Press Briefing by Dee Dee Myers
The Briefing Room
1:45 P.M. EDT
MS. MYERS: A quick update before we get started here. As the President said Monday, our policy is clear: We will not allow Iraq to threaten its neighbors or to intimidate the United Nations. As you know, we have seen some evidence that troops are withdrawing from the southern area, from the Bosra region of Iraq. There have been some indications that that is broad-based; there have been some movements such as tanks being loaded up on trains and other things that indicate that they are, in fact, pulling out. However, some units do appear to be in place, so we're continuing to monitor it closely. And there's been absolutely no change in our deployment at this point. We're continuing to go forward with the deployments that have been outlined over the last few days.
At the moment we're consulting with our allies and coalition partners about the means to prevent Iraq from threatening its neighbors now and in the future. As you know, Secretary Christopher is in the region. He met this morning with Foreign Secretary Hurd and the GCC. They announced that they would also not allow Iraq to intimidate its neighbors, that all six GCC states would grant overflight privileges and support facilities for coalition aircraft, that they would establish a burden-sharing account to share the cost of this deployment, and that they would deploy troops from Peninsula Shield which, as you know, is a joint defense force of some 17,000 established after the Gulf War.
At the same time, Secretary Perry heads off today; he's going to stop in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and on to Kuwait. And Ambassador Albright is consulting at the U.N., again, about ways, means to prevent Iraq from threatening its neighbors now and in the future.
One other point: The coalition is strong; in fact, it's stronger than ever. As you know, King Hussein announced yesterday that Jordan not only does not support Saddam Hussein, that it supports the coalition and, in fact, condemned Saddam's actions. So only Sudan in the Arab world is continuing to stand with Iraq at this point.
Q: What's our response to the French, who are resisting the notion of a no-drive zone in the south?
MS. MYERS: We are in the process of consultations, and I would caution you against drawing conclusions about what we may or may not have proposed or be discussing. Again, there are consultations going on on a number of levels and a number of places, including at the U.N. today. We are committed to seeing to it that Iraq does not threaten its neighbors now or in the future. We're discussing means of enforcing that, and at this point we don't have anything more on it.
Q: How can we when we don't have allied support? Can we do it on our own?
MS. MYERS: Well, we expect to have allied support. We've had -- again, I would just reiterate that the allies, the Gulf states, in fact, the entire international community is strongly united in this, and we expect to continue to move forward.
Q: I'm talking about Security Council support.
MS. MYERS: Again, Ambassador Albright's consulting right now. And I think you can't jump to any conclusions about what might be being discussed there.
Q: At this time, Senator Dole and would-be-senator North are having a news conference on Capitol Hill which they were scheduled to keep up the drumbeat on the President's defense cuts and what they say is a general lack of preparedness by the military. I wonder if there's any further comment on that in the wake of the tos and fros of the last few days, including that of Vice President Gore.
MS. MYERS: Well, I think as the Vice President made very clear, those comments, particularly by Oliver North in recent days, are really out of line. The U.S. forces are prepared; the commanders on the ground, the commanders at the Pentagon and around the world have said so. I think it's unfortunate that people would suggest that U.S. forces are not prepared to stop a tyrant like Saddam Hussein from threatening its neighbors, from perhaps invading its neighbors.
Secretary Perry and General Shalikashvili have both said unequivocally that should they attempt to invade Kuwait that they will be defeated soundly. There's no question about the preparedness of U.S. forces to carry that out.
Q: Are you surprised that Senator Dole is partaking of this, or were you expecting it?
MS. MYERS: The longer I'm here, the less often I'm surprised.
Q: Dee Dee, the Iraqis took reporters to a hospital and showed babies dying and dead babies today because of the sanctions, blaming the United States for the suffering that's going on in Iraq. Do you have any reaction?
MS. MYERS: It's just more unsustainable propaganda. First of all, the sanctions do not cover food or medical supplies. Second of all, there is an exemption in the sanctions that allows Iraq to sell $1.6 billion worth of oil in order to provide food and medicine for the people of Iraq, and Saddam Hussein has refused to use that money to help his own people. So any suffering by the Iraqi people, which we regret, should be placed squarely at the feet of Saddam Hussein, and not at the international community or the United States.
