For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 13, 2007
Press Gaggle by Dana Perino
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Waco, Texas
1:02 P.M. EDT
MS. PERINO: Good morning. We're on our way to Crawford, Texas. The President had his normal briefings at 8:00 a.m. this morning. At 10:20 a.m., the President visited Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center; you have his statement from there.
Right after that, before departing on Marine One, the President and Karl Rove made statements about Karl Rove's departure from the White House, of which the entire White House is feeling the feel of that punch today. We're going to miss him greatly. But we also realize that this is the right time for him. Karl has said that there was never going to be a good time to leave the White House, but that this was the right time for he and his family. More on that in a moment, if you want.
At 2:00 p.m., the President will arrive at his ranch.
One scheduling announcement. After attending the North American leaders meetings on August 20th and 21st in Ottawa, Canada, the President will remain overnight in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 21st. He will make remarks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Kansas City on August 22nd; that will be open press. He will return to his ranch the afternoon on the 22nd. So he'll be working Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; back to the ranch for Thursday, Friday, through the weekend; and then out again on the road the week after that -- before he gets back to D.C.
Q Was it the VFW convention, is that what it is?
MS. PERINO: Yes, exactly.
Q Dana, I think there was some comment by Rove that Bolten said that if anybody wants to leave, they need to do it before Labor Day. Is that what the staff has heard?
MS. PERINO: I haven't heard Josh say those words specifically, but I think there has been an understanding that there is a natural time for people to leave. Oftentimes, as you know, August in the summertime is that time. And as we get into the last 16 months of the administration, I think people need to consider whether or not they're going to be able to serve out the entire term. And I think that that's what the request has been, is to really think about that.
Q Are there additional people?
MS. PERINO: I have no one to announce for you right now; would not speculate on any other departures. But we'll let you know if that changes.
But, again, it's a natural time for people to start thinking about that in August, especially -- this pull of wanting to be more with your family, I think, is even more acute in the summertime months, especially when you get a little time off and you spend some time with them and realize how much you are missing and how much they're missing.
Q Is he going to be replaced in that particular slot, or is there --
MS. PERINO: We don't have announcement on -- in terms of replacements, per se, yet. We'll try to get that to you soon. I think that they're giving some consideration to possibly splitting up some of Karl's duties and maybe not necessarily having a one-to-one replacement. So not too many specifics on that yet, but we'll try to get them to you as soon as we can.
Q When did Bolten make this proclamation? Was it in a meeting setting? Was it a senior --
MS. PERINO: That's what I'm saying, I don't think there was a proclamation or a meeting where the hammer came down. I think it has just been a conversation, an ongoing conversation that he's had with members of senior staff.
Q Is he going to be pretty much down all week, or do you have any --
MS. PERINO: I would expect no public events this week. The President will be spending time on his ranch. We'll try to give you updates, but just to set your expectations pretty low about details coming out of the ranch this week. When he's there, he likes to ride his bike, he likes to go fishing, he likes to cut some brush, he likes to exercise a lot and spend time with family and friends. To the extent that I can get more details on that for you, I will. I don't know what family and friends might or might not be coming this time around.
Q Any advisors coming down during the week?
MS. PERINO: Well, certainly, since the President has a big international trip next week to Canada, there will be some coming down towards the end of the week.
Q Are you going to gaggle every day?
MS. PERINO: We'll see how it goes. I think I would anticipate at least every other day that there would be a gaggle. And Gordon Johndroe will switch out with me on Thursday. You'll have Gordo.
END 1:06 P.M. EDT