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 Home > News & Policies > October 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 12, 2004

Press Gaggle by Scott McClellan
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Colorado Springs, Colorado

8:50 A.M. MDT

MR. McCLELLAN: All right, good morning. You all know what the events are. The President had his briefings at the hotel before we left. So here I am.

Q Any new message, any tweaking of the message, at all, in this rally?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there usually is these days. I don't rule it in or out at this point. You all will be there to cover it.

Q The President's approval rating in the Gallup polls at 47 -- his all-time low was at 46; what's going on?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I notice you left out some of the other polls. And, first of all, you might want to direct these kinds of questions to the campaign. But The Washington Post/ABC poll, I believe, has him up five at this point, so --

Q I'm not asking about the horse race, I'm asking about the approval rating.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I know, but you're pointing to one poll. There are a lot of polls going on right now. I think what's happening in this race is that the differences are becoming clearer, and you're seeing the American people recognize that there is a clear choice on the issues facing our country. And the President is going to continue to talk about those clear differences, both when it comes to the war on terrorism and when it comes to the economy and health care and other issues.

Q Is that his main approach tomorrow night? Is he going to try to draw those differences as sharply --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I'm not going to get -- obviously, I'm not going to get too much into previewing what he may or may not say tomorrow night in the debate, but, yes, you can expect he'll continue to talk about the clear differences. This race is about the future, and the records reflect where you would lead in the future. And there -- you know, the President has a solid record of accomplishment and Senator Kerry has a record that has been out of the mainstream and he is running as fast as he can from it, because he can't defend it.

Q Is he doing any -- is he doing a formal debate prep session today?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I wouldn't describe it as "formal." He's been doing some debate preparation and he'll continue to do some today, from visiting --

Q What does that involve?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, visiting with senior staff. You know, I think Senator Gregg will be around, as well. But I wouldn't describe it as a formal kind of debate prep.

Q Is there going to be a formal --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we'll try to keep you posted if there's any more. But he's obviously looking over the many different positions Senator Kerry has taken and looking over his record, because there are clear contrasts when it comes to the records of the two candidates.

Q How critical is the third debate to your hopes on November 2nd?

MR. McCLELLAN: Look, I can leave that to the campaign to talk about all those issues. Like I said, the differences are becoming clear for the American people; and when this race is about the issues, we win.

END 8:54 A.M. MDT