Q: Do you think it's time for the U.S. and the U.N., or the coalition, to force Iraq to export that $1.6 billion in order to import food and medicine?
MS. MYERS: Well, I think that's a decision that Saddam Hussein is going to have to make. Clearly, he knows that that exemption is there. He knows it. There is an exemption for food and medicine generally. And he knows exactly what he has to do to get the sanctions lifted more broadly, which he said that he'd like to see happen. So it's -- he has not complied with any of the U.N. sanctions at this point. We will continue to insist, and the international community will continue to insist that he does.
Q: To follow up on Rita's question, you suggested this morning that people might want to reevaluate the President's conduct of foreign policy in the light of Haiti and Iraq. Are you talking about a new kind of foreign policy, a new decisiveness on the President's part, or are you talking about -- are you suggesting that people have mischaracterized his abilities and efforts so far?
MS. MYERS: I was suggesting the latter. I think that there have been a number of foreign policy successes that this President and this administration have presided over. If you look at what the President has said are his priorities in foreign policy, it includes Russia. And as you know, the President has stood firmly and steadfastly by Russia as it makes that difficult transition to democracy and a market economy. There's been no question about what our policy has been toward Russia. He has said the denuclearization and nonproliferation are top goals of his foreign policy. And if you look at what's happened in the former Russian nuclear -- former Soviet republics, there has been great progress.
We've reached an agreement with China recently. We're making tremendous progress on those very important issues; certainly on trade issues. The President has done an outstanding job getting NAFTA passed, when I think there was almost universal decision that he wouldn't be able to do it, and he did, with a broad bipartisan coalition in Congress. We expect GATT will get done this year as well. And I think we've made some progress in our relationship with Japan.
So if you look at the big issues, if you look at the progress that this administration has made over the past 20 months, there's a lot to be proud of.
Q: Do you think this will help Democratic candidates, the fact that you may get a bounce out of --
MS. MYERS: I will leave that for others to interpret. I think the President is committed to protecting U.S. interests, both here and abroad. He's going to continue to pursue the goals that he outlined early in his administration. I think, so far, there have been a number of very important successes on the foreign policy front, and I expect that that will continue.
Q: Do you grant that there has been a real perception that the President was waffling, wishy-washy when it came to Bosnia, Somalia and so forth, that did create this impression among the people that he wasn't on sure feet in conduct of foreign policy?
MS. MYERS: Well, I think there is always a lot more attention paid to conflict --
Q: He's in a win-win situation now, nobody denies that.
MS. MYERS: I don't think it's appropriate for me to try to assign wins and losses at this point. But I think there is always a lot more attention paid to conflict than there is to success. And so, when things are going well in Russia, I think it doesn't get reported. When things are going well, in terms of nonproliferation --
Q: I'm talking about when chips were down in terms of Bosnia and --
MS. MYERS: That's what I'm talking about. When things went well, when this President successfully resolved, whether it was trade issues, whether it was passing NAFTA, whether it was helping the Russians make that transition to market economics and move from a 20 percent a month inflation rate to something that's much lower -- it's certainly not without problems and it's not without troubles in the future, but when things are going well I think there is less attention paid to it. I think that over the course of President Clinton's term in office that people will evaluate him over the broad range of his accomplishments and successes and that he will get credit for his accomplishments.
Q: Dee Dee, the French Foreign Minister said today that the Iraqis violated no law by moving their troops within their own territory and that the American response was connected to domestic politics. If the coalition is a strong as you say, how do you account for what's coming out of Paris?
MS. MYERS: Well, I certainly don't speak for the French, but I think that we've made it very clear that Iraq will not be allowed to intimidate its neighbors. We're going to make very sure --
Q: Can't we have the lights on -- the lights on for this answer, please?
