For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 6, 2001
President Bush and Former President Bush Speak to the Press
Remarks by the President and Former President Bush in Photo Opportunity
Cape Arundel Golf Club
7:00 A.M. EDT
Q Are you going to shoot your age, sir? (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: On the front nine. (Laughter.) Thanks for the optimism. (Laughter.) We may get to hit two from the first tee, just to loosen up, that's it.
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: Absolutely.
Q He doesn't need a second one.
THE PRESIDENT: We're only playing one off the first tee. (Laughter.)
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: Do any of you guys understand these cameras?
Q Sir, we might have some union issues here. (Laughter.)
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: I'm not asking you to use it; I'm just asking you to see what's wrong with it.
THE PRESIDENT: Nobody is commenting on the birthday hat.
Q So what do you want for your birthday? Is that what you got?
THE PRESIDENT: I want -- I'm going to get what I want for my birthday: spend time with my family, a couple of good phone calls from some little girls down in Texas.
Q Did they already call you?
THE PRESIDENT: No. It's a little early. (Laughter.) Remember, they're 19. (Laughter.)
Q Who gave you the hat, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Forty-one gave me the 43 hat.
Q And you gave him?
THE PRESIDENT: "Thank you, sir." (Laughter.)
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: A guy in Fort Worth gave me the 41.
* * * * *
Q Sir, tell us about your birdie on six.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for noticing. I got two.
Q What did you shoot?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't know. It's hard to add an X into the score.
Q Two birdies, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I had two birdies, a couple pars, a couple of double bogeys. We did play two hours and 15 minutes.
Q We were timing it.
THE PRESIDENT: What time did we tee off?
Q I had 7:05 a.m.
Q Sir, is there anything you want to say about the Hanssen case, with the pleas being entered today?
THE PRESIDENT: No.
Q Anything about former President (sic) Kohl's wife?
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: We made a statement yesterday to the -- knew her very well. Of course, we have great respect and affection for Helmut Kohl, so I sent him a message, simply telling him that we had great sorrow in our hearts for his loss. She's not been well for some time; we haven't seen her in the last 12 months. But she was always very pleasant to Barbara.
And we saw her on many occasions, in her home, small home and they were our guests at Camp David. So this was a genuine condolence message we sent to the former Chancellor. And it's sad, but life goes on. And, you know, he's got two wonderful sons.
Q Did you send that in a cable, or something, to them?
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes. Well, I sent it through the Embassy, through the German Embassy.
Q Sir, how's your hip? FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: It's all right. You couldn't tell it out there; but, no, it's fine. It feels pretty well.
Q Still hitting them okay?
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: No. (Laughter.) But we're enjoying it. I can go out in the boat. I can play some. But it's doing all right.
Q Mr. President, what else are you going to do for your birthday?
THE PRESIDENT: I have a national security briefing. I'm going to speak to Mr. Putin this morning. Part of it's just to kind of continue our general conversation on world affairs. I've got a few specific things I want to talk to him about; he probably has some things on his mind.
And then I'm going to throw some horse shoes, probably regain the family championship.
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: No. No way. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Fishing. And I might go for a jog, too -- complete the day. So if you see a rather old guy, kind of moving along slowly, that will be me. (Laughter.)
Q Can you tell us what you plan to talk to the Russian President about?
THE PRESIDENT: No. (Laughter.) No, he asked to call -- I presume he's calling to wish me a happy birthday. If not, I'll remind him it's my birthday, so he can do that. But I look forward to talking to him.
We left some -- you know, I told him I'd stay in touch with him. I want to talk to him about Iraq. So to answer your question, yes, I'm going to talk to him about Iraq. I'm going to talk to him about the Balkans, Macedonia. I know it's on his mind; it's on my mind, as well. And I look forward to listening to what he has to say. It'll just be a series of conversations we have over the summer.
As you know, I'm going to see him in a couple of weeks. I look forward to continuing what has been a very good relationship. And it's important that I have a good relationship with Mr. Putin, because it's good for the -- it's good for our nations, and it's also good for the world for us to develop a good relationship, so we can work together to make the world more secure.
And we share common interests. He's deeply concerned about extremism and what extremism can mean to Russia. And, as you know, I am, too. He recognizes there are new threats in the 21st century. The United States is not a threat. And we can work cooperatively to address the new threats of the 21st century.
We're beginning some bilateral dialogues with Russia here in a while. I want to make sure -- I want to confirm to him that Evans and O'Neill, Secretaries Evans and O'Neill are looking forward to going over there. So we'll talk a little trade and economic activity, and then -- I don't know what he wants to talk about.
Q Happy birthday, again.
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: We're off.
THE PRESIDENT: Have fun. I'll try not to do too many public events, so you all can kick back and relax. (Laughter.)
9:25 A.M. EDT