Press Briefing by George Stephanopoulos
The Briefing Room
1:36 P.M. EDT
Q: He's not in a bunny costume.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm just not fun. Not funny, not fun. (Laughter.)
Q: Did you like your portrayal on Saturday Night Live?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I have only heard about it, I didn't see it.
Q: They had the little boyish haircut look.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah. Great. Any questions? (Laughter.)
Q: George, can we talk about Bosnian policy for a moment?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Sure. Yes.
Q: Does the President support the idea of Bosnian Muslim enclaves defended by U.S. military forces?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President, as you know, right now is pushing for increased sanctions against the Serbians. He's also asked for a full review of all the options available to the United States government and our allies at this time. As you know from the reports, an initial working group did go to Bosnia -- I think it was assigned in February -- and returned. They have not yet made their recommendations to the President. The President will review the report when he sees it. But at this time he wants to press forward on the sanctions, he will continue to review other options and he's waiting for the final report.
Q: Let me follow up on a few things. Pressing forward on the sanctions, but Yeltsin has asked for delay in the tougher sanctions. Doesn't that mean that his Bosnian policy is going to be hostage to his Russian policy?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Not at all. In fact, there's a very good chance that this would have no practical effect at all. As you know, the U.N. resolution had a two-week delay in implementation. We can put off the actual consideration of the vote in the United Nations but have no appreciable or effect at all on the actual implementation of the sanctions.
Let me also review what we've done recently and the effect of the sanctions recently.
Q: How do you do that?
Q: Can you clarify that?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The initial drafts U.N. resolution included a two-week delay between passage and implementation. If we were to put off the actual consideration in the U.N. Security Council, we would no longer need the two-week delay until implementation, so there would be no practical effect of delaying.
Q: So do you have a deal that they won't veto?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: We are continuing to work with the Russians. And as you know, as we've said before, the Russians are actively working to press the Serbs to come to the negotiating table and we hope that that will be successful.
Q: The conclusion of this task force was that the sanctions alone would not work.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The task force has not yet reached a conclusion.
Q: Well, they reached some conclusions that weren't reported to the President yet. And apparently --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No, there has been no final report yet to the President. They have not reached any conclusions.
Q: There's a draft report.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: That's not a conclusion.
Q: George, what explains the President's outburst this morning on the issue of the filibuster? Has he decided that full speed ahead and blast the Republicans is a better strategy, or what?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President is always going to go full speed ahead for jobs. He's going to fight for jobs and that's what his remarks this morning were about.
Q: Excuse me, let me just follow up if I can. Is it the President's hope that some kind of accommodation might be reached with the Republican leadership, or is it his hope that the better way to proceed is to pick off a handful of Republican votes and --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think the President hopes that we can get a vote -- a successful vote as quickly as we can on as much of the jobs package that can pass, and that's what we're looking to do.
Q: I understand that. That's all -- I think we can agree on that. The question is, is he going to try to do that by accommodation with the Republican leadership, or is he going to try to do that by gaining the support of a handful of Republican senators to give you the number of votes you need?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: He's going to do it by continuing to point out the real benefits that this jobs package provides, the real benefits it will provide this summer in summer jobs and immunization. And then he's going to continue to work with those in the Senate who are interested in passing a jobs bill.
Q: George, does the report from Vietnam -- the letter found in the Russian files --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Do we want to do anything more on this?
Q: We only have five minutes to cover all these topics.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay.
Q: indicate that Vietnam has likely been lying to the United States for 20 years? And what does that do to the likelihood of improving relations with Vietnam?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, we just received this report -- the actual report last week. Ambassador Toon has received it and he's now -- it's being reviewed in the Pentagon. And the President has also sent General Vessey over for talks with the Vietnamese on the entire POW-MIA issue.
We will continue to review it. And we have discussed this, as you know, in general terms with the Russians as well. We are going to continue to look into this matter and look into the report and have a complete review. But the President is determined not to move forward on normalization with Vietnam until there is a full accounting of the POWs and MIAs.
Q: Has he instructed General Vessey to raise this specifically?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe it will come up. I don't know the specific instructions to General Vessey, but clearly this is a matter of great concern. It is something we are reviewing, and we're looking into it.
Q: Did it come up at the summit, George, between Yeltsin and the President?
Q: George, General Vessey has been there once before --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'll get right to you, Sarah.
There was a general discussion of POW-MIA issues. I don't know the specifics.