MS. MYERS: Okay, the whining in the front -- and then after this answer, we'll shut them off. Now I've completely lost my train of thought.
Q: French Foreign Minister --
MS. MYERS: French Foreign Minister --
Q: The French Defense Minister, actually.
MS. MYERS: Leotard.
Q: speak in French.
MS. MYERS: That's right. I'll do it in French, yes. No, I would say that, first of all, I do not speak for the French. However, we have made it very clear that we will not allow Iraq to intimidate its neighbors or the United Nations, and that we stand firm in preventing that. There is broad consensus, again, among the Gulf states, among our allies that this should not be allowed to happen, will not be allowed to happen. And I think we've insisted that the Iraqis stop their threatening maneuvers and pull back from that border area.
Q: Well, the French have been a major arms supplier to the Iraqis in the past and purchased a lot of Iraqi oil. Do you think they could be expressing commercial interest?
MS. MYERS: I'm certainly not going to try to subscribe motives to the French. But I will say that they agreed to send a ship in support of our actions, as have the British -- they've sent a ship and war planes. And I think that there is broad support certainly in the Gulf and among our allies for our policy. I think that will continue.
Q: Does that reflect what Mitterrand said to the President during their conversation? Did he express concerns about this, or did he say that he didn't think that his Cabinet ministers could stand up to this?
MS. MYERS: He said -- no, he generally expressed support for the policy of not allowing Iraq to threaten its neighbors, and said that he would consult with his government, which he's done over the past few days. And again, they've agreed to send in another ship into the region, which we appreciate, and I think the coalition appreciates.
Q: Secretary Christopher said today that the United States -- well, more or less, that the United States would not permanently station U.S. troops near that border to patrol or to enforce whatever additional steps you take. Is that an affirmative decision that's been made, that whatever it is you do, it won't be enforced with U.S. troops there?
MS. MYERS: Well, I think that it will depend on what we do, which I'm not in a position to talk about at this point. But I think if you look at some of the steps that were taken in the aftermath of the Gulf War for deployment of equipment, for example, that allowed us to deploy very quickly into the region, I think there are certainly a number of ways to enforce whatever decisions are made that wouldn't necessarily require the permanent stationing of troops.
Q: And when do you think that whatever decision we've made is going to be made known?
MS. MYERS: Consultations are ongoing. I don't have a specific time line. As you know, Ambassador Albright is moving forward at the U.N., as Secretary Christopher has today. The President has talked to his advisors about it. So I think we're moving at a fairly good clip.
Q: So that means we have a proposal that we're trying to circulate, right?
MS. MYERS: We're having discussions now.
Q: On an option?
MS. MYERS: On some options.
Q: Dee Dee, you warned us against speculation on what the U.S. is proposing at the United Nations. Of course, the most commonly reported option is the establishing of a broad exclusion zone to disallow Iraqi armor from entering a large portion of southern Kuwait. Are you telling us specifically that we're not -- southern Iraq, rather -- are you telling us specifically that is not accurate?
MS. MYERS: I don't want to confirm or deny anything specifically. But I will say, be careful; and be careful of that.
MS. MYERS: Because we are in the process of discussions and we haven't made public what the next steps will be as we look for means to enforce our decision.
Q: Is there a bad reception to that?
MS. MYERS: No. I would be careful of what we've proposed or haven't proposed.
Q: Will good things happen for Iraq if Saddam Hussein were to leave power, step down, leave the country?
MS. MYERS: If Iraq -- I think good things will happen for Iraq if they comply with the terms of the U.N. resolutions that were proposed in the aftermath of the Gulf War. And certainly that would allow them to -- that would lift trade sanctions, allow them to begin selling oil again and other things to rebuild their economy, which I think very much weakened by the sanctions and I think it's had an impact on Saddam Hussein's support within his own country. So I think it would be a very positive thing if the Iraqis were to comply with the resolutions.
Q: In addition to being careful, are you trying to tout us off of this idea that's been floating for a couple days on a ground zone? I mean, should we get off of that?
MS. MYERS: I just would warn you to be careful. I can't say anything more than that.
