For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 30, 2004
Press Gaggle by Scott Mcclellan
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Manchester, New Hampshire
11:55 A.M. EDT
MR. McCLELLAN: Let's see, the President had his usual briefings this morning. Then he participated in some speech preparation in the Theater, over in the Residence. So he's continuing to work through his remarks and do some teleprompter practice, as he gets ready for Thursday night's address.
When we land in Manchester, and we get to the event, the President is going to participate in a brief interview, about 10 minutes, with WMUR-TV in New Hampshire. And then he'll participate in the "Ask President Bush" event. The participants at the "Ask President Bush" event will include a first responder from New Hampshire, it will include a mother of a National Guardsman in Iraq, and then there will be a person that is involved in helping with education initiatives. So it will kind of be an example of the values of America.
Then following that, we go to Michigan, where in Taylor, Michigan, the President will make remarks at a rally. And then we overnight in Dearborn. And that's what I've got for his schedule for today. So I'm here for questions.
Q Scott, do you know whether -- what his schedule might be for New York during the day yet, or is that too far ahead to discuss?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I know, and yes, it's too far ahead to discuss.
Q Scott, do you guys want to expand on --
MR. McCLELLAN: You've got to stay tuned for a few things. There always need to be a few surprises.
Q Do you want to expand at all on the President's comments this morning on the "Today Show," about the war on terror?
MR. McCLELLAN: What about them?
Q He said -- I'm paraphrasing here -- he said that it, specifically, could not be won, but you could make conditions safer for Americans.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he was talking about winning it in the conventional sense. That's what he was talking about. I mean, this -- you've often heard him talk about how this is a different kind of war. We face an unconventional enemy. And it's -- I don't think you can expect that there will ever be a formal surrender or a treaty signed, like we have in wars past. That's what he was talking about, when he was talking about that. It requires a generational commitment to win this war on terrorism. I think you heard him talk about his two-prong strategy, that we must continue to stay on the offensive and bring the terrorists to justice before they harm us. We also must work to advance freedom to defeat the ideologies of hatred and tyranny. So that's what he was talking about. You can't put a time frame on it, per se.
Q Can you tip us off on any new rhetoric about Kerry, in terms of tailoring it to these audiences; New Hampshire, and then Michigan?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you can expect this week there might be some new language, as we get closer to his address on Thursday night. The President -- let me talk about Thursday's remarks. On Thursday, the President will talk about his robust agenda for the future. It will be very much a forward-looking speech. It's based on his hopeful and optimistic vision for America. I think you've heard the theme of the convention, that -- "Fulfilling America's Promise by Building a Safer World and a More Hopeful" -- "Fulfilling our Promise by Building a Safer World and More Hopeful America." And so that's kind of the broad theme.
And tonight, obviously we're going to be hearing from Senator McCain and Mayor Giuliani. You have a senator who is a hero to us all, and then a mayor who has shown great strength and conviction in his leadership.
Q My question was really about today.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, today I think you'll hear him talk -- continue to talk about his clear and positive plan for where he wants to lead the country and what his beliefs are, as we get closer to his speech on Thursday.
Q He had an attack in Miami, tailored to the Cuban community; yesterday in West Virginia, tailored to coal. Anything specific to New Hampshire?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, as we begin the convention and as we get closer to the President's remarks, I think you can continue to expect that he'll focus very much on the future, and his agenda for the next four years. Obviously, there will be some contrast on the issues -- that's what elections are about. But he's very much focusing on the future.
Q Can I ask you, too -- The Times had an interesting piece yesterday about the President's involvement in his own campaign. When you say each morning, the President has regular briefings, can we assume henceforth that includes a Karl Rove briefing?
MR. McCLELLAN: "Henceforth," what do you mean? Karl Rove is a senior advisor, so he's involved in briefings with him on a daily basis.
Q We can assume that --
MR. McCLELLAN: That doesn't mean -- that doesn't mean it's just on the campaign. I mean, he's a senior advisor, including his main political advisor. But the President obviously stays involved in his campaign.
Q The Times said Rove gives him a campaign briefing each morning, that's my question.
MR. McCLELLAN: He talks to -- yes, he talks to Karl all the time, throughout the day.
Q Is that one of the morning briefings that you describe?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think it's -- there might be -- it might be part of his usual briefings that he has. On a daily basis, is what you're referring to.
Q Did the President watch his daughters last night on MTV?
MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, I forgot to ask him this morning. Let me check and find out. But he's certainly very proud of them, and is pleased to have them helping out on the campaign.
Q Has time been --
MR. McCLELLAN: We'll, I guess, hear more from them soon.
Q Scott, has time been carved out of the schedule for the President to watch any specific events over the next few days?
MR. McCLELLAN: Let me check and try to update you on that. I mean, obviously, he'll want to watch what he can. And like I said, he appreciates Senator McCain and Mayor Giuliani addressing the delegates tonight.
Q But is he planning to actually watch either of those or any of the others specifically?
MR. McCLELLAN: Let me check. I mean, I'm sure -- obviously, depending on his schedule. I'm sure he will try to catch some of it, but let me double-check with him, and try to keep you posted as we go through the next couple of days, too.
Q Scott, when Senator Kerry does local television interviews at his campaign stops, he puts a pool reporter in there. Are you willing to do that?
MR. McCLELLAN: For his local TV interviews? Let me consider it, but it's not something we've done in the past. But, obviously, you're going to hear the interview later in the day.
Q Will you check on that for today, please?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'll see what I can do.
END 12:02 P.M. EDT