Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, June 26, 2003 (Full Transcript)QUESTION: With all this talk about creating jobs and putting Americans back to work, is the President worried about the potential negative effect of this national Do Not Call Registry on an industry that employs almost 450,000 Americans?
MR. FLEISCHER: I think you always have to get your fundamentals first when it comes to what actions the government can take. And the President is concerned about people being able to go to their homes, be in their kitchens, be in bedrooms at night, and not get bothered by phone calls that they don't want from telemarketing organizations; that the public has a right not to receive those calls if they don't want them. And first things first, from those principles about honoring people's right to privacy. Jobs get created in our economy through all kinds of ways. But the principle of honoring people's privacy is an important one.
QUESTION: You said, "first things first" -- so you stop the calls and --
MR. FLEISCHER: By that logic, if jobs was the only issue at stake, then the government should just put everybody on the federal payroll because that's a good policy to create jobs. There are reasons that people have jobs, is because their work leads to consumers who want their product. If consumers don't want their product, the consumers have a right to speak for themselves.
QUESTION: Have you done any kind of an analysis on how many jobs would be lost as a result of this registry?
MR. FLEISCHER: You may want to log on to Ask the White House tomorrow, and ask the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. That's at 11:00 a.m., Ask the White House, www.whitehouse.gov. Anything else I can serve up, John?
QUESTION: Ari, if you could also tell us, has the President ever received an unwanted telemarketing phone call?
MR. FLEISCHER: Probably not since he got to the White House. (Laughter.) He gets other unwanted calls every now and then, however.