Q: Are there any estimates on what this deployment is going to cost?
MS. MYERS: No. No, we don't have any estimates yet, other than to say that, obviously, the GCC has agreed to establish this account to help pay for it.
Q: Do you know what's the share and how will that be --
MS. MYERS: I think the details -- you can check with the State Department. I don't have any more specific details. I don't know if they worked them out. But, again, there was certainly the same kind of cost sharing after the -- during the Gulf War last time. And the cost of it will depend on how long we're deploying, what we're deploying.
Q: Does the United States think that President Aristide should be able to take whoever he wants back with him to Kuwait -- to Haiti when he returns there on Saturday?
MS. MYERS: Wow, that's a development I don't have in my notes. (Laughter.)
We are working with President Aristide on the delegation. He has asked that a high-level American delegation accompany him and other people that's he's inviting. Certainly we will help with that logistically. I expect he will be returned in a U.S. plane -- United States Air Force plane. He's taking -- he's asked this delegation to go back because he says the Haitian people want to show their support and appreciation for the President, for the U.S. Armed Forces that are down there, and for the American people for all that they've done. The delegation will include some members of Congress and some private citizens that President Aristide is inviting.
And it's interesting, one of the things that's happening -- I'm sure you've seen down there -- is that the people are starting to clean up the cities. And while the dictators were in power, people didn't believe that that was legitimate. They didn't clean the cities; they didn't think the government was legitimate. And now they're beginning to sweep up the cities and pick up the trash in preparation for President Aristide's return. So President Aristide and others view that as a significant sign of how people feel.
Q: So are you concerned that a delegation as large as the one that he has and his associates have described could raise a security problem?
MS. MYERS: Certainly providing security is important, and we will take the necessary precautions. But we will work with him and take a delegation down that we think we can provide security for.
Q: The Persian Gulf War in terms of cash did not cost the United States anything. In fact, we made $62 million on it. Are you expecting that this with the GCC --
MS. MYERS: We did?
Q: will again not cost the United States anything in terms of cash?
MS. MYERS: No, I can't answer funding questions. We don't know the cost, and I don't know the details of the funding arrangements.
Q: Is it your expectation that the others will pay all of the cost, and the United States will not --
MS. MYERS: Again, I don't have the details on the funding arrangements, other than to say that there is a cost-sharing plan being worked out.
Q: Just to follow up on Doug's question, there are a number of people who have been close to Aristide, or have described themselves as being close to Aristide, who have been quite critical of administration policy during the course of this. Do you have any reservations about paying for transporting people who have been beating you up for --
MS. MYERS: I think that President Aristide has worked very closely with us throughout this process. He is extremely, I think, supportive and appreciative of U.S. policy and of all that's been done, particularly in recently weeks, to restore him and his government. And I think, again, we will work with him. He's inviting some private citizens, some government officials to return with him, and we think that that's appropriate, that he should be able to invite people that thinks have been supportive of him during his three years of exile.
Q: Will there be briefings here on Sunday following the President's meeting --
MS. MYERS: I don't know yet. The President, as you know, travels on Saturday. He will come back here late Saturday night. And I expect that he'll be briefed by some members of the U.S. delegation who will travel to Haiti on Saturday.
Q: They're coming back --
MS. MYERS: They're coming back late Saturday night, yes.
Q: You just said that they'd be briefed on Saturday?
MS. MYERS: No, the President will be briefed on Sunday. And I don't -- we don't have any briefings scheduled, but I don't know whether the delegation will want to walk out to the stakeout or something like that.
We definitely have some lobbying going on here against any organized activities here on Sunday.
Q: Will he meet with them Saturday night or not until Sunday?
MS. MYERS: I don't expect that they'll get back until late. It's at least a three-hour flight and maybe a refueling stop.
Q: As long as we're on Saturday and Sunday, somebody from -- a spokeswoman from Bingaman's office says the President may fly out to New Mexico Monday, spend the night and speak Tuesday. Someone from Governor King's office says that the White House contacted them about spending the night Sunday in El Paso, and the President's speaking Monday.
