Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, February 5, 2004 (Full Transcript)QUESTION: I have another question on the economy. There were a couple of indicators out today; factory orders were up one-half of 1 percent in September, and the second measure of service industry also rose. Secretary Snow told the Times of London last month that he would -- that he agreed with private estimates of the creation of as many as 200,000 jobs per month down the road.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not sure that's exactly what he said. I think he's since addressed that issue. What the President's focus is on is strengthening our economy so that we create a more vibrant environment for job creation. There are a number of positive indications when it comes to our economy that it's moving in the right direction. The President is optimistic, but he's not satisfied. There is more that we need to do, and that's why the President has a six-point plan for strengthening our economy even more, and building upon our efforts to translate that into job creation. There are people that are still looking for work that cannot find a job, and that's why the President will continue acting to create a strong environment for job creation.
QUESTION: What about these indicators today, though?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there were some more positive indications today. There have been a number of positive indications. After-tax income is rising, housing is up. The GDP number was strong for this quarter, recognizing that in the next quarter most economists believe that that will still be at a sustainable economic growth level, but not quite as high. The economy is moving in the right direction, but there's more that we can do to build upon that and strengthen our economy even more.
QUESTION: The President said last week that the country is not ready for a total ban on abortion, but can you specify today what those other legislative steps that you referred to earlier are that you support on the road toward a ban on abortion?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, we have previously expressed that. I didn't bring out a list of all the varied pieces of legislation that are there. I'll be glad to get that to you.*