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 Home > News & Policies > January 2003

Denial and Deception

For Immediate Release
January 2, 2003

President's Remarks on Iraq 1/2/03

Excerpts from Remarks by the President to the Press Pool, January 2, 2003
Click here for a full transcript:

QUESTION: If we do have to go to war and --

THE PRESIDENT: With which country?

QUESTION: With Iraq. And if -- and with our economy stagnating, what makes you confident that we can afford --

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, you know, I'm hopeful we won't have to go war, and let's leave it at that.

QUESTION: But if we do, though, what --

THE PRESIDENT: Until Saddam Hussein makes up his mind to disarm -- see, it's his choice to make. See, you need to ask him that question, not me.

QUESTION: But the White House is drawing up plans to pay for the war, if we come to that. So why --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, let's leave it at if, for a while then, until it happens.

QUESTION: So you don't want to talk about whether our economy could sustain it, if that's a possibility?

THE PRESIDENT: I thought that was the question I answered yesterday, so we'll go back to that question, Heidi. I mean, Holly.

QUESTION: Thank you, sir.

Break in Remarks

QUESTION: One more. Are you satisfied that the inspectors are getting to Saddam's weapon scientists?

THE PRESIDENT: He is a man who likes to play games and charades. The question is, will Saddam Hussein disarm. The world has asked him to disarm from weapons of mass destruction. The first indication isn't very positive that he will voluntarily disarm. After all, he put out a declaration that the world realized was false. And the inspectors are there to verify whether or not he is disarming. You hear these reports about Iraqi scientists being interviewed, but there's a "minder" in the room.

You know, Saddam Hussein -- hopefully he realizes we're serious, and hopefully he disarms peacefully. He's a danger to the American people, he's a danger to our friends and allies. For 11 long years, the world has dealt with him. And now he's got to understand, his day of reckoning is coming. And therefore, he must disarm voluntarily, I hope he does.

All right, let's go get a coffee.

END 12:24 P.M. CST