Q: General Vessey's been there before when he had restraints put on him. Does the President think that this time he's going to give a different report, or why did he send the same man back?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, General Vessey, as you know, has been the President's Special Envoy since 1987. He's been doing a good job for the United States and --
Q: That's why I say he's been over there before and came back and didn't give us any results. Why does he think he'll do it this time?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, we need a periodic review to see if the situation has changed at all, and that's why we're sending him.
Q: George, on South Africa, is the President concerned about the turmoil and has he contacted Chris Hani or any of the parties down there? I mean, his family -- Chris Hani's family.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Obviously, the President was deeply saddened and deplores the violence in South Africa and the assassination of Chris Hani and he believes that we must end the violence and move to the negotiating table. I don't know that he's had any personal contact with the families.
Q: Would you let us know because Secretary Christopher wrote a letter?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay.
Q: How much of the stimulus money will be spent for White House employees and by the White House for White House equipment?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I know that a small supplemental has gone up. I'm not sure the exact figure; I don't have it in front of me right now. But it's in the -- it's either $3 million or $11 million. I just don't have it in front of me. I'll take the question and get back to you.
Q: That comes from the stimulus funds?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know that it's in the stimulus funds. I know that there's a portion of the budget that goes towards the White House. I don't know that it's in the stimulus.
Q: Well, what's it going to be used for?
Q: I know what you're talking about -- that involves the transfer of some law enforcement money for White House use for salaries and phones and so forth. Is that -- why do you feel that's justified, taking money from the IRS, $4 million plus, to use here for administrative costs?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know how the rescissions are working it all. I know that the money for the White House is intended to upgrade the computer and phone system and to provide, as the President said in the past, for the Personnel and Counsel's Office, the temporary functions caused by their rush of activity at the beginning of the administration.
Q: Has the President written to Senator Johnston about the grazing and mining fees -- about the White House position on that issue?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'd have to check. I don't know if I've seen the letter. I'm just not positive.
Q: I want to go back to Bosnia. It has been made clear many times from that podium and the President that the use of U.S. ground troops in a peacemaking role was not on the table. Given the positions taken in this draft report, whether they've reached the President or not, has that changed?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No. The President's position is the same and the President's policy is the same.
Q: Are you completely ruling out the use of American --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No, the President is not contemplating that at this time. He is reviewing his options and we are moving forward on tightening the sanctions and on other issues. We're reviewing other issues.
Q: Is that one of the options that he is reviewing?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It's highly unlikely. I mean, the President right now believes that we should move forward on pressing the sanctions.
Q: Can I follow on that? Was that task force deliberately told not to bring up that issue when they briefed the Hill?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Excuse me?
Q: Was the task force instructed not to bring up the issue of possible military force when they talked to the Hill?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The task force was just giving a briefing on the U.S. policy and the findings. And it's not appropriate to discuss policy before it's been made.
Q: Were they told not to discuss military force?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know what their specific instructions were, but they wouldn't be talking about policy before it's made.
Q: They didn't discuss policy. They apparently discussed the recommendation they had made. And are we getting into semantics? Surely the President has seen the report --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: That's just not right, Helen.
Q: And that there was no -- the President was not aware of this recommendation?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Not at all.
Q: It came out of the blue?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Not out of the blue. This was a preliminary draft report of a task force that was coming back and reporting to the State --
Q: Right, but did he see that?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No.
Q: He didn't even see the preliminary report?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No. He would receive the report when it was done, and it wasn't done.
Q: Well, is he shocked that the story has come out and so forth and obviously someone has leaked it?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think that's a shocking event in Washington, no. (Laughter.)
Q: You don't think that's a shocking event?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that the President believes that it's important to act on policies once they are made. And it doesn't help to debate policies before -- in the press before they are deliberated on inside the administration.
Q: Why doesn't it help?
Q: mildly irked on that?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Pardon?
Q: Mildly irked? (Laughter.)
Q: Didn't it come up at the Pentagon when he met with Powell and the Joint Chiefs on Thursday? Was it Thursday?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: They discussed Bosnia.
Q: Did they discuss this draft report?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No.
Q: When is the report supposed to reach the President?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know.
Q: George, does the President think that this is going to -- by having this report come out in briefings and come out to the press, as it has, whether he's made a decision on it or not --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It just doesn't --
Q: Does he think that's going to enrich his chances of getting anything passed in Congress? It's going to infuriate Congress.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No, I don't know that it will infuriate Congress. I think that they are --
Q: It already has. George Mitchell said he was demanding a report right away.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well -- and the President will receive the report as soon as it's done.
