Posted by Curt on 2 June, 2006 at 4:55 pm. 1 comment.


Today’s press briefing had another exchange with the baby David Gregory:

In which widdle baby Gregory got all upset with Tony Snow: (Video best viewed in Firefox browser)

[flv:tonygregory.flv 400 300]

Q Tony, this debate obviously played a big role in the 2004 reelect, and the President made some pledges at that point to fight hard for this. There have been some conservatives who have suggested that he’s not made good on that pledge. So apart from tomorrow’s radio address and Monday night’s activity on the eve of the actual vote, what can be said on the President’s behalf to suggest to those critics that, actually, he has done some lifting on this?

MR. SNOW: Well, the President — I don’t know sometimes how you — the President is going to have to let what he’s doing on behalf of this particular legislative proposal stand for itself. They’re going to have to draw their own judgments.

Q Is he making calls to senators?

MR. SNOW: Senators aren’t in town — do you know how hard it is to find a senator this week? (Laughter.) I’m serious. Do you have any clue?

Q The President wades into this when it’s politically expedient —

MR. SNOW: Oh, David, come on.

Q He did that in 2004 — don’t “come on” me. You know just as well as I do what happened in 2004 —

MR. SNOW: This is what people have been waiting for. (Laughter.)

Q Two-thousand-four, in the heat of the campaign, he gets into it, and he gets into it again in an election year where he’s getting a lot of heat from his base to get back into this issue.

MR. SNOW: All he’s doing is he’s stating a position on the eve of the vote. I mean, I think it’s really not that unusual for a President to make statements that are timed to coincide with things on the legislative calendar, I really don’t.

Q You know how President —

Q So is that a “no” about phone calls?

MR. SNOW: I honestly don’t know if he’s making phone calls on this.

Q Do you know if he plans to?

MR. SNOW: I have no knowledge of plans to.

Q Tony, can we get back here?

MR. SNOW: No, I want to finish up with David, then we’ll get to Lester.

Q I think you’re pretty well aware of how Presidents can use their office —

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q — to weigh in on issues and influence issues.

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q So when you say you don’t know how to attach a priority to it, I think you pretty well do, just like you do on other issues. So the President is making it a priority now, at a time when it is politically expedient. Do you dispute that?

MR. SNOW: Yes, I do, because political expedience — are you going to say that every time a President makes a speech that’s timed to coincide with a vote on a piece of legislation that it’s politically expedient? The other way — you could turn it around and say, it’s politically ripe — I mean, for the President to have done it three weeks ago, what do you do, you tuck it into a vacuum. You have to make statements at a time when it makes sense to do it.

Furthermore, I guarantee you, people who have not spoken about this in many months who are opposed to it are also going to speak out. Is that politically expedient? No, it’s politically ripe. It’s their chance to have their say about an issue that is now going to be before the United States Senate.

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