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 Home > News & Policies > April 2003

Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer, April 2, 2003 (Full Transcript)

QUESTION: Ari, for the fourth time, Senate Republicans have been unable to break the filibuster on Miguel Estrada. In the President's view, what else can be done at this point to break the stalemate?

MR. FLEISCHER: Stand on principle and do the right thing, continue to stand by a good man, Miguel Estrada, for a job that he deserves. That's the President's approach. The President thinks it is a very bad mistake for senators, particularly, at a time when the judicial branch lacks judges, to make the matter -- compound the matter and make it worse by failing to confirm qualified judges. And so the President very much regrets the politically driven tactics of those who are filibustering the nomination of somebody who clearly has the bipartisan support to have a strong majority on the Senate floor. He has 55 votes. That is a sufficient majority to pass. And the President regrets that there is a partisan minority standing in the way of bipartisan progress.

QUESTION: In addition to standing on principle, is he actively doing anything to make headway, making phone calls?

MR. FLEISCHER: Sure. We continue to work the issue on the Hill. The President has talked to a number of people. And I think it's just a question of whether or not the Democrats want to keep up their obstructionist tactics for as long as it is necessary, because the President continues to stand by Miguel Estrada and will continue to stand by Miguel Estrada.