Q: He said he was demanding an explanation to why Congress was left out.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I haven't seen that request from Senator Mitchell, but we'll look into it.
Q: George, what is the administration doing to help prepare for possible civil unrest following the King verdicts in LA, including visits by senior administration officials and money to California?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think we should presume something that hasn't happened. But, as you know, Secretary Brown visited Los Angeles last week and met with many community leaders and other officials who have responsibilities for the long-term development of Los Angeles. And I believe he will also be going back this week.
Q: Just to follow, it was reported earlier that the federal government was giving the state $1.7 million to pay for police protection. Is that so? And what other federal funds are being used for California?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know if an official request for those funds has actually been made, or if they've been provided. I don't know that that's been done yet. But we'll double-check.
Q: And is Clinton planning to visit the LA area?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It's not inconceivable, but there are no plans right now.
Q: George, I want to pick up the stimulus again. When the Senate left town, the President said he was going to have a proposal to address the legitimate express objections of members of the Senate. And this morning he said, "Let's not talk about compromise."
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that's -- you're taking a few words out of context there. He said he would be working with the Senate and others over the course of the week to come up with a package that could get support. But he would -- the only point of his comments were that those who are fighting to stop it should explain why they don't want to move forward with the jobs package.
Q: So he is prepared to present a modification?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President will continue to work with the Senate to make sure that we get as many jobs passed as quickly as possible.
Q: But there's a specific question in there that you didn't really answer. I mean, is he prepared to come forward, as he said he would, with a specific revision of his plan to accommodate what he called legitimate concerns about it?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that over the course of those discussions it is possible to get a modified plan. Absolutely. I think --
Q: It's only possible now?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think it's very --
Q: It's gone from "I'm going to do it" to "it's possible I'll do it"?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that we're in discussions right now. We will continue to be in discussions. We will continue to look for ways --
Q: Have you talked to any of the Republican leaders?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think there have been some discussions with Republicans, sure.
Q: Senator Mitchell said yesterday that -- he indicated that the likely result would be scaling back and delaying, similar to the original Breaux-Boren. Does the President agree with that?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, when Senator Mitchell talks about the stimulus package, obviously, we'll take his recommendations very seriously in these discussions over the course of the next week. We are looking -- the President has said, let me repeat, that he will do whatever he can to get as many jobs through as he can. If it's going to take certain adjustments in order to spring the jobs bill, he is prepared to make them. But we don't have the final outlines of that package right now.
Q: Is he sorry he didn't support Breaux-Boren in the first place?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think the President is committed to getting this jobs package through and he's going to do what it takes to get it done.
Q: George, has the President asked members of the Cabinet to go out across the country this week or next week and lobby to put pressure on the Republicans?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, members of the Cabinet are working quite hard to point up the importance of this jobs package. I would point out that Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros is having a series of workshops around the country this week on implementing the jobs program. I believe that Secretary Reich and I think Brown are having a conference on Wednesday on jobs and training.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think it's in Crystal City.
Q: Isn't that Riley?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It could be Riley. I know it's Reich. I'm not sure of the second Cabinet member. And we're going to continue -- Secretary Pena and others will continue to make the case for these important initiatives. As you know, Secretary Shalalah was with the President this morning on the immunization plan.
Q: Why hasn't the President himself gone on the road more to promote this? There were a lot of stories written about the time when he was elected that he'd be campaigning, he'd take bus trips, go to town meetings. He hasn't gone on a bus trip, I don't believe, since the inauguration except for a short ride somewhere.
Q: Thank God. (Laughter.)
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Is that a request?
Q: Pool reporter.
Q: He also hasn't attended a town meeting in a long time. Why don't we see him out there aggressively in the country campaigning?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I think the President's been out there aggressively every day talking about the jobs package. He talked about it today, he talked about it Thursday. Unfortunately, as you know, he had a family funeral over the weekend and couldn't speak. But he's back to work today, and he's pushing very hard for the jobs plan.
Q: Well, might he go while Congress is out? It seems like the perfect time, some might say, to go out across the country, target the home states of people who are being recalcitrant and be aggressive. Why isn't he doing that?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President's being very aggressive in fighting for the jobs package.
Q: George, several Republicans are suggesting that they're feeling virtually no --
Q: George, I didn't hear Andrea if she was asking about Breaux-Boren. Is the President reconsidering Breaux-Boren legislation?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President is looking at a number of options, along with members of the Senate, to the kinds of adjustments it would take to move forward on the package. I don't have the specifics on that right now.
