LET ME say very emphatically that I think the Secret Service and the other law enforcement agencies that were on the job were doing a superb job, and I want to thank them for everything they did in this unfortunate incident.
I also wish to express to the people of California my gratitude for the very, very warm welcome that they have given me in the State of California. I would not, under any circumstances, feel that one individual in any way represented the attitude on the part of the people of California. I just thank the Californians for being so friendly and so hospitable.
Let me add, with great emphasis: This incident under no circumstances will prevent me or preclude me from contacting the American people as I travel from one State to another and from one community to another.
In my judgment, it is vitally important for a President to see the American people, and I am going to continue to have that personal contact and relationship with the American people. I think it is vital, and I intend to carry it out.
REPORTER. Mr. President, can you give us any idea what you saw or felt personally at the time?
THE PRESIDENT. I am not sure that I ought to describe what I saw beyond the fact that I saw a hand coming up behind several others in the front row, and obviously, there was a gun in that hand. I then saw almost instantaneously very quick and very effective action by the Secret Service in taking care of the matter.
Q. Your own thoughts, sir?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, I was very thankful. I was very thankful to the Secret Service for doing a superb job. But once I saw that they had done it, I thought I'd better get on with the rest of the day's schedule.
Thank you very much.