MS. MYERS: No. We had I think originally looked at a number of different options. Where we are now is that the President will go to Connecticut on Saturday and then down to Miami, and then back to Washington on Saturday night. He'll campaign for a gubernatorial candidate Curry in Connecticut, for Hugh Rodham in Miami, then spend the night here. Sunday he'll be in Washington where, among other things, he will talk to this delegation that goes to Port-au-Prince. On Monday he will fly out to Albuquerque, where he'll address the International Association of Police Chiefs. Then he'll come back here Monday night.
Q: And has it been determined whether or not the press plane will be able to follow him from Connecticut to Miami?
MS. MYERS: That's something that we're working through. I think it's a question of filing time in Connecticut, but I think if there was a consensus that people wanted to go to Miami that the press plane would leave -- Ginny was working through the details on this -- the press plane would have to leave around 12:30 p.m., which means getting to Miami around 3:30 p.m.. For those of you who have early deadlines on Sunday, I think Ginny is trying to get some guidance from you all about what you want to do.
Two options: One would be to have the press plane go to Connecticut, cover the events there and then come back to Washington, and you'd have to send people unilaterally to Miami; or go to Connecticut, leave -- the President has two events in Connecticut, one is a public event, a rally or something, the other is a fundraising lunch that is open to the pool only. So we'd keep the pool in Connecticut and fly the press plane to Miami. Now, this is your chance to not have to spend Saturday night campaigning. So let us know.
Q: Is he actually campaigning for Hugh Rodham in Miami, or is he only doing a fundraiser? I mean, is he doing a public event, or not?
MS. MYERS: It's a low-dollar fundraiser, so it will be a big event, but it is a fundraiser. But it will be open to the press.
Q: What about the senatorial fundraiser? Is it just for this one senatorial campaign, or is it for the senatorial campaign committee?
MS. MYERS: It's DSCC.
Q: Low-dollar DSCC?
MS. MYERS: Yes, so I guess to try to get a lot of people at a low price, is that it? It's tiered, it's tiered, it's tiered. (Laughter.) Is it just one event? I'm sorry, I don't have the Miami schedule.
MS. TERZANO: It's two events. The Hugh Rodham, which is the low-dollar fund raiser, and the DSCC.
MS. MYERS: Two events, here we go, two events. One is a low-dollar Hugh Rodham event. And the other is a higher-dollar DSCC event.
Q: Can you give us some more week-ahead schedule --
MS. MYERS: Of this week? Tomorrow the President --this is the long-awaited procurement reform event.
Q: When is that?
MS. MYERS: This is tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. You won't want to miss it.
Q: Is this an Al Gore event?
MS. MYERS: This is -- well, Al Gore will be there, you can bet on that. But this is a reinventing government event. It will be in the Rose Garden. It is procurement reform. The Vice President will, of course, introduce the President, and the President will sign the procurement reform bill and make --
Q: Is he going to break his ashtray?
MS. MYERS: You know, he's open to requests.
Then he will also do a satellite feed tomorrow to the National Association of Broadcasters and Radio Television News Directors, which is having a convention. I believe it's in Los Angeles, the event. Then --
Q: Is that Q&A?
MS. MYERS: That will be 12:20 p.m.; format is TBA. Usually what we do is remarks and then a couple of questions, but we're still working through that.
Then tomorrow night he has NAPO dinner, which is a police -- National Association of Police Organizations. And that is at the Capitol Hilton.
MS. MYERS: Yes, well, we are in the process -- the NAPO dinner is at 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Hilton. I suspect at least the remarks part, maybe all of it, will be open. Then he goes to a fundraiser for Congressman Carr, Bob Carr.
Q: Is Bob coming? (Laughter.)
MS. MYERS: I would just point out that he was at all the events yesterday.
Q: Yes, but did you see what he said?
MS. MYERS: Yes, well, after you guys beat the hell out of him, he finally succumbed.
