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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 21, 2004

Remarks by the President by Telephone to the South Boston St. Patrick's Day Breakfast

10:25 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Senator, this would be your President calling.

SENATOR HART: President Bush, President Bush is on the line. How about a nice round of applause for President Bush? (Applause.) Happy St. Patrick's Day. What an honor.

THE PRESIDENT: Same to you, Jack. Thanks for letting me call in. I appreciate you taking my call.

SENATOR HART: Any time, Mr. President, we'll take your call any time, for crying out loud.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm proud of that. Listen, I want to thank Father Casey. I presume he's got quite a few souls to save there in that crowd. (Laughter.)

SENATOR HART: There's quite a few Democratic souls to save in this hall, Mr. President. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: I know you've got one -- you invited at least one Republican, and that's my friend, the governor.

SENATOR HART: Yes, yes, he's here. Mitt Romney is here. We were going to ask you, Mr. President, do you need a running mate? (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute.

SENATOR HART: We like Dick Cheney and all, but we'd like for you to take the Governor to Washington, D.C. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Look, you're lucky to have the guy. Here's the way I like to put it about Massachusetts: I know there's a lot of talk about a Massachusetts politician who has his eye on the Presidency. But tell Mitt it's not open until 2008. (Laughter.)

SENATOR HART: Oh, you're talking about -- you had me stumped for a second. You're talking about Senator Kerry, of course.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, no, no.

SENATOR HART: Oh, my goodness.

THE PRESIDENT: You mean the -- well, never mind. (Laughter.) I want to thank the Lieutenant Governor; I want to thank the Speaker and the Senate President. I miss my days as being the Governor. I loved dealing with our lieutenant governor and speaker and members of the state house and the state senate. And I wish you all the very best. I know you're struggling with some big issues. But these are good, decent folks working for the people of Massachusetts to get some things done, and I appreciate, Jack, the spirit of this lunch.

SENATOR HART: Well, thank you very much. We are certainly honored that you called and we respect the job that you're doing. We pray for you every day, Mr. President. You're a good man, and we just wanted to wish you a very, very happy St. Patrick's Day. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Same to you, sir. And I wish everybody a happy St. Patrick's Day, as well. God bless, everybody. God bless our great nation. (Applause.)

END 10:30 A.M. EST

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