George Bush photo

Exchange With Reporters Aboard Air Force One

July 18, 1990

The President. -- -- say welcome. No questions, of course, because we've just finished this press conference, and you know -- --

Q. Press conference?

The President. Well, 2 days ago, that one that we had, the one with the magazine editors. Had the one with -- --

Federal Budget Negotiations

Q. How did the budget meeting go?

The President. Well, we've agreed to meet again Monday, and we'll see how it goes. A lot of work still to be done.

Q. Did you make any progress?

The President. Well, I think every time we sit down we get rid of some of the differences. But in the meantime, Dick Darman is going to have more meetings with Dick Gephardt [House majority leader], who, incidentally, I will say is, I think, doing a first-class job -- both Dick Darman and Nick Brady on our side, and certainly, Dick Gephardt trying to hold this big group together and lead it. And I think we all owe him a vote of thanks for the way he's proceeding as chairman of the process.

But, no, we've still got some problems out there. But they're going to be meeting while we're on this trip, and then we'll get back together early in the week.

Q. Do you have basic agreement yet just on the outlines, on the size of the package?

The President. Well, that's what Darman and Dick Gephardt are going to be talking about further. We've had some discussions, and the way it was outlined to me, there's some agreement, but I don't think you can call it total agreement at this time.

Q. Are you more optimistic now than previously?

The President. Well, it's hard to say; it's hard to quantify that. But it's not a question of optimism or pessimism; it's a question of having to get this done. The deficit problem is so serious that there must be a bipartisan, responsible answer. And I will keep saying that and keep encouraging the White House negotiators and the Republicans to go forward, but it's hard. It's a good question, and I don't know how to answer it.

Q. Did you do taxes today?

The President. We just had the kinds of discussions I talked to you about, about getting the problems in shape. And there's five major ingredients, and all of them are being discussed.

Thank you all. I hope you have a wonderful trip out here.

Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library

Q. Are you glad to be honoring Richard Nixon?

The President. What?

Q. Are you glad to be out here for Richard Nixon?

The President. I'm very pleased to be going to this dedication of this library, and I'm very pleased that President Nixon's daughter is with us. And I only regret that a previous commitment on the part of Mrs. Nixon and President Nixon prevented them from being with us today. Yes, I'm glad to be going out.

Note: The exchange occurred in the afternoon while the President was en route from Washington, DC, to Anaheim, CA. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

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

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