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Excerpts from Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer, September 25, 2002 (Full transcript)

QUESTION: Ari, why doesn't the President talk about the economy anymore unless the pool asks him about it?

MR. FLEISCHER: You've been at the President's speeches. How many times have you heard the President say -- just this week, he made news by saying that continuing resolutions that the Congress would have to pass have to be clean, they cannot contain all this new spending. The President has talked about one of the best ways to help the economy is to stop all the excessive spending that Congress is trying to do.

The President talks about it every speech, David. You're there, you hear the speeches. I don't control the coverage of his speeches, but you know as well as I do, the President always talks about the economy and economic security in his speeches.

QUESTION: Isn't there a difference, though, between talking about the budget in a political context? He doesn't talk about, any more that I've heard, about ways to improve the economy, the economy's in trouble, we need to fix it. It's all about the budget.

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the President talks about passage of terrorism insurance, which is legislation that is pending in the Congress that would create jobs. I think the quote the President uses in his speeches, that I know you heard just two days ago, is the need to help hard-hats find jobs. So I'm sorry, but I do think the premise of your question doesn't quite match what the President's been saying.

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