm sure they'll have plenty -- as you can see, they'll
have plenty to choose from.
Q The total number of Bush family members?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the ones I gave you are the ones that will be
Q How many kids?
MR. McCLELLAN: Twelve people from the family.
Q It's just Neil and one son of his?
Q Who cooks?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know. I'll see if I can find out. I
don't have that information.
Q Does the President cook?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- I'll ask that question.
Q No church plans?
MR. McCLELLAN: At this point, I don't expect him to leave the
ranch at all. Essentially, we have a full photo/travel lid for the
weekend. If something changes, obviously we will call you guys.
Q You mean through the weekend you don't expect him to leave?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't expect him to.
Q What will he do? Like, clear brush? Give us something.
What's he going to do?
MR. McCLELLAN: Obviously, the President will be tending to
official business while he's there. And he will -- like I said, he
also looks forward to spending time with his family.
Q Where will they all sleep? There's not room to sleep 12
people at the ranch.
MR. McCLELLAN: They have a guesthouse, and then they have the
And I want to let everybody know now that they should -- I want
everybody to enjoy their Thanksgiving weekend as well. This should be
viewed as a weekend like he's at Camp David. We'll have our press duty
officers on call, they can be reached through the White House operator
as always. Obviously, if there's anything breaking, then we will be
available. But there are no plans to be at the filing center at this
Q -- the weekend, including Saturday and Sunday?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes.
Q Has he been reading anything in particular at the moment? Do
you know what he's reading?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'll ask him. Who's cooking and what is he
Q What did he give his daughters for their birthday?
MR. McCLELLAN: WE don't discuss the daughters.
Q We discuss birthday presents, because we've had information on
birthday presents before.
MR. McCLELLAN: Reading, birthday presents -- anything else? I've
got the week ahead when you all are ready for that.
Q -- going to beat the Cowboys?
MR. McCLELLAN: There's a big game in Texas this weekend,
Let me run through the week ahead. Monday afternoon the President
will participate in a photo opportunity with Tony Stewart. Does
anybody know who Tony Stewart is? There you go, Dick Keil is a
Q Is Tony Stewart going to have special body guards to make sure
he doesn't take a swing at the President?
MR. McCLELLAN: As Dick said, he's the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup
Series Champion. That will be in the Oval Office.
On Tuesday, the President travels to Shreveport, Louisiana and
makes remarks at a Louisiana Rally. Reed Dickens will be there. Then
travels to New Orleans to attend a Terrell for Senate Luncheon, before
returning to Washington, D.C. that afternoon.
Wednesday, the President will participate in the lighting of the
Menorah at the White House. Thursday, the President will meet with the
President of Kenya and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia in the Cabinet
Room. And that afternoon, the President will participate in the
Pageant of Peace with Mrs. Bush.
And on Friday, the President will make remarks to USTR employees,
United States Trade Representative employees.
Q Thursday was the President of Kenya and who else?
MR. McCLELLAN: The Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Wednesday, the
President will participate in the lighting of the Menorah at the White
Q The Louisiana run-off has been a particularly negative race.
Susie Terrell has run some pretty negative ads. Does the President
disavow that kind of campaigning? I mean -- it brought that question
to mind. I mean, does the President call on her to run a positive
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think that, one, the President strongly
supports her campaign and she is running on what she wants to
accomplish for the people of Louisiana. The President believes she'll
be a strong representative for the people of Louisiana in the United
States Senate and will work with him on our key priorities: protecting
the homeland to strengthening our economy.
Q He doesn't have any objections to the tone of the campaign
she's been running?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know all the -- what all goes on in
individual races around the country. But as I said, that she is
running on what she wants to accomplish for the people of Louisiana and
the President strongly supports her in her efforts.
END 12:57 P.M EST