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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 2, 2006
President Visits White House Press Briefing Room Prior to Renovation
James S. Brady Briefing Room
1:57 P.M. EDT
MR. SNOW: All right, well, never mind. See, every once in a while, hideous threats have a clarifying effect. And sometimes they make people make important choices, and apparently the threat of my singing has persuaded the President of the United States to intervene on yet another mission of peace.
THE PRESIDENT: Dee Dee, how're you doing?
MR. FITZWATER: Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Marlin, you're looking as pretty as ever.
MR. FITZWATER: Thank you, Mr. President. Really good to see you.
THE PRESIDENT: Sarah, good to see you.
MRS. BRADY: How are you?
THE PRESIDENT: Jim, really good to see you sir, thank you.
MR. BRADY: Nice seeing you, too.
Q Speech, speech.
Q Press conference.
Q Welcome, Mr. President.
Q We have a few questions, if you don't mind.
Q Just a couple of questions.
THE PRESIDENT: I know you've been complaining about the digs for a while. (Laughter.) So this is like the end of an old era. And let me just say, we felt your pain. And so we decided, you know, to help you renovate and come up with a new Brady center.
And so I want to thank the former spin meisters for joining me up here. Tell my people how to do it, will you? I mean, it's a -- (laughter.)
But, anyway, Laura and I wanted to come by and wish you all the best as you get to new headquarters for a while. I look forward to welcome you back here in, I guess, six or seven months. Is that right?
Q Nine months. We hope.
Q We're setting no timetables, Mr. President. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: That's what you get when you bring your crackpot up from Texas. (Laughter.)
Q No comment, sir. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: So, like, suede chairs? (Laughter.) Is that what you're looking -- kind of velvet armchairs? Armchairs. Everybody wants to be able to lean back.
It looks a little crowded in here. And so you want to double the size?
THE PRESIDENT: Forget it. (Laughter.) You get to work like the rest of us. We may let you have some air conditioning if we decide to. (Laughter.)
Anyway, good luck in the new building. Looking forward to seeing you over there.
Q Can we come see you?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't know. Does the air conditioner work better there than here? (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: The last time I had a press conference in here, it felt like it was outside. As a matter of fact, some of your makeup was running. (Laughter.)
Q Mr. President, should Mel Gibson be forgiven? (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Is that you and Gregory standing back there?
THE PRESIDENT: You know --
Q -- complaining of the Jews --
THE PRESIDENT: Is that Sam Donaldson? (Laughter.) Forget it. You're a has-been. We don't have to answer has-been's questions.
Q Mr. President, do you want to say a little about the White House press corps, please?
THE PRESIDENT: Say something about the White House press corps?
Q Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: It's a beautiful bunch of people. (Laughter.)
Q How about your best moment in here, sir? Can you remember your --
THE PRESIDENT: My best moment in here is when my press conference ended. (Laughter.)
Q (Inaudible) -- about Mel Gibson --
THE PRESIDENT: I can't hear you, I'm over 60, just like you. (Laughter.)
Q -- Ronald Reagan could get away with that, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: He was over 60, as well. At any rate, as you can tell, I'm thrilled to be here. (Laughter.) But we do wish you all the best. Looking forward to being here when you kick off the new room. You deserve better than this. I appreciate the relationship with the press. I know these folks enjoyed the -- enjoyed dealing with you -- well, another crowd of you, been dealing with you, as well. It's an important relationship.
MR. LOCKHART: Some of the same crowd.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you're the head of the whole thing. Like, have you got a thing -- a role to play?
Q No, no, no
THE PRESIDENT: Okay, good. But anyway, good luck.
Q What about Crawford?
THE PRESIDENT: For those of you going to Crawford, saddle up. All right, good to see you.
MR. SNOW: Thank you, everybody.
END 2:07 P.M. EDT