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View Diary: Gannon/Plame research thread: White House Press Briefings. (171 comments)

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  •  April 15- 30, 2003- done (4.00)
    Here is what I think may be Jeff Gannon questions.  I wasn't able to 100% confirm them with the audio, but it sounds like him.....Starting to recognize his voice.
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    1.  4/15/03

    Q Last week, the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste released its annual Pig Book that details over $20 billion of pork in the 2003 budget. When might the President speak out against Congressional leaders like Nancy Pelosi, who bitterly complains about the cost of the war, Tom Daschle, who says we can't afford to give Americans a tax cut, yet will waste billions of tax dollars for projects like the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, the National --

    MR. FLEISCHER: Okay, I think I get it. There must be a trend here in the room today.
    This President has worked very hard, and Mitch Daniels has worked probably harder than anybody, to fight the earmarks in the Congressional budgeting process. Earmarks are increasingly a problem from both parties. And it is a point of difference between the White House and the Congress. We will continue to work to eliminate and reduce the earmarks wherever possible. This is a prerogative that the Congress obviously holds precious.
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    2.  4/23/03

    Q Okay, one on France. Newt Gingrich yesterday portrayed French opposition to the U.N. resolution on Iraq as part of a larger and long-term French effort to constrain the United States, to rein it in -- hear a direct connection between the vote in the U.N. in 1991 in which the United States was not reelected to the Human Rights Commission, and which the French failure to support us was decisive there and events later on. Does the administration share that view?

    MR. FLEISCHER: No, I think, again, the President will judge each issue by the merits about what comes before us. As you know, the President announced the United States' return to UNESCO, which is based in France. That was done back on September 12th. So there will be a variety of different issues that come up, and the President will make judgments on each of these on the merits

    Q But does he share the view that the French government is playing out a long-term strategy to try to co-opt the United States, rein in its influence, and constrain its power?

    MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I think you have to ask France what its goals of its policies are. The President knows that France is an ally. We may not see everything the exact same way, and we'll differ on some issues with France. And others, we'll find agreement.
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    3.  4/25/03- I think this is a Jeff Gannon question, but not sure

    Q Two questions today, if I might. Scott Peterson has been arrested in connection with the death of his pregnant wife, Laci. He's been charged with two murders, one of his wife and the other of his unborn son, Connor. Do you think that's appropriate?

    MR. FLEISCHER: This is a tragic case. And it's a very interesting one in the question that you raise specifically. The President does believe that when an unborn child is injured or killed during the commission of a crime of violence, the law should recognize what most people immediately recognize, and that is that such a crime has two victims. In the case specifically, I'm not going to make any comment; that is legal matter pending before a state. But if you recall, the House of Representatives passed the Unborn Victims of Violence
    Act, and it passed overwhelmingly, with large bipartisan support. We hope that the Congress again this year -- the President calls on the House and calls on the Senate to again pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, so that the law can recognize what every mother and father know in their heart when an unborn child is taken through an act of violence, in the commission of a crime, just as we've seen in this case here.

    Q Thank you. My next question, you've declined to comment on Santorum's statements that the Senator says were misconstrued. Some have suggested that the real story here is that the Associated Press reporter conducting the interview is the wife of John Kerry's campaign manager. How would you respond to that?

    MR. FLEISCHER: I'm not going to respond to that. I'm aware of those reports and I don't know how to evaluate them.
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    4.  4/29/03

    Q This is a two-part question. It's becoming apparent that France may have been aiding Saddam's regime up until the war broke out. When might the President phone President Chirac about this? Second part of the question: If members of the Iraqi regime turn up in France, what agreements do we have in place to ensure that they'll be turned over to the U.S.?

    MR. FLEISCHER: Well, on your second question, I remind you that President Chirac agreed with President Bush when the focus was on whether Syria was indeed receiving anybody who had fled from Iraq, and President Chirac spoke to the Syrians and stressed to them that they should not harbor. And we expect that's a principled stand that France takes that would apply everywhere.
    On the first question, I have nothing to report on that topic.
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    5.  4/30/03- I think this is a Jeff Gannon question, but I'm not sure.

    Q Ari, back on the judicial nominations, now. A new controversy may be cropping up because the two Maryland senators are concerned about the Claude Allen nomination. Grant you, they might not have voted for Owen and Estrada anyway, but they're upset about the Claude Allen nomination because he's a Virginian, and they consider that to be a Maryland seat on the 4th Circuit. Does the President have any feeling of obligation to hold to those kinds of gentlemen's agreements?

    MR. FLEISCHER: Well, we always try to work with various changing types of requests from senators for consideration. And it's a process that we try to work very collegially with the Senate. So we'll just continue to work on behalf of all the President's nominees with all those involved.

    Q Would he not consider that to be a Maryland seat?

    MR. FLEISCHER: Let me take a look at the specifics of it to see if I can offer you more on it.

    I'll start May 2003 in the AM.

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