For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 13, 2004
Press Gaggle by Scott McClellan
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Portland, Oregon
9:58 P.M. PDT
MR. McCLELLAN: All right, good morning. Let me go through the President's day. As usual, he had his morning briefings. Secretary Ridge, during the briefings, also updated the President on Hurricane Charley, and talked about how we have deployed federal resources and put them in place to be in position to respond to Hurricane Charley when it hits Florida. We've got disaster supply kits in place. We've got response teams in place. So the President received an update about all that we're doing at the federal level to respond to Hurricane Charley.
Following the briefings, the President taped his radio address. It'll be on the Olympics, a message to our Olympians. I expect he'll talk about how proud we all are of all our athletes who are competing in Greece. I expect he will also touch on the Iraqi soccer team's victory over Portugal the other day.
When we arrive in Portland, the Freedom Corps greeter is Chris Dudley, who started the Dudley Foundation in 1994, to help children succeed, regardless of their economic, education and health liabilities. And one of the foundation's key projects in the creation of the first basketball camp for boys and girls with diabetes.
And then from there, the President will go to the Port of Portland, where he will announce his proposal to deepen the Columbia River Channel. This will deepen a 104-mile section of the Columbia River Channel from the mouth of the river on the Pacific to Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. We'll have a fact sheet on this, so we'll get you the information -- we should have that on the ground when we arrive, we don't have the final version on the plane right now. But he'll talk about how this is important to expanding economic opportunity and important to the conservation of the environment there along the Columbia River Basin. He'll talk about how this will help expand export opportunities for farmers and manufacturers in the area, as well.
Then following that, the President will depart for Seattle, where -- no, I'm sorry, the President will depart for Beaverton, where he will participate in an "Ask President Bush." And, again, I think this will focus a lot on small business and supporting small business. And there will be -- some of the conversation participants will include small business owners.
And from there we go to Seattle, where the Freedom Corps greeter upon arrival is Jeanne Robertson, who has joined the Lunch Buddy Mentoring program, and participated in that for the last 12 years. And in 2004, she was named the Outstanding Member of the Year in King Country. This is a volunteer program with the school district in -- the Washington School District -- the Lake Washington School District.
And then from there, the President will go to the Boeing Delivery Center, where he'll meet with some Boeing workers. And then following that he's going to make some brief remarks to the pool. And then from there --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he'll obviously visit with the Boeing workers and talk about the important work that they're doing for keeping our manufacturing sector competitive. I expect he might touch on the importance of making sure we have a level playing field for manufacturers to compete on. And he might touch some on some of what we're doing to address the European subsidies, as well.
Q Is this an opportunity where he will make remarks and perhaps take questions?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he'll make remarks and you'll be there to cover it. You'll see.
Q After the "Ask President Bush" event, you said?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, this is at the Boeing facility. This is in Seattle.
And then this evening he has a Victory 2004 dinner, where he'll make remarks. That's at a private residence, that's why it's closed. And we overnight in Redmond. And that's what I've got.
Q Scott, there are figures out from the CBO that say that one-third of the benefits of the tax cuts are going to the top 1 percent. And I'm wondering, what does the President think about this and what does it say about the argument that he makes, that the tax cuts are benefiting everyone?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, they are. The largest percentage reductions are going to those in the middle and lower income tax brackets.
Q But in dollar figures the difference is quite --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, they pay more at the higher income levels. But the largest percentage reductions are going to those in the middle and lower income brackets. This President acted to get our economy growing by reducing taxes on all those who pay federal income taxes. And our economy is moving in the right direction because of the action that we took. And at the same time, those in the higher income -- those higher income Americans are paying a greater share of the federal income tax burden because of the actions that we took.
Q Can you just expand a little bit on this channel? You said this will be his -- you used the word "proposal" to deepen --
MR. McCLELLAN: He's going to be talking about a budget amendment that we're going to be adding to the fiscal year`2005 budget to get this program -- to get this proposal underway.
Q Fifteen million, I've read?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, that's correct. It will all be in the fact sheet.
Q Scott, the Democrats are circulating a memo that says that there were some reports that people had to serve as volunteers to the campaign to get into the Bush event today, and that these Bush events are very exclusive, while Kerry's are open to the public up there. Do you think that's a fair comparison?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, let me defer to the campaign, because I don't know the specifics about the people that are participating in these events. We'll have a campaign person on the ground for you, to talk more about that.
Q There's one on the plane, I think.
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes. He'll be able to talk to you on the ground. We're landing here momentarily.
Q I assume you'll do a week ahead?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I've got the week ahead. Do you want it now?
Q I don't want to step on my colleagues, but I'm ready for it.
MR. McCLELLAN: Let's see. Monday, we already announced the Cincinnati remarks and then the Michigan rally. On Tuesday, the 17th, the President will make remarks in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. And then he will make remarks at a Hedgesville, West Virginia rally. Then on Wednesday, the 18th, he will participate in a bus tour in Wisconsin, where he'll make remarks at a Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin event. Then he'll participate in an "Ask President Bush" event in St. Croix, Wisconsin, and then he will make remarks at a St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota rally.
And then we go to the President's ranch, where we will be from Thursday the 19th -- well, we overnight that night, and then we'll be there Thursday the 19th through Wednesday the 25th. And then on Monday, August 23rd, the President will meet with the Secretary of Defense and I think it includes the Joint Chiefs, or at least Chairman Myers, I believe. This will continue to talk about the transformation efforts. This is something he's done every year, you all will recall.
Q Is there any travel between --
MR. McCLELLAN: -- you'll see some coverage of that.
Q Travel -- first of all, 25th, not 26th, departing the ranch?
MR. McCLELLAN: I have Wednesday, the 25th.
Q Travel in there?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I expect he will be in Crawford during that time period.
Q Not even day trips?
MR. McCLELLAN: I do not expect any.
Q Is that because you don't want to compete with the Olympics, or is this a last vacation?
MR. McCLELLAN: Probably a number of reasons, but the President will be spending that time tending to official business. I expect he'll also be using some of that time to work on his convention remarks. I also expect he'll be watching our athletes competing in the final period of the Olympics during that time period, as well.
Q Has he had anything to say about the governor of New Jersey situation?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think he views that as a matter between the governor and the people of New Jersey.
Q Has he been at all in contact with the Republican Party in New Jersey since this happened?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't think so, no. I mean, the President hasn't.
Anything else? Thank you.
END 10:07 A.M. PDT