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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 5, 2007
President Bush Visits Omaha, Nebraska
9:01 A.M. CST
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I'm pleased to be back in Nebraska. I do want to say a couple words about Iran before I talk about my friend, Mike Johanns.
On the way out here I spoke with my team, who gave me a report on conversations that the Secretary of State and our National Security Advisor have had over the last couple of days with their counterparts in the United Kingdom, in Germany and France and Russia. These countries understand that the Iranian nuclear issue is a problem, and continues to be a problem that must be addressed by the international community. A number of them have said so publicly, and I appreciate their comments.
I appreciate the work of our intelligence community in helping us better understand Iran's past and present nuclear activities. Their information is critical in increasing our understanding and helping us develop a sound policy.
It is clear from the latest NIE that the Iranian government has more to explain about its nuclear intentions and past actions, especially the covert nuclear weapons program pursued until the fall of 2003, which the Iranian regime has yet to acknowledge. The Iranians have a strategic choice to make. They can come clean with the international community about the scope of their nuclear activities and fully accept the longstanding offer to suspend their enrichment program and come to the table and negotiate, or they can continue on a path of isolation that is not in the best interest of the Iranian people. The choice is up to the Iranian regime.
I'm here also to talk about my friend, Mike Johanns. I have gotten to know him well, and there's no doubt in my mind he'll make a great United States senator from the state of Nebraska. (Applause.) He's an honorable, decent man, and he's a humble man. When given a task he'd get the job done.
People of Nebraska have gotten to know Mike as a result of his leadership when he was the governor. I got to know Mike as the result of his being a fine leader at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mike understands farming and he understands ranching. He understands the issues that the people who work the soil will face. If I were someone living in Nebraska who cared about the agricultural industry I'd want somebody who knew what he was talking about being my senator. And Mike Johanns knows what he's talking about when it comes to agricultural matters.
He also understands what he's talking about when it comes to national security matters. He sat in the Cabinet Room with me and other members of my Cabinet, discussing how best to secure the United States of America from the threats of the world in which we live. It is important for the people of Nebraska to have a senator who understands the realities of the world and is willing to support the government in its efforts to protect the American people.
Mike Johanns is a man of values. He understands Nebraskan values. He can articulate Nebraskan values, but more importantly, he lives Nebraskan values.
And so I've come to say to the people of this good state, I know you're going to make up your own mind for what's right, but if I was a voter in this state, I'd sure pull that lever for Mike Johanns for the United States senator. (Laughter.) And if my wife was a voter for this state -- (laughter) -- she'd try to pull it twice. (Laughter.)
So I'm proud to be here with Mike and Stephanie. Thank you, sir. Good luck and God bless you. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
END 9:06 A.M. CST