Q: A lot of Republicans are saying they don't feel any political heat yet from their constituents during this recess in terms of supporting the jobs package, stimulus package. In other words, they don't seem to be getting the message that you're trying to project.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, they ought to look at the bill. The bill is going to create jobs in just about every state in this nation. It's going to create summer jobs. It's going to create long-term jobs in highways. And the President continues to believe that's important.
Q: The President has been saying that or some variation of that for weeks and weeks and weeks. And when he made similar appeals for his overall economic program, there was something of a groundswell for it. This measure does not --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, if you look at the Newsweek poll -- I mean, it just came out this weekend.
Q: Let me just finish framing the question and you can dump on it if you want to. (Laughter.) There does not seem to have been a comparable groundswell or any groundswell at all for this proposal, and indeed, as Wolf suggested, a lot of Republicans are getting very heavy phone calls in their favor, they say, on this. Does it occur to you that the problem here is that the dog just won't eat the dog food?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think that the Republicans ought to listen a lot more closely to their constituents and they'll find out that there is strong support for the jobs package across the country. In fact, the poll in Newsweek just this weekend showed, I think, 57 percent support for the package. I've seen other public polls that have the support up above 60 and 70 percent. The American people want action on jobs --
Q: The overall package or for the stimulus package?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Jobs. Absolutely. And they want action on jobs now.
Q: This stimulus package?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Newsweek was on the stimulus package.
Q: It also said that for the first time that the President is below 50 percent in popularity. Are you concerned about that?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The President is going to stand up for what he believes in and continue to fight for what he believes in. Those things are going to go up and down over the course of four and maybe more years.
Q: But when it's down doesn't it make it more difficult for him to try to build pressure on Congress?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think so. The jobs package has support, and he's going to continue to press for it.
Q: I still think -- I think I'm right about this -- we can't hear the people if they're talking while I'm talking. I'd like to know if I have the floor.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You have the floor.
Q: All right. I think I'm right about this -- the President made a very fine point today when he said --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I bet you're right. (Laughter.)
Q: We can't hear what you're saying up there. Did somebody interrupt or something?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No, I just said I agreed with you the President made a fine point today.
Q: All right, he made a very fine point on immunization. We don't have the other specific items that are in this economy stimulus package. If he would give us the specific items that this money is supposed to be spent for, he might not have such a hard time getting it passed.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: That's good advice, but the President said several times that he's going to move forward on summer jobs, on highway funding --
Q: Wait a minute, wait a minute. He's got a proposal in there that says something about 500,000, I think, summer jobs, but that they could also take art classes. Now, wait a minute. I understand there are very few jobs, comparatively, very few jobs provided in this bill, and that they are mostly short-term jobs. Now, if he would give us a complete explanation of what he's going to spend this money for --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I would refer you to the documents out of -- the Office of Management and Budget have a complete accounting of --
Q: What did you say?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The documents out of the Office of Management and Budget have a complete accounting of the money.
Q: Now, wait a minute, wait a minute, they have got to give us -- you have not given us a specific list of what this money is supposed to go for.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I believe that isn't --
Q: The only list that we have gotten has come from the Republicans and you don't want that.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No, I agree with that. But I think that the --
Q: Well, why don't you give us the list just he did on immunization today? He could tell us what the rest of it's supposed to go for. This is ridiculous.
Q: Yeah, yeah, yeah --
Q: Come on, George.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Controlling that information again. Even the good news. I think we can get it to you from OMB.
Q: Think we can get it from OMB. Will you?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, we'll get it to you, I promise.
Q: George, two questions. First one is quick. Are the Clintons going to release their tax returns, and it so, when can we see them?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, they have released their tax returns for the last several years. I don't think there's a change in that and I think we'll release them when they're done.
Q: Did they get an extension?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It's not April 15th.
Q: Are you specifically saying, back to Michael's question, that he will not -- I'm trying to figure out whether today's outburst was isolated or not. Are you saying specifically that he will not travel to the states of legislators who are --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: No, I'm saying that there are not plans right now. But I would also just point out that he's spoken out on this every day and he will continue to do that.
Q: Is he in the beginning of something today or was he just sort of feeling ornery?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: He was -- no, he talked about it on Thursday as well in fairly strong terms.
Q: George, if the need is for immediate jobs, is it within the realm of possibility that the President will take a delay on the portion of his stimulus package that provides jobs in the years outside of 1993?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think we could play this game for a long time. There are a lot of possible --
Q: But the money is not for the this year.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: There are a lot of possible adjustments that can be made. The President is in discussions on that now. But the point is and the point that I would repeat and the point that he made this morning is that he is determined to get as many jobs as he can as quickly as he can. He believes the package is sound and we should get as much of it as we can. If there are adjustments that are needed simply to break the filibuster, then we'll look into that.
