For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 3, 2003
8:03 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I want to thank the Vice President and the
leadership of the Congress for coming down for breakfast today. We had
a really good discussion about our common concerns. The leadership is
committed to moving important legislation forward, legislation that
will help expand our job base. We talked about the energy bill; we
talked about terrorism insurance; we talked about the defense
appropriations; we talked about the appropriations process.
We also talked about Iraq. We talked about the fact that Saddam
Hussein has stiffed the United Nations for 11 long years, and that,
once again, he said -- made some kind of statement, trying to take
the pressure off of himself. This statement about unconditional
inspections was something he's made in the past. He deceives, he
delays, he denies. And the United States, and I'm convinced, the world
community, aren't going to fall for that kind of rhetoric on -- by
We talked about a resolution out of Congress and how it was
important for us to work with Congress to pass a strong resolution. I
told the members that within the next couple of days this
administration will develop language as -- that we think is
necessary. And we look forward to working with both Republicans and
Democrats to get a resolution passed.
I want to thank the leadership for its commitment to get a
resolution done before members go home for the election break. I think
it's an important signal. It's an important signal for the country,
but as importantly, it's an important signal for the world to see that
this country is united in our resolve to deal with threats that we
And so, thank you all for coming. I'll take a couple of
questions. Fournier, Kyle.
Q Like it or not, is it accurate to say that Saddam playing his
move has made the allies go --
THE PRESIDENT: Do what now?
Q Has Saddam's latest move helped make the allies go wobbly on
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, all they've got to do is look at the record.
It's his latest ploy, his latest attempt not to be held accountable for
defying the United Nations. He's not going to fool anybody. I mean,
he is -- we've seen him before. And we'll remind the world that by
defying the United Nations he is becoming more and more threat to world
peace. And I'm convinced that the world understands the ploy. And one
of the jobs the United States has is to remind people about not only
the threat, but the fact that his defiance has weakened the United
Nations. And the United Nations, in order for the world to be a more
peaceful place, must rise up and deal with this threat and hold him to
account. And that's what we expect out of the Security Council.
Q Mr. President, a follow on Ron's question. Do you think that
you'll be able to persuade France and Russia to go along with us on
whatever it is you and the Congress decide to do? And frankly, sir, is
that necessary? Are you prepared to go it alone?
THE PRESIDENT: Listen, we're speculating about what nations are
going to do. I'm convinced that when we continue to make the case
about his defiance, his deception, his -- the fact that time and time
again, dozens of times, he has told the world, oh, I will comply, and
he never does -- that the nations which long for peace and care about
the validity of the United Nations will join us.
And so we're going to work hard to continue to make the case. I
think reasonable people understand this man is unreasonable. And
reasonable people understand that this is just a ploy, this is a
tactic, this is a way to try to say to the world, oh, I'm a wonderful,
peaceful fellow, when, in fact, he not only kills his own people, he's
terrorized his neighborhood and he's developing weapons of mass
destruction. We must deal with him.
END 8:08 A.M. EDT