George W. Bush photo

Exchange With Reporters Following a Meeting With Mayor Richard M. Daley in Chicago, Illinois

March 06, 2001

President's Visit to Chicago

Q. Why don't you tell us what's on the conversation table?

Mayor Daley. [Inaudible]—a wonderful book on Chicago, the great past, present, and future of this city. So I'm very honored and pleased to be here at luncheon with the President.

The President. I just got a lesson in Chicago politics. [Laughter]

Q. What is that lesson, Mr. President?

The President. [Inaudible]—for the second time in 6 months. [Laughter]

Mayor Daley. I told him we both have great brothers. [Laughter]

The President. That if you run for President, make sure you get the mayor on your side. [Laughter]

I respect Mayor Daley. I don't know if you remember, but every time I came to Illinois I always made a point of saying that I wish the mayor were on my side, because he'll make a huge difference for people he backs. More importantly, he's made a huge difference for the people of this city. He's one of the Nation's really good mayors.

We had a long-ranging discussion, and I came just to introduce myself so he got to know me. And he now knows he can pick up the phone and call the White House anytime he needs to.

Q. Can you give us a bit of insight into what you all talked about?

The President. We talked about just about everything. We talked politics, of course, and we talked about issues that face Chicago. He gave me a lot of good advice—want to pay attention to the big-city mayors. And I told him we've got a lot in common. We're both problem solvers, the kind of people that when we identify a problem, we try to work hard to solve it. And that's what the mayor's reputation has been. I also thanked him for the good work he's done on education reform here in Chicago.

Tax Relief Legislation

Q. How about selling him on the budget and tax cuts?

The President. We didn't spend a lot of time on the budget. I'm going to spend a little more time downstairs on the budget. The mayor gave me some interesting advice on tax relief that—as you know, he made— well, he can speak for himself, but he talked about the earned-income tax credit and the need for the good citizens of this city who are eligible for the EITC to go out and find it.

Vice President Dick Cheney

Q. How's the Vice President?

The President. I haven't talked to him. I talked to him late yesterday afternoon. He sounded great. He told me he'd be back to work soon.

Q. Should he cut back on workload?

The President. No, he shouldn't.

Q. Why not? Is the job——

The President. Well, because he's needed. This country needs his wisdom and judgment. And he's the kind of man who listens carefully to his body, and he is not going to put himself in a position where he gets very sick. Anytime there's any doubt as to whether or not he needs to see a doctor, he'll see a doctor. And he's plenty strong and plenty capable of carrying the workload that he's been working in the past.

Keep in mind, I'm not his doctor. It's going to be up to his doctor and his wife and his family to make the decision. But I don't think he needs to cut back on his work.

Q. What advice did you offer—[inaudible]?

Q. [Inaudible]—job of Vice President, with all it currently entails, too stressful for him?

The President. Not at all. Ann [Ann Compton, ABC News], good to see you.

NOTE: The exchange began at 1:45 p.m. in the Executive Conference Room at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

George W. Bush, Exchange With Reporters Following a Meeting With Mayor Richard M. Daley in Chicago, Illinois Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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