Q: In the line of detail, is it possible to get a breakdown by states of how many jobs will be created? Do you have such a --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think we have them for several states.
Q: Can you release that?
I'd have to see exactly what form it's in. I'm not really sure.
Q: George, to follow up on Adam's question, can you tell us what the President's plans are for the next week to attempt to sell the stimulus package?
Q: This week --
Q: This week and until the Congress returns? Is there any travel contemplated?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know if there's any travel right now. As you know, he spoke on it today. He also spoke to the defense conversion conference up in New York, which is also important for both the stimulus and the long-term investment. I expect that he'll probably have something to say tomorrow, and he's also going to be speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, I believe, tomorrow night. Then on Wednesday I think he's attending Secretary Reich's jobs conference in Crystal City. I'm not sure if we have final plans yet for Thursday. But, as you know, he's meeting with Prime Minister Miyazawa on Friday.
Q: Where can we get a list of these reconversion projects by states?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't know. (Laughter.) We'll have to check.
Q: Why would the President not travel? Has he decided that it's simply too late to sort of generate the kind of --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Not at all. And I don't think that -- the President is speaking to the country every day. I mean, it's hard to -- all of you, as you know, are here and you're reporting to the country. And he will continue to speak out on it. It's not to rule out the possibility of travel, but it's to make sure that we do what we can to make sure that our message is clear. At the same time, as you know, Vice President Gore is traveling this week. I think he's in Ohio and two or three other states.
Q: We don't want to travel.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Poland is next week.
Q: Are you afraid of a backlash, George, if he goes into states? It's sort of weird because he -- I mean, you were the guys who said how important it is to get him out in the real world.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: And he's been out in the real world.
Q: Why isn't he circumventing us the way --(laughter.)
Q: Obviously, it's because he's going to cave, right? (Laughter.)
Q: Since he's not saying anything substantially new, could you walk through how you think the process will work? Will the President will stay in the White House and talk every so often about this -- how that will change -- just walk through what you think will happen. He'll talk about it and then what will happen?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I think if people --
Q: How will that lead to changed votes in the Senate?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: If people watch and they realize that it's important to pass immunization and if people are clearer on the fact that if this jobs package isn't passed by the Senate we will not have an immunization program, we will not have a summer jobs program, we will not have jobs created through spending on the highways and roads and bridges and mass transit and water development projects -- I mean it's quite clear. We believe in sweet reason.
Q: Does water development projects include the swimming pools he was defending last week?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It could.
Q: Why didn't this work the first time, George, in the beginning in February and March when the President took some trips and was getting a very positive response from people --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: I think it actually worked in great degree. I mean, take a step back.
Q: Excuse me, but he went around the country, made some speeches --
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: And he's passed his budget in record time.
Q: had all the Republicans over in the White House with all this bipartisan Big Mac lunches and everything -- he didn't get one Republican vote. What was it that worked?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, what worked is the fact that he passed his budget in record time, a budget that reduces the deficit by $500 billion over five years and provides needed investment in our economy. And this is the final part. It has passed the House. It has a majority of support in the Senate. A minority in the Senate is holding up the progress. That doesn't reflect the support in the country for the package which is strong. It doesn't reflect the fact that there's a majority in the House and Senate who want the jobs bill to go through.
Q: Okay, but if it doesn't reflect the support for the package in the country, then does it really -- it obviously doesn't work then to campaign out in the country because it's not having an effect on the Senate.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It has had an effect on the Senate. A majority in the Senate support passage of this jobs bill. A minority are holding up the package. The President's going to make that clear.
Q: In all your campaigning you have not picked up a single vote in the Senate.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The Senate is not back yet. The Senate has not voted.
Q: They voted repeatedly.
Q: Well, so far the Republicans insist they're hanging together and not one has come out and admitted that he's willing to change his vote.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: The Senate hasn't voted yet.
Q: How do you explain -- as you're citing the strong support in the country, how do you explain the declining numbers on that support?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I think the numbers are holding firm. You still have majority support for the jobs package, and we'll continue to make the case.
Q: The polls show a number of people who favor it as going down, which is something that Bob Dole likes to tout.
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: It depends on the poll you look at.
Q: You have polls showing higher than the Republicans' polls?
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 2:00 P.M. EDT
William J. Clinton, Press Briefing by George Stephanopoulos Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/269299