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Exchange With Reporters

January 18, 1990

Reallocation of Foreign Aid

Q. Mr. President, will you be discussing Senator Dole's plan to cut aid to Turkey and other countries?

The President. I won't be talking about that. I'll be talking about my delight that somebody understands that it is the President that ought to set these priorities, and that's what I'm very pleased about.

Q. Are you angry at Senator Dole?

The President. I'm pleased with him. What are you talking about?

Q. Does that mean the priorities are going to change?

The President. I want to see them put the power where it should be in this matter, and not mastermind foreign policy through 138 subcommittees -- allocating funds. I'd like to see it done the way I think the Founding Fathers intended for it to be done. And don't worry about our friends, Turkey -- we'll take care of that.

Q. Are you going to get the same amount?

The President. I want to get back what I want first.

Social Security Tax Cut

Q. What do you think of Senator Moynihan's plan, Mr. President?

The President. Hey, listen, we've got to get going. We've got a distinguished visitor here -- what do you think of the Moynihan plan, Mr. President? [Laughter] He and I have the same feeling about it. We both draw a blank when we hear about it. [Laughter] This is an effort to get me to try to raise taxes on the American people by the charade of cutting them, or cut benefits. And I am not going to do it to the older people in this country.

Note: The exchange began at noon in the Oval Office at the White House, prior to a meeting with President Turgut Ozal of Turkey.

George Bush, Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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