Q: He came over --
MS. MYERS: Hey, I'm just sticking up for Democrats here.
Okay, then the other thing --
Q: The fundraiser is closed?
MS. MYERS: The fundraiser, the Bob Carr event is --
MS. MYERS: I don't know, is it closed? It's at the Hay-Adams. And it's -- is it closed, do we know yet? We hope so. (Laughter.)
Q: Bob Carr hopes so.
MS. MYERS: Then the other thing we're probably going to put on -- this doesn't involve either the President or the Vice President, but there's probably an event here with Brian Atwood, who's the AID Director, and some businesses who are investing in Haiti. And we'll let you know as that comes together.
Q: Is that Friday?
MS. MYERS: This is Thursday. So now we're on to Friday. Friday at 10 --
Q: The Carr fundraiser is after the NAPO dinner?
MS. MYERS: Yes.
Then at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, President Aristide will be here and we will do an event probably in the Rose Garden with people who have been supportive of President Aristide during his exile in anticipation of his return on Saturday.
Q: Farewell rally?
MS. MYERS: Yes, of sorts. It's a send-off of sorts.
And then he has the Arts and Humanities Award at 2:15 p.m. And then on Saturday, of course, the campaign event. And you have Sunday, Monday. Then next week we don't have much. I'm sure it will all change anyway, so why don't we just stop there?
Q: on anything this week?
MS. MYERS: There's nothing scheduled at this point.
Q: Can we put in a request, since we have --
MS. MYERS: Sure.
Q: loves his press conference so much.
MS. MYERS: He does. Well, that's why he had one so recently, just less than a week ago. He enjoyed it a great deal.
Q: Now that you've got this new theme about the "Contract on America" and campaigning against the contract? Do you have any response to the Republicans who have come up with a list of 83 Democratic incumbents who have endorsed the balanced budget amendment, therefore, support all of the things that are in the contract?
MS. MYERS: Well, that's not true, because they don't necessarily also support cutting taxes and increasing defense spending while presuming to balance the budget. That is the heart and soul of Reaganomics.
Q: How would you balance the budget without cutting entitlements?
MS. MYERS: Well, I think you need to pose that question to the Democrats. There certainly was a lot of Democratic support for balanced budget amendment, and different members of Congress had different, I think, avenues for achieving that. What they didn't propose is 350 candidates and members of Congress from the Democratic party come into Washington saying that they could go back to the voodoo economics of the 1980s and somehow do what then gave us $4 trillion in debt. I don't think the American people will be fooled. They've seen this before, they know what it is, and I don't think they want to go back. Been there, seen that, done that, won't be fooled again.
Q: On Bob Carr -- we've been told that there are more requests for the President than he can fulfill and go out and campaign for Democrats. And yet, here, he went to Michigan and Bob Carr made a point of telling people he didn't even invite the President. The question is, why is it that he went to Michigan?
MS. MYERS: He went to Michigan to give the speech that he gave, to see the Ford Mustang plant, to talk to auto workers about the very simple choice we face. Either we can continue to move forward, or we can go back to the failed policies of the past.
Now, if you look at what we've done in the past few months, the President has already attended over 55 events for political candidates, the Vice President has done more than 100 events for candidates. And, since you brought it up, I will just read off a list of some of the people who he has appeared with, and some of those he will appear with.
Incumbents who he's campaigned with in recent months include --
Q: In public?
MS. MYERS: In public, in public. Wofford, Kennedy, Governor Romer, Senator Feinstein, Moynihan, Bingaman, Lautenberg, Robb, Sasser, Sarbanes, Tom -- these are some of the challengers now, we'll go on to those --
Q: They're all in trouble except Moynihan.
MS. MYERS: I think Romer is doing well. (Laughter.) You guys are going to have to end up eating your words, and I am going to enjoy it. He's also --
Q: You can stop --
MS. MYERS: No, I'm going to stop now. You guys keep bringing this up, we're going to go on. Challengers he's appeared with include: Tom Andrews in Maine, Richard Fisher in Texas, Sam -- these are people who has or will, because we haven't been to Arizona yet.
Q: We did Coppersmith in Illinois.
MS. MYERS: Right, Coppersmith; Jack Mudd in Montana; Joel Hyatt in Ohio; Alan Wheat in Missouri; Ann Wynia in Minnesota; Ken Harper in Mississippi; Jim Jontz, Indiana; Charlie Oberly in Delaware; Pat Shea in Utah; Governors Richards, Dean, King, Charles, Cuomo; open seats -- and Howard Wolpe and Debbie Stavbnow, who were there yesterday. Other open seats in governor's races include Mark Singel in Pennsylvania; Larry Echohawk who's doing well in Idaho; Bonnie Campbell in Iowa; Joe Brennman in Maine; Kathleen Brown in California; Dawn Clark Netsch in Illinois --
Q: Stop. Stop.
MS. MYERS: Wait, I have more. Some of the people that we're going to campaign with -- you guys always like to write --
Q: Okay, keep going.
MS. MYERS: Wait, we have a few more. We're going to be with in the coming week, this is just --
Q: The Republicans --
MS. MYERS: So that they could counterschedule. Right. You already have this anyway. Carr, Coppersmith, Simms, Robb, Rodham and Kushner of the Senate candidates; Cuomo, Curry, Brown, York and Campbell coming up of governor candidates; Sawyer, Moran and Patrick Kennedy in House races around the country; and Governor of Ohio, Lee Fisher, who's currently the attorney general.
Q: What's your point?
MS. MYERS: Our point is that we don't have enough time in the day to fulfill all the requests we've had to campaign for people.
Q: So why Michigan?
MS. MYERS: I already answered that question. And if you -- first of all, there was never anything in the background material that we passed out that suggested that he would be seen at that Ford Motor Company event with candidates. In fact, it said explicitly in the background material, which you obviously did not read, that he would not be seen at the Ford event with candidates. He went to the UAW event where the pool was there, and you all saw him with a wide variety of candidates, which was always the expected plan.
Q: The list you handed out last week listed yesterday as a Bob Carr fundraiser event.
MS. MYERS: No, we're doing a Bob Carr fundraiser tonight.
Q: It was a combined --
MS. MYERS: No, we're doing -- no, we're doing a Bob Carr event on the 28th.
Q: It said it.
Q: It said Bob Carr --
MS. MYERS: Box schedule --
Q: You show three of those for Bob Carr.
MS. MYERS: That's correct. Now, wait, this is a good point. We put that out as a courtesy to you guys for planning purposes only, which is says in at least two separate places, and that it's subject to change. The fact is, the President's doing two fundraisers for Bob Carr. This is one of the reasons that we're reluctant to put out advance planning information, because then you guys hold us to it. We're doing two fundraisers for Bob Carr -- that's a lot. We're doing one tonight in Washington and one on the 28th in Michigan. And I think certainly we will -- the President will make remarks at both of those. And both of those -- at least some portion of it will probably be open.
Q: Dee Dee, you mentioned eating words a minute ago, has anybody from the White House contacted your former young associate, David Seldin, about his words that the President's involvement in the Maryland race would be irrelevant -- the President's irrelevant to the Maryland race?
MS. MYERS: Oh, I think that young Mr. Seldin has gotten a good ration of grief from his former colleagues about that, yes. But I would also remind you that Mr. Seldin was never an on-therecord spokesman for the White House, as effective and wonderful as he was --
Q: However, he is an on-the-record spokesman for Mr. Glendening --
MS. MYERS: I understand that, but I'm just pointing out this was not a senior person here.
Q: In your list that you just read of candidates the President has appeared with in public, did he appear with them in public on camera or --
MS. MYERS: Generally -- I haven't gone through every single one of these, but almost without exception, the President's remarks are open for sound and camera and they're on the record.
Q: The candidate and him in the same --
MS. MYERS: Yes. That's the idea of having an event together.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 2:20 P.M. EDT
William J. Clinton, Press Briefing by Dee Dee